Forensic psychologists are highly compensated for their combined expertise of psychology and jurisprudence. This combination of skills has a number of applications, from serving as expert witnesses to determining parental custody in the case of divorce to evaluating criminal defendants for competency to stand trial. In addition, a number of these professionals work with inmates who suffer from mental illness.
The Wyoming State Hospital received the highest level of accreditation awarded by the Commission for the Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. The hospital has a dedication Criminal Justice Service that performs forensic evaluations on both hospitalized patients and those in the community.
Despite the quality of care provided, the geography of Wyoming makes it difficult to provide mental health services to all those who need it. With the state hospital being in Evanston, many seriously ill mentally ill people are housed in county jails for lack of a better option.
Wyoming has addressed this epidemic by developing Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) in a number of communities. Law enforcement officers who have had this training are much better equipped to respond to incidents involving the mentally ill and to help find an appropriate course of action for such individuals. As of April 2014, seven counties in Wyoming had at least one CIT program.
The number of forensic psychologists in Wyoming is expected to grow between 2012 and 2022 according to Wyoming Labor Market Information. The rate of increase during this time frame is expected to be 10.6%.
Salaries for Wyoming’s Forensic Psychologists by Region
The state of Wyoming paid its forensic psychologists salaries that ranged from $65,957 to $98,946 a year effective July 1, 2014.
The median salary for a forensic psychologist in Wyoming was $69,921 in 2015 according to Wyoming Labor Market Information. Experienced forensic psychologists in the 90th percentile of this occupation earned an average of $111,508 a year, while entry-level professionals in the 10th percentile earned an average of $42,143.
The salaries in Casper and Cheyenne varied dramatically in 2015:
Shown below for comparative purposes are the salaries of forensic psychologists in Wyoming’s major cities and nonmetropolitan areas (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):