Prison psychologist’s salary is around $66,000 in the United States. Prison psychologists are sometimes referred to as prison counselors, correctional therapists or case managers. The main purpose of this job is to formulate a program for the rehabilitation of inmates. The end result is to motivate the inmate to be a better individual and become a law abiding citizen while inside the prison and hopefully bring the same behavior or attitude outside if and when paroled. Prison psychologist salary is quite high as compared to others in the same field. One of the reasons may be because of the fact that a correctional counselor is faced with criminals in a day to day basis. It is a risky type of career. Keep reading for more information about prison psychologist salary and career requirements.
Prison psychologist job description
A day in the life of a prison psychologist involves making rounds in the mentally-challenged wing, assessing the patients one by one for progress (some conditions warrant a referral to the Department of Mental Health) and formulating a plan on how to help these inmates to have a chance in life. These people are suicidal, sadistic rapists, intentional killers and those with serious mental disorders and extreme psychological issues who cannot function properly.The prison psychologist will have to record everything in writing or through an electronic device. He or she is also allowed to have a team or staff members.
How much does a prison psychologist make ?
Average prison psychologist salary
In average, the earnings of a prison psychologist is somewhere around $66,000 to $67,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic. But there are many factors which rely on the salary of a prison counselor. These factors include on which body operates the prison (federal or state), cost of living in the area,location and budget, training and education of the psychologist.
Prison psychologist salary in USA
A state prison psychologist appears to be earning higher than that of a federal prison therapist. For example, the average income of a prison psychologist In Virginia is $110,000 as of 2012 while in Ohio the mean income for the same job is $82,000. But according to the Orange County Register, California state prison psychologist earns an average of $200,000. This data was collected from 242 psychologists working in the area.
A federal prison psychologist is under the Federal Law Enforcement Salary and Locality payment program which means they can earn $62,000 to $90,000. A 2014 salary range report by usajob.gov states that a federal clinical psychologist receives an income of $57,000 up to $90,000. A bonus of $10,000 to $11,000 is added as well.
If an average person is US who has a car, a home and can afford to pay it, then, this is considered to be a middle class citizen. If a person is earning around $50,000, this is living in comfort. With this, one can assume that a prison psychologist makes good money.
Combining state and federal prisons, the average income of a prison psychologist in New York is $87,000. This is the highest pay in all 51 states. The second in ranking is Washington, DC with almost the same figure. The third state is Massachusetts at $86,000. The lowest paying state for a prison psychologist is Idaho with an average income of $46,000.
Prison psychologist salary in Canada
The term is correctional psychologist when in Canada. These practitioners belong in the same group with public service employees like police officers and social workers. They earn an entry level income of $61,600 Canadian dollars. The longer they work for the government, the higher the pay will be. A maximum income of $81,600 can be expected. In US dollars, the minimum pay is $49,564 and can go as high as $65,668.
Prison psychologist salary in New Zealand
Correctional psychologist in New Zealand can receive a prison psychologist salary of $46,600 up to $98,316. To convert in US currency, that amount is roughly around USD 35,147 up to 74,157. A yearly benefit of NZD 2,400 is given as a retention allowance to psychologists working in these locations: Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton. They welcome qualified psychologists coming from different countries too.
Prison psychologist salary in Australia
The salary range of a correctional psychologist in Australia is $57,904 – $133,233 AUD. In US money, that income range is roughly around $45,697 to $105,144. Of course, the higher the position, the higher the income and if the psychologist has more training and is education-loaded, he or she will earn more. Incentives are also promised to correctional psychologists in Australia.
Prison psychologist salary in UK
One of the jobs under the Forensic Psychology industry in UK is prison counselling. At entry level, the income in pounds for this job is £24,250 ($37,584). With years of experience as a prison counsellor, the salary can bump up to £32,945 ($51,059). A senior prison psychologist has an income of at least £38,415 ($59,535). Pensions, paid leaves and health support are some of the benefits of a UK prison psychologist. The figures mentioned here are the lowest pay rates. The highest in record amounted to £46,000 ($71,300).
Prison psychologist salary in South Africa
Clinical psychologists are the prison counsellors in South Africa. The pay rate is between R116,702 to R625,396 depending upon the credentials of the psychologist. The minimum pay if converted in US dollars is $ 10,197 while the highest paying psychologist in South Africa earns $54,646. With that salary in South Africa, a clinical psychologist is truly well-to-do.
Prison psychologist salary in India
The work of a psychologist in India is very broad. They can enter in any field that they feel inclined to like schools as a guidance counselor, hospitals as a clinical psychologist, private practice and more. The income range is varied as well. A psychologist can earn as low as Rs. 60,000 a year or $969. The most qualified psychologist in the country earns Rs. 1,200,000 or $ 19,396.
How to become a prison psychologist
In the US, a prison psychologist needs at least a Master’s degree in Psychology. Of course, one must finish a 4-year college course preferably social, counselling or criminal justice. A government program for psychologists is administered and if the person passes the examination like the National Board for Certified Counselors, then, that is another plus in the salary.
If the prison psychologist has a doctorate degree, the pay will be much higher since he or she is more qualified. Now, after internship and if the counselor becomes a certified, the clinical psychologist salary is in the top rate level. So you see, the more education and training, the more income is earned.
A psychologist working for the government needs to be at least 21 years of age and without any felony convictions. Federal prisons employ psychologists aged 37 years and below, as prescribed by law. A computer literacy skill is also needed to record assessments and make reports. No matter what qualifications a person possesses, what the government is concerned about is the willingness of the psychologist to risk self in the workplace – it is after all a prison. No amount of prison psychologist salary is enough except for someone who does the work just for the love of it.
The educational prerequisites to become a prison psychologist are similar to that of clinical psychologist. All the educational requirements must go in line with the state laws in which they intend to practice. They are at times required to undergo background checks like fingerprinting. Prison psychologists need a doctoral degree in psychology from a college accredited by the American psychological association. Students can begin the journey by having a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In order to join graduate programs, students must take GRE exam and should score a minimum of 1250 for being qualified. The classes include advanced psychology lessons, counseling, abnormal and social psychology, dealing with criminal offenders, self-defense methods and exclusive courses on how the criminal mind works. Aspiring psychologists must also complete two internships.
Conclusion about prison psychologist salary
The career of a prison psychologist is for a person who possess analytical and sharp mind along with strong communication skills. A psychologist must always have a methodical, tolerant and mature personality. They will have to face many difficult situations day by day. When it is time to take crucial decisions, ethics must come into action to distinguish between wrong and right. To sum it up, a prison psychologist must be able to receive individuals from different strata’s of society and show interest in optimizing the problems they face. Prison psychologist salary is above average.