How to Become a Certified Handwriting Specialist
Becoming a handwriting expert can be exciting as you are able to profile people by checking on what they write.
This post shows what you need to know about the career and how to become a certified handwriting specialist, including the training involved, how and where to get it.
Who is a Handwriting Specialist?
Also called a handwriting expert, Questioned Document Examiner, or a Graphologist, a handwriting specialist is a professional trained to detect and profile an individual by examining the features of strokes and curves in his/her handwritings.
As we get close to people, our writings become familiar to them, and are easily recognizable whenever the need arises.
But unlike close acquaintances, hand writing specialists examine handwritings by identifying features and patterns by which the mind works to shape the way we write.
Technically, handwriting specialists seek to understand the reason an individual acted the way he did.
These experts are of the belief that the neural emotion sent by the finger to the brain has an effect on the communication of our mind-set in writing, and can identify patterns when we are in a bad mood, in which our writing tends to be messy, as well as when we are in a good mood in which our writing shows in clean and neat strokes.
It can also identify depression by observing that our writing tends to slope downwards, and also identify anxiety when our writing rises above the baseline in notes.
Educational Requirements and Training for Handwriting Specialists
Having a degree in psychology or forensic sciences may be of immense help in starting a career as a handwriting expert, although this is not a requirement to obtain certifications in handwriting.
There are also a number of institutions and books which may be of assistance, however, some individuals may opt to self-study, which the American Association of Handwriting Analysts’ website has provided ample information and a list of materials on at your own pace.
Handwriting Specialist Certifications
The American Association Handwriting Analysts provides the most widely accepted certification, which is achieved by scaling through a test comprising of two-parts; the first being to test the candidate’s ability to apply the basics in handwriting analysis, and the second testing the ability of the candidate to provide answers to a number of complex situations.
The certification program can be run for between two to five years.
Institutions for Handwriting Specialist Training
Institutions where a potential handwriting specialist can receive training include:
- The International School of Handwriting Science (ISHS), which offers students 10 sessions of three hour classes at three levels; basic, intermediate and advanced levels.
- Insyte Inc. A provider of lessons in handwriting analysis, often comprising of about 20 lessons in total, study cards and recorded tapes.
- The International Graphoanalysis Society (IGAS) located in Illinois, Chicago has an 18 months correspondence program, and students are permitted to use titles such as CGA, MGA as far as they are willing to meet up with the annual dues and ethical standards. Each certification costs about $1600.
- The Institute of Graphological Science (tIGS) is an institution that offers graphological training in Texas. It provides three courses in graphology and one in Question Document Examination (QDE).
The first level introduces the basics of handwriting analysis; the next focuses on more specialized areas; while the third level treats advanced topics in graphology. The Institute of Graphological Science offers her students about thirty six lessons in all.
Other institutions include the
- International School of Hand writing Analysis (ISHA)
- American Handwriting Analysis Foundation (AHAF)
- International Graphology Association (IGA)
- Instituto Superior Emerson , Buenos Aires, Argentina, which runs a BA in Graphology
- The University of Urbino, Italy offers a M.A in Graphology
- National Society of Graphology (NSG)
- The Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain also offers a M.A in Graphology
- British Institute of graphology also a diploma in graphology.
Courses in some of these institutes may run from 6 months to about 18 months, depending on the level of study.
Duties, Responsibilities, and Roles of a Certified Handwriting Specialist
Since the role and responsibilities of the handwriting specialist revolves within giving handwritings a face, the expert will be invaluable with law enforcement agencies, helping to examine documents for forgery or fraudulent compositions.
He/she will determine authorship of materials by signatures and writing analysis, and perform examination and linking of typed documents to various equipment.
He/she will also perform alternate light source on inks to determine alterations or enhancements.
Handwriting Specialist Skills
The skills required to perform excellently on this job will include analytical skills, a good eye for details, and a high degree of interest in problem-solving.
Other qualities include the ability to spot differences between similar items.
Career Opportunities as a Handwriting Specialist
Those who work as handwriting specialists can work in a variety of areas, assisting law enforcement agencies detect crime; assist lawyers in court, as in the Case of Question Document Analysis, or even train people in proper handwriting styles.
They may also be required by a variety of people including those in the academia, business owners, personnel managers, journalists, and psychologists.
Salary Expectations for Handwriting Specialists
While it may be difficult to ascertain the exact amount these experts may earn because a number of professionals incorporate handwriting into their work, those who decide to practice privately may earn anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000 annually, charging anywhere from $50 to $500 for each work done.
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