The Average Salary of Criminological Psychologists

June 21, 2016 – 06:02 am

Criminal psychologists often give expert testimony.Criminal psychologists often give expert testimony.

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In the simplest terms, criminal psychologists identify criminals. They often work with law enforcement professionals to uncover the thoughts, intentions and reasoning of criminals to help predict and prevent behaviors and activities that fall outside the law. They may also help convict those already in custody. The salaries of criminal psychologists are comparable to those of other psychologists.


In 2012, psychologists earned an average of $86, 380 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners made at least $116, 240, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $42, 240. But none of these figures account for criminal psychology. A survey by the American Psychology Association provides a clearer picture of the earnings of criminal psychologists. As of 2009, salaries were just over $80, 000 a year.


As a whole, psychologists need at least a master’s degree in psychology, reports the BLS. But in the criminal justice system, employers often seek candidates with a doctorate degree. You have two options in criminal psychology: a Ph.D. or a Psy.D., or doctor of psychology. The American Psychology Association estimates that PhDs earn upwards of $9, 000 more than psychologists with Psy.D. degrees. If earning potential is a factor in your educational path, consider pursuing a Ph.D. in criminal psychology.

Related Reading: What Is the Meaning of Average Salary?


Because criminal psychologists serve as criminal profilers and expert witnesses, they often work in federal agencies and police departments. At the federal level, psychologists earned $87, 910 a year as of 2012. At the state and local levels, psychologists averaged $75, 660 and $76, 340, respectively, reports the BLS.


The BLS expects employment for psychologists to grow by 22 percent through 2020. This is much faster than the average for all occupations, an estimated 14 percent. Psychologists specializing in industrial-organizational psychology will see the greatest prospects, yet those with doctoral degrees in other applied specialties, like criminal psychology, should also find plenty of job opportunities.


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  • avatar What are the salaries of a criminologist, forensic psychologist and a criminal profiler in the UK? | Yahoo Answers
    • There are few jobs in forensics in the UK. Look elsewhere and I would advise you not to go to a military based University...nasty as hell!