Juvenile forensic psychology is a specialization of the forensic psychology field. These professionals work with juveniles, which can be a much different experience from working with adults. An APA-approved degree in forensic psychology can also be applied to a few careers in psychology beyond the justice system.
Potential Careers with a Degree in Forensic Psychology
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not differentiate between different psychology jobs. Rather, it categorizes psychology careers into four main categories. Those categories include the following.
Career Categories with a Psychology Degree
|Job Category||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Clinical, counseling and school psychologists||$73,270||14%|
|Psychologists, all other||$95,710||11%|
*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Forensic Psychology Graduate Career Paths
Even though the BLS doesn't differentiate between psychology jobs, a graduate degree in forensic psychology can open the door to a job in several fields. The following are a few potential careers that are available after completing your graduate work in psychology.
Juvenile Forensic Psychologist
A juvenile forensic psychologist is required to work with juvenile offenders in the court system and evaluate them to see if they are psychologically competent. They often conduct multiple one-on- one evaluations with the patient to determine what illness or disability the person suffers from and then provides expert testimony in court. Anyone hoping to become a juvenile forensic psychologist must have a doctorate degree in a clinical or counseling-related psychology degree and a license to practice.
A forensic psychologist is expected to perform court ordered evaluations of individuals that may have mental health difficulties. Individuals who complete their graduate work in forensic psychology can opt to specialize in juvenile psychology but also receive the preparation necessary for a role as a general forensic psychologist. This career requires not only a doctorate degree but licensing from a psychology organization.
Clinical Psychologist of Forensic Services
Clinical psychologists operating in forensic services work in the forensics department of a mental health organization. As a clinical psychologist, the individual is expected to provide consultation and suggest treatment for criminal offenders. A job in this field requires a doctorate degree in a clinical psychology field, a previous internship or professional experience in a clinical psychology role, and a license to practice psychology.
Court Clinic Psychologist
The court clinic psychologist performs court ordered evaluations and screenings to determine if a criminal offender is abusing substances or requires psychiatric care. The court clinic-psychologist works with various parties in the court system and can refer an offender for further evaluations. In addition to holding a doctorate in psychology, the court clinic psychologist must also be eligible to be a Certified Juvenile Court Clinician.
A school psychologist works directly with students in a school environment. The ability to work with the younger population may be ideal for those who specialized in juvenile forensic psychology, but want to stay out of the criminal justice system. In this setting the professional helps in a preventative sense, so that students are less likely to engage in criminal activity. Unlike other careers in this list, this position only requires a master's degree, but certification to work within a school environment is a necessity.
An individual completing their graduate work in forensic psychology can also specialize in juvenile forensic psychology. With clinical experience and training, this degree can prepare you for performing psychological work with criminal offenders. In almost all cases, after completing your graduate work, you will need to get licensed within the state in which you hope to practice.