Psychologists in schools assist kids in overcoming emotional, academic, and behavioral difficulties.
They help instructors construct safe classroom by connecting children and families with support services. School psychologists have an above-average salary of about $77,000 per year, making it a successful and enjoyable professional choice. School psychologists, unlike many other psychology occupations, do not require a doctorate. They will, however, require a graduate degree in order to obtain a state license to practice. States may also mandate a lengthy internship or practicum to get practical experience.
This page discusses how to become a school psychologist, including the educational and internship requirements. It also includes information on wage and job development, as well as information on common school psychology courses and resources to assist school psychology students in getting into the field.
Table of Contents
What Is the Definition of School Psychology?
School psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology that focuses on children and adolescents. Their challenges could range from socioeconomic issues to peer pressure issues, stress, behavioral issues while dealing with peers or elders, learning difficulties, and so on. Children from schools and colleges, educators, parents, and others are among the target groups for this type of psychology. Educational psychologists employ a variety of ways to diagnose an issue, determine the core cause, and offer appropriate remedies.
The Purpose of School Psychology
Due to ongoing study in this discipline, the scope of school psychology is expanding all the time.
It is the study of how a person develops in a learning. The student, instructor, learning experiences, learning process, and learning environment are all important aspects of school psychology. The school psychologist’s most typical task is to examine and analyze teaching techniques and educational programs.
What Is the Role of a School Psychologist?
To address academic and behavioral issues, school psychologists collaborate with kids, teachers, parents, and community mental health experts. Counseling at-risk children, training educators on how to create safe classroom environments, and teaching students parenting skills are all things that school psychologists may do. School psychologists also conduct psychological exams and make recommendations for programs to help kids who are having difficulty. Many school psychologists also do research on issues such as behavior management, mental health interventions, and effective teaching. They put research to work by implementing evidence-based initiatives and policies. The majority of school psychologists work in public schools, where they collaborate with teachers, principals, and parents to help students.
What Kinds of Places Do School Psychologists Work?
School psychologists, one might assume, work in…well, schools. And one would be correct in most cases. School psychologists work in a variety of settings, such as public and private schools.
They work with kids in elementary schools, high schools, colleges, universities, and technical schools of all ages.
* Private and charter schools
* Preschools and other early childhood settings
* School district administration offices
* Colleges and universities
* School-based health and mental health centers
* Community-based day treatment or residential clinics and hospitals
* Juvenile justice programs
* Independent private practice
Salary and Job Growth for School Psychologists
School psychologists earn above-average salaries and have steady job growth. School psychologists earned a median annual salary of about $77,000 in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 75 percent of workers earn more than $100,000 per year, while the bottom quarter of earners earns roughly $58,000 per year.
School psychologist salaries vary depending on characteristics such as degree, job context, experience, and geography. School psychologists that work in K-12 public schools, outpatient care facilities, and doctors’ offices, for example, earn more than the average for their field. School psychologists earn more than $90,000 per year on average in various states, including California, New Jersey, and Oregon. School psychologists benefit from high job growth in addition to above-average wages. Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS predicts substantially faster-than-average job growth for psychologists.
How to Become a School Psychologist in Four Easy Steps?
Are you interested in learning how to become a school psychologist? The education and censurer requirements for working as a school psychologist are outlined in the stages below.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related discipline, as well as a graduate degree in school psychology, are usual requirements for school psychologists. Many school psychologists pursue an Ed.S. in school psychology because most states require at least 60 graduate credits for licensure or certification. Students in a school psychology program study classes in areas such as behavioral analysis, learning psychology, and research methods. Internship or practicum requirements are also included in certain programs to provide students with hands-on experience in the profession.
Obtain your state license
To practice, school psychologists must get a state license. The qualifications for licensure vary by jurisdiction, but most candidates need a master’s degree in school psychology from a recognized program. In most states, at least 1,200 hours of supervised experience are also required. Many states require passing results on a school psychologist examination, such as the Praxis II exam, in addition to education requirements.
Look for a School Psychologist Job
School psychologists might hunt for careers in their field after completing their education and license requirements. Over 80% of school psychologists work in public schools, but they also work in private schools, universities, preschools, student wellness centers, and research. School psychologists can begin looking for work while still in school. During an internship, school psychology students can network with professionals in the industry and create connections, which can help them get into the workforce.
Keep Your Certification
Professionals must keep their certifications and stay current in the field even after landing a job as a school psychologist. Each state has its own process for renewing licenses. School psychologists in several states are required to satisfy these standards every 2-5 years to keep their licenses. Other states may not have particular continuing education requirements for school psychologists, although they are still required to renew their licenses.
Schools and Programs for Preparing to Become a School Psychologist: School Psychology Programs Courses
Many schools and institutions offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in school psychology. Students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology acquire core concepts and methodologies in the subject while also completing specialized courses in school psychology, learning behavior, and educational psychology. School psychologists can pursue a master’s degree, a specialist’s degree, or a doctoral degree at the graduate level. To obtain licensure or certification in many states, school psychologists must finish at least 60 graduate credits. Prospective students should think about things like enrollment possibilities, cost, and admissions policies when investigating school psychology programs. To discover the finest school psychology program for their needs, candidates should look into the program’s accreditation status, length, and practicum or internship requirements.
School Psychology Research Methods
Students investigate the methods and principles of educational research. While learning how to construct their own research processes, students perform research reviews and analyze their methodologies. The course prepares students to complete a thesis or research-based project as part of their degree requirements.
Students were studying school psychology research behavioral assessment methods in order to determine the causes of behavioral issues and develop effective behavioral therapies. Interviews, observations, and descriptive assessments are examples of evidence-based behavioral evaluation procedures covered in class. Students will also learn how to create and execute behavioral evaluations in this subject.
Intervention With Instruction
This course includes systematic instruction methods, assessment procedures, and psychologists’ roles in placing students in appropriate educational programs. Learners investigate the process of intervening with students. They also look into approaches including direct instruction, incidental teaching, and task analysis to help students improve their academic, communication, and social abilities.
Learning Principles of Behavior
Students analyze research and scholarship on the psychological principles that underpin learning in courses on behavioral foundations of learning. Student motivation, the impact of timetables, and respondent conditioning are all possible topics. In order to deal with learners, the class incorporates ideas like behavior analysis into the evaluation and intervention process.
Practicum in School Psychology
Students complete supervised field experience under the supervision of a professional school psychologist during a practicum. They may observe a school psychologist in a classroom context, work directly with students, or engage in other activities to develop the skills needed for school psychology professions.
School Psychology Program Accreditation
Before applying, prospective school psychologists should look into the institution’s accreditation status. Accreditation certifies that a school meets certain criteria, such as faculty qualifications, student learning outcomes, and academic rigor. Schools can be accredited on a regional or national level, with regional accreditation being the more prestigious of the two. Students gain from accreditation in a variety of ways. For example, federal financial help is only available to students who attend recognized schools, and many schools only accept degrees and transfer credits from certified institutions. A degree from an approved institution is also required for numerous professional licenses and certifications. Accreditation may also be granted to programs inside a school. School psychology programs that meet high educational standards are accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
Many states only certify or license school psychologists who have completed a program that has been accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The United States Department of Education maintains a directory of approved schools and programs that can be searched.
Specialties of a School Psychologist
Students in school psychology might specialize their education by focusing on subfields such as research or practice. Graduate students in school psychology programs often have the option of focusing on specific age groups, such as early childhood or adolescence. Although the majority of school psychologists work in public schools, some also work in preschools and private schools. Internships are included in accredited school psychology programs, giving students another opportunity to specialize in their talents. Students can prepare for specific job routes after graduation by picking the location of their practicum. Students that pursue a specialty may have more work prospects following graduation.
Skills, Credentials, Tools, and Technology Are All Important Components of a Successful School Psychologist Career.
School psychologists require great interpersonal and communication skills since they interact with kids, parents, instructors, and administrators.
They also require tolerance and understanding, especially when interacting with youngsters who are struggling. Successful school psychologists must also complete the academic requirements for their field in addition to these talents. In most areas, school psychologists must receive a license to practice after completing at least 60 graduate credits and a 1,200-hour practicum. Candidates must additionally have a school psychology degree from a NASP-accredited institution in most jurisdictions. Professionals can choose to acquire the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) nationally certified school psychologist accreditation to differentiate themselves on the job market. The credential requires a master’s degree in school psychology, an internship, and passing results on the Praxis II exam in school psychology.
Professional Organizations for School Psychologists
School psychologists might join professional organizations to help them make the transition from graduate school to the workforce. Many organizations support and guide present and aspiring school psychologists in their professional development. Professional organizations also provide networking possibilities, access to fresh research in the industry, and job prospects through career centers.
The National Association of School Psychologists Is a Professional Organization of School Psychologists.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) represents over 25,000 school psychologists, including graduate students. NASP publishes the School Psychology Review journal and provides specialized services for graduate students and early-career professionals in addition to providing professional development tools.
The American Psychological Association (APA)
is a professional organization dedicated to American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest professional association for psychologists in the United States, with over 121,000 researchers, educators, and students. The organization organizes an annual conference with networking opportunities, links students with funding options, and gives resources for professional growth. APA also publishes psychology books, journals, and databases.
School Psychology (Division 16)
This organization brings together scholars and practitioners in the field of school psychology as a division of the American Psychological Association. Members exchange resources for professional practice and information on school psychology. To stay current in the field, members also have access to a scholarly journal and a quarterly newsletter.
Educational Therapists’ Association
AET is a national professional organization for educational therapists that was founded in 1979.
Educational therapists provide children with learning disabilities with individualized training and advocacy. The organization establishes industry standards and provides tools for professionals, such as certification and training.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a professional organization that brings together those who work in the disciplines of school counseling and mental health. The organization provides an online professional networking site, an online resource center, and chances for professional growth. Surveys, lesson plans, and parent handouts are among the other materials available. Members can earn Continuing Education Units and Contact Hours by participating in free webinars.
There’s Never Been a Better Time to Think About a Career in School Psychology!
The demand for school psychologists is quite high and growing. U.S. News & World Report has continuously ranked school psychology as one of the top 100 jobs in the country. The need for mental health and instructional supports for children and teens in schools is becoming more widely recognized. Furthermore, qualified school psychologists are in limited supply across the country, making it difficult to fill posts. Professionals with a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds are especially needed. School psychology offers a solid professional path with room for advancement, good health and retirement benefits, and the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of children and families.