Forensic Psychologist Job Description Example
What Does a Forensic Psychologist Do?
Like other branches of psychology, forensic psychology deals with the investigation of human behavior.
Particularly, the job description of a forensic psychologist revolves around investigating cases and profiling crime suspects.
He/she works with police, attorneys and other law enforcement agents to investigate cases and arrive at just conclusions.
In order to achieve this particular objective, they also work closely with relations of suspects to establish the root cause of crimes and facts about crime incidents.
The role of a forensic psychologist entails carrying out investigation to determine if a suspect will be a threat to the society or not if released.
He/she undertakes risk assessments with crime suspects and work to reduce risk of criminals going back to the same crime.
The psychologist administers treatment to crime suspects and also provides research-based evidence to support assertions about a criminal or crime suspect.
His/her responsibilities also include advising probation boards and parole officers on how best to deal with criminals.
He/she assesses the behavior of suspects awaiting trials and convicted inmates in correctional facilities to determine how they are adapting to corrections administered to them.
He/she organizes individual and/or group therapy for prison inmates, and trains interns and students intending to venture into the field of forensic psychology.
The forensic psychologist work description also entails finding out if a criminal is fit for trial and if a witness is being truthful.
In the same way, he/she can also stand as an expert witness in law court.
To venture into the field of forensic psychology, you must have knack for research and investigation.
The second and the most important thing to do is to pursue a degree in psychology.
Then a Master’s in forensic psychology will set you on the right track.
To be held in high esteem in this profession, it is very important to obtain a doctoral degree from a university accredited by the American Psychological Association or its counterpart from Britain, Canada, or elsewhere.
In USA, it is also necessary to identify with the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABPP).
A forensic psychologist must be proficient in statistical analysis. So, proficiency in math and sciences is very important.
He/she must be able to draw inferences based on observation over time.
He/she must possess outstanding communication skills to be able to relate with all parties involved in his/her work.
He/she must be able to write reasonable reports based on investigations carried out.
Drafting profiles of criminals also involves a great deal of report writing skills, therefore, good writing skill is necessary for this job.
A forensic psychologist must have outstanding problem solving skills and high level of emotional maturity to be effective in his/her duties.
He/she must be able to make accurate judgment about situations, and must maintain impartiality and professionalism in dealing with cases.
Forensic Psychologist Job Description Example
The major duties, tasks, and responsibilities of a forensic psychologist are shown in the job description example below:
- Assist attorneys, police and law enforcement agents in investigating cases to determine the cause of crimes
- Assist investigators and the police in profiling criminals
- Provide evidence to indict or free crime suspects
- Assesses crime suspects to determine whether they are fit for trial
- Advise and administer therapy to criminals to discourage them from going back to the crime
- Assesses the behavior of inmates in correctional facilities to ascertain how they are responding to correction
- Provide reports to back up findings and assertions based on observation and research
- Provide expert evidence to the court and stand in as expert witness in certain criminal cases
- Train interns and psychology students especially those with interest in clinical psychology
- Provide expert advice to attorneys, parole officers, and other law enforcement officers
- Provide expert advice to families of convicted criminals.
Forensic Psychologist Resume Preparation
When preparing a resume for the post of a forensic psychology, you will need to include information about your previous work experience.
To enable you to provide such information effectively in your resume, the sample job description shown above states the main duties and responsibilities of a forensic psychologist, which you can modify to suit your experience.
Requirements – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities – for Forensic Psychologist Role
Here are the things you need to have not only to become a forensic psychologist, but also to succeed in your career:
- The first step to becoming a forensic psychologist is to obtain a degree in psychology. This will help you in getting an entry level role as a psychologist. However, forensic psychology is mostly offered at the Master’s degree level by an APA accredited institution. To command respect and high pay/consultation fee as a Forensic Psychologist, it is equally important that you obtain a Doctoral degree
- Secondly, after your First degree, it is important to identify with a professional body as a graduate member. Depending on the country or state where you intend to practice, some kind of exam may be conducted before you qualify as a member of the association
- Being observant is equally a very important trait to have to succeed in this career. A forensic psychologist must be attentive and detail-oriented
- He/she must possess high level of emotional maturity and should be able to make good judgment based on critical observation and precedence observation, not emotions
- Excellent report writing skill is a must have for a forensic psychologist. He/she must be able to draft accurate profile of criminals and deliver informed reports that will assist law enforcement agents in making good judgment
- Forensic psychology involves profiling, reading patterns, and creating models and arriving at conclusions. So, the psychologist must be proficient in statistical analysis
- The job involves unraveling the root cause of crime and reading human mind. So, great problem solving skill is needed. In addition, the psychologist must be patient because conducting investigation can be time consuming, and sometimes frustrating
- Knowledge of the legal system can also be an additional advantage.
Forensic Psychologist Skills for Resume
The skills section of your forensic psychologist resume can be made more compelling by making use of the information provided in the Requirements section above.
Hiring managers would usually want to see the skills you’ve got and bringing to the job. They will definitely give your resume some attention if they see skills and qualities that are relevant to the job.
A forensic psychologist performs duties and responsibilities that are vital to the efficient operation of the criminal justice system.
The job description above provides detailed functions and roles of a forensic psychologist that you can find really helpful if you are trying to know what jobs they do.