Criminal Psychologist Job Description Example

By | September 16, 2016
Criminal psychologists job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities

Criminal psychologists carry out research, surveys, and interviews to generate useful information about criminals.

Criminal Psychologist Job Description Example

What Does a Criminal Psychologist Do?

Criminal psychologists basically analyze the behavior and actions of criminals to produce results necessary for a legal ruling or law enforcement decision.

Their job description entails conducting assessment of an accused to determine their fitness for trial.

They obtain information as relates to a criminal case by carrying out surveys, interviews, and research.

In fulfilling their roles, criminal psychologists evaluate the eligibility of parents for custody of a child in a child custody case after considering the needs and choices of the child.

They also serve as expert witnesses in a law court providing psychological verification of mental instability as may be claimed by a defendant.

As part of their duties and responsibilities, these psychologists can work in a corrections facility where they assess prison inmates to determine their inclination towards re-offense.

They provide counseling and advice to aid them in rehabilitation and through probation.

Criminal psychologists performing in a legal capacity assist with the selection of the jury for a defense or prosecution.

Their work description may also involve helping legal advocates construct probing questions for potential jurors during the jury selection process.

In an academic setting, criminal psychologists work as instructors, teaching criminal psychology to students in colleges.

They can also work with law enforcement organizations such as the police to draw up the profile of criminal suspects by making logical assertions as to the age, sex, behavior, and occupation of an offender, thus providing clues that aid crime investigation.

They also carry out evaluation of police methods to help boost efficiency and general functioning of the police department.

Criminal psychologists engage in the research and study of the motivation and pattern behind a criminal behavior; they apply the knowledge and results of their findings in developing appropriate strategies and techniques for interviewing and assessing a suspect.

They may be employed by the state/federal government in a correctional facility and mental health institutions, or they may work for themselves as sole consultants.

Criminal psychologists require a terminal degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in clinical or counseling psychology, a year’s internship, and a successful completion of the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, in order to obtain license to practice as a criminal psychologist.

Among the qualities criminal psychologists possess are critical thinking skills, strong communication skills, refined research skills, and knowledge of social issues and legal laws as pertains to mental health and court procedures.

Criminal Psychologist Job Description Example

Criminal psychologists perform various duties, tasks, and responsibilities as highlighted in the job description example below:

  • Carry out a mental assessment of suspect to determine their psychological status and fitness for trial
  • Evaluate parents in a child custody case to determine who is most suitable to take custody of a child
  • Provide results/materials that can serve as a valid evidence in a court trial
  • Stand as expert witnesses in a law court to testify for or against a prosecution/defense
  • Assist with the assessment and selection of the members of the jury for a trial
  • Assess and counsel prison inmates aiding them in rehabilitation and social reintegration to reduce the risk of re-offense
  • Teach principles of criminal psychology to psychology majors in colleges and universities
  • Engage in research and surveys to identify the reasons behind the perpetration of a crime
  • Apply the results of the research in the assessment and interview of a suspect
  • Assist law enforcement agencies in creating a profile for an unknown criminal offender
  • Evaluate police methods to recommend necessary adjustments that will boost effectiveness
  • Hired as consultants by various agencies/clients to provide expert recommendation, and help crack a psychological case which usually borders on crime
  • Provide therapy and behavior modification for offenders on probation
  • Assist attorneys in developing probing questions for a court case.

Criminal Psychologist Resume Preparation

If you’re looking to create a criminal psychologist resume then the functions of the position shown in the sample job description above can be applied in making the work experience section of the resume.

Highlighting the aforementioned duties and responsibilities in your resume creates the right impression about your experience on the job and your ability to excel in it to a potential employer.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for a Criminal Psychologist Role

If you are looking to work as a criminal psychologist, here are major requirements you will need to meet to stand a chance with employers:

  • Education and Training: To qualify as a criminal psychologist, you are required to obtain an undergraduate degree usually in psychology or in a related discipline. Furthermore, you are expected to go for a Master’s and Doctorate degree studies in clinical or counseling psychology during which you participate in a year’s internship and subsequently pass the State examination to obtain license that allows you practice as a criminal psychologist
  • Critical Thinking Skills: The job of a criminal psychologist is an intellectually demanding task that requires you to possess the ability to thoughtfully process a situation
  • Research Skills: As one of their key qualities, criminal psychologists are adept to conducting research and surveys to draw conclusions on the motive and actions of a criminal
  • Knowledge of the law/Social issues: Criminal psychologists are knowledgeable in social and cultural matters; they have good understanding of case law, mental health law, and various other legal laws, knowledge of which aid them in effectively carrying out their duties.

Criminal Psychologist Skills for Resume

The above mentioned qualities and training are essential in filling the skills section of your criminal psychologist resume.

Recruiters will certainly give attention to your resume if it shows the skills and qualities that they require of a criminal psychologist.


The criminal psychologist job description shows the vital functions of the role that you need to know if you are thinking of starting a career in it, just as it provides employers the information to create an effective work description for newly employed criminal psychologists.

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