The universal criminal justice system includes a wide variety of forensic job options for interested parties. Two of the most popular and most important forensic science majors in this field are forensic psychology and criminology. Although these two majors are related to one branch, they are completely different from each other.
In this paper, you will get more familiar with these two kinds of important majors.
What Is Forensic Psychology?
A beginner’s definition is that forensic psychology consists of justice system and psychology. Forensic psychology examines whether the accused has mental health for trial and whether he is psychologically healthy at the time of committing a crime.
People, who are interested in the law and justice system, love a bit of excitement in the workplace and want to work as a psychologist for consultation and evaluating crime, can be forensic psychologists. If you inherently want to be active and want to be an influential person in this field, you can become a forensic psychologist.
What Is Forensic Criminology?
Forensic criminology examines criminal behavior of criminal and the victims. The aim of this field is to understand the cause of crime and its impact on the individual and society as well as to develop solutions to prevent recidivism in the future.
Forensic criminology utilizes statistics, experimental evidence, past research and quantitative methods to examine crime.
A criminologist should be interested in exploring the causes of the impact and reduction of crime rate in the country. They should also get the ability to predict and prevent crime from committing. If you have interests and tendencies such as nationalism, criminal justice system, inherent interest in adding value to your country and having positive impact on your country and serving your country, criminology will be your best choice.
Forensic criminologists, who have bachelor’s degree, can work as case officers, prison guards and criminal investigators. Others, who have master degree, can work as writers, professors, researchers and college and university professors. Generally, they can work at Police departments, the FBI, state and local governmental agencies, colleges and universities and consultancy agencies.
Any forensic psychologists, who have Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology or Psy.D, can work as psychologists in the following settings:
- Correctional centers
- Law enforcement agencies
- Police department
- Law firms
- Prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers.
The criminals are evaluated psychologically and are conducted psychotherapy by them. On the other hand, non-clinical criminal psychologists can work at universities as researchers or law enforcement agencies as consultants.
Forensic psychologists work with law enforcement agencies, detectives, lawyers and other psychologists. They may even be present at the court to give testimony and enough information to judge for the psychological case of the accused.
Forensic criminologists examine different criminal cases, previous case records and interviewing with criminals and law enforcement agents. They also work at correctional centers and clinics to treat criminals. Criminologists may sometimes cooperate with psychiatrists, psychologists and even sociologists for a case.
Forensic criminologists earn $ 48,000 a year with a bachelor’s degree and get $ 73000 a year with Ph.D. The forensic psychologists have about $ 90000 for median annual salary.
The students, who want to study forensic criminology, should learn different courses including:
- Public health
- Factors affecting crime
- Control and prevention programs
- History of crime
- criminal justice
- Computer Forensics
The students, who want to study forensic psychology, should learn different courses including:
- Interpreting psychological tests and theories
- Evaluating and diagnosing criminals
- Cognitive Psychology
- Social Psychology
- Psychology and the Law
- Correctional Psychology
Degrees and Licenses
Criminologists and clinical forensic psychologists must have a license to visit patients. To obtain a license, you must complete supervised post-doctoral work after obtaining your doctoral degree. It should be noted that each state has its rules to determine the hours of supervised post-doctoral work. Then you have to take licensing exam and ethics test. It is mandatory to have no criminal record.
Forensic criminology is a multidisciplinary degree. Criminologist must have clean criminal record, reputable work experience and necessary degrees and skills.
Steps to Become a Forensic Psychologist
- Obtaining bachelor’s degree in psychology from a fully accredited college or university
- Obtaining master’s degree in forensic psychology if necessary
- Obtaining Ph.D or Psy.D
- Obtaining state license
- Obtaining ABFP certification: complete 100 hours of formal education and 1,000 hours of practical experience
Steps to Become a Forensic Criminologist
- Obtaining high school: learning sociology, government, history, psychology, criminology, criminal justice and statistics
- Obtaining bachelor’s degree in criminology, sociology, psychology and criminal justice
- Take the internship course at police department, law office, state or Federal government offices, community organizations and etc.
- Obtaining master’s degree or doctorate in behavioral science, criminology, sociology, psychology and criminal justice to gain more advanced job positions and higher salary
- Obtaining state license
- Gaining more experience