Top 5 Requirements You Must Meet To Be A Forensic Psychologist

Charlotte Miller

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The field of psychology deals with human behavior. Forensic psychology, a subfield of the discipline, focuses on understanding mental disorders and helping those accused or wrongfully convicted of crimes. 

The varied nature of this field means there are many different types of experience required to enter it as a career. This blog post will take you through the top five requirements you must meet to be considered for a career in forensics psychology.

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Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychology is a subfield of psychology within the discipline of criminology. A forensic psychologist helps those accused or wrongfully convicted by providing an assessment to assist with their legal defense and potentially find a resolution that allows them to go to trial.

It’s an advantageous field, but it also requires a lot of responsibility and dedication. Because of the sensitive nature of the work, it’s important to ensure those working in forensic psychology are as qualified as possible.

What Does a Forensic Psychologist Do?

Forensic psychologists assess a defendant in a criminal or civil case to determine a mental disorder or disability that may have impacted the case’s outcome. 

They may also work with investigators to help provide insight into an individual’s personality, which can prove beneficial when it comes time for trial.

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Top 5 Requirements for a Career in Forensic Psychology

  1. Psychology Degree

Psychology is a vast field that has to be understood before you can enter the field of forensic psychology. Take the time to learn about psychology and college courses in psychology before looking into the career requirements. 

Those working in forensic psychology must understand the fundamentals of this realm to perform their jobs successfully. This also means you’ll need a degree to work in the field.

  1. Certification

Once you’ve completed your degree, it’s important to ensure you’re certified to work in this field. This will allow you to get jobs, but it’s also necessary for protecting your license and ensuring the quality of the work you’re doing. 

There are two major certifications available for forensic psychology: the American Board of Criminal Psychology (ABCP) and the Forensic Assessment Board (FAB). Both are highly respected and will allow you to get jobs in this area.

  1. Education Lag

Forensic psychology requirements are often stringent, which means you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the extra time to make sure you meet them.

While the time between your undergraduate and graduate studies doesn’t have to be a long one, it’s still essential. For example, the ABCP certification requires three years of supervised experience before you can apply for membership. It’s best to study psychology during these years so that you’ll meet this requirement.

One of the most difficult parts of working in forensic psychology is waiting for jobs to become available. The field has high demand, which means you can expect to find yourself waiting months to find out if jobs are available.

  1. Experience

Many types of experience can help you become a forensic psychologist. You’ll need to be out of college for at least three years before applying, but during those three years, you should be working in the field to gain the required experience. 

The more experience you have, the more likely it is that you’ll get jobs in forensic psychology due to your reputation and existing relationships with other professionals.

  1. Lawyers

The field of forensics psychology is extremely demanding and requires a high level of responsibility. You’ll need to be great at your work and ensure everything you do is performing at the highest possible level, which means you’ll also need to be great at project management. 

This doesn’t just mean ensuring the work for you is done properly, but it also means staying on top of things and communicating with all relevant parties involved in the case. This can include lawyers, judges, defendants, and others.


There are many options when it comes to careers in forensics psychology. It’s a great field with high demand, but you’ll need to make sure you meet certain requirements before starting. Fortunately, the field is well-paying and guarantees a strong career for anyone willing to do the work to get there. Just make sure you have a degree from a good place like and experience before applying.