What is Forensic Counseling?

In these contemporary times, many students are giving much thought to which major they select because they want to ensure that it becomes the springboard for a rewarding career. If you are in search of a career that offers you a competitive salary as well as opportunities for personal and professional growth, you may want to consider forensic counseling. Although broadly defined, forensic counseling is an emerging field which blends the worlds of criminal justice and psychology. By learning more about this field, you can determine whether it would be an advisable one for you to pursue.

Forensic Counseling-The Basics

The field of forensic counseling involves the use of assessment and intervention services within a legal environment. The services offered reveal a recognition of the fact that the court often has a distinct interest in the process or outcome of legal matters. Forensic counselors can work with inmates, detectives, defendants, and other individuals within the legal industry. They can also be called upon to offer testimonies during the trial period. In addition to offering psychological support for people within the legal system, forensic counselors support the client as she or he participates in a treatment plan. Forensic counselors also offer case management guidance and support. Finally, forensic counselors arrange for vocational training, medical care, and job placement.

Educational Requirements

In discussing the education requirements involved in pursuing a career in the field of forensic counseling, Barbara LoFrisco notes that the requirements differ from state to state. Generally, students will earn an undergraduate degree in a Bachelor of Science program for criminal justice, human services, psychology, or education. Following the attainment of an undergraduate degree, these students go on to attain the appropriate graduate degree. (Requirements for the graduate degree will vary from state to state.) Generally, students will begin and complete a Master’s of Counseling with an emphasis upon forensic counseling.

After completing a Master’s degree, the forensic counseling student’s next stop involves attaining the proper licensure that permits one to practice legally. Licensure requirements will differ based on factors such as state, work setting, and occupational specialty. In most cases, attaining certification for a counseling specialty is not required. However, obtaining certification can increase one’s marketability as a job candidate.

Salary Range And Job Setting

The median salary range for forensic counseling as reported by Indeed.com is $71,000 annually. The job setting is a private practice, court, prison, hospital, office, business, or community center.

Education Options

In addition to attaining a degree in forensic counseling through the traditional in-class learning model, students interested in pursuing a degree in the field can obtain it via online programs. In recent years, online programs have increased in popularity as more and more accredited schools have begun offering them. At this time, many learning institutions that offer Master’s in Counseling Degrees include opportunities for specialization within their programs.

Similar Programs

Programs that offer degrees similar to the Masters in Forensic Counseling include the Maters in General Psychology, Masters in Mental Health Psychology, and Masters in Applied Psychology. These degree programs will often permit you to begin a career in the field of forensic counseling.


If you are interested in pursuing a career in the field of forensic counseling, you should note that doing so can be a personally and professionally rewarding endeavor. In reviewing the general information regarding the field listed above, you can make an informed decision about whether forensic counseling is the right career path for you.