A criminal psychologist is a professional that studies the behaviors and thoughts of criminals. Thanks to a number of popular television programs that depict fictionalized criminal psychologists, such as such as Criminal Minds and CSI. The field is highly related to forensic psychology and in some cases that the 2 terms are used interchangeably interest in this career field has grown dramatically in recent years. A large part of what a criminal psychologist does is study why people commit crimes. They may also, however, to assess criminals in order to evaluate the risk of recidivism (how likely the person is to re-offend in the future) or make educated guesses about the actions that a criminal may have taken after committing a crime. Criminal psychologists are also often asked to provide expert testimony in court in addition to helping law enforcement solve crimes or analyze the behavior of criminal offenders. Offender profiling, or criminal profiling is perhaps one of the best known duties of a criminal psychologist. The practice started during the 1940s during World War II. Today, organizations such as the FBI utilize offender profiling to help apprehend violent criminals.

 

Degree in criminal psychology

To provide law enforcement with a psychological assessment of the suspect and to provide strategies and suggestions that can be used in the interviewing process – this is the goal of criminal profiling. The realities of the job are far from boring while the job may not be exactly like you see it portrayed on television. Dr. Keith Durkin, chair of the department of psychology and sociology at Ohio Northern University explains, "Careers in criminal psychology are never boring, and if you have an education in that field, it's great training for a huge range of jobs. You can do something different every day. You could work in counseling people who have committed crimes and need psychological assessment. Many people who work in this field spend a great deal of time in office and court settings. A criminal psychologist might spend a considerable amount of time interviewing people, researching an offender’s life history, or providing expert testimony in the courtroom. Criminal psychologists may work closely with police and federal agents to help solve crimes, often by developing profiles of murderers, kidnappers, rapists, and other violent individuals in some cases. Criminal psychologists are employed in a number of settings. Some work for local, state or federal government, while others are self-employed as independent consultants. Criminal psychologists may also be employed as private consultants in addition to working directly with law enforcement and the courts. Still others opt to teach criminal psychology at the university level or at specialized criminology training facilities. National salaries for criminal or forensic psychologists range from a low of $33,900 to a high of $103,000 according o Payscale.com. You may be called on to look at crime photos or interview suspects who may have committed horrifying crimes as a criminal psychologist. You need to be prepared to deal with the emotional distress that this type of work may cause because of this.