National Avg. Salary$76,040 More Salary Data →
Job Growth Rate19.7% More Growth Data →
Recommended DegreeMaster's Programs & Degrees →
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School psychologists work with children, adolescents, and teenagers in school environments. They help children, teachers, and families by diagnosing mental, learning, and behavioral disorders, and by helping students overcome disorders and disabilities through thought and behavior modifications.
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in school psychologist roles:
- Evaluate student needs through observation, testing, and interviews in order to diagnose learning disabilities and behavioral disorders
- Counsel students in order to provide guidance and techniques for overcoming issues that impact social life and educational achievement
- Work with teachers and parents to implement programs and routines that enable students with disabilities and disorders to excel in social and educational environments
- Refer families to outside services when required, such as doctors who can prescribe medications
A Day in the Life of a School Psychologist
School psychologists work with children, adolescents, and teenagers in educational institutions. They work with students with special needs, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. They conduct one-on-one sessions with students to observe and evaluate behaviors and thought patterns in order to diagnose the cause of issues that impact education or social integration. Often, they test students for disabilities and discuss results with teachers and families.
For younger students, the role of the school psychologist may be to teach the student methods of controlling behaviors, learning techniques, and how to interact positively with others. However, as students get older, school psychologists may have to deal with much more complex situations like suicidal students, students with substance-abuse problems, and students engaging in gangs and other dangerous situations. School psychologists counsel students in these situations and may inform parents.
Another role of the school psychologist is to help teachers and administrators create a positive learning environment for students of all needs. They may advise on special needs programs, or they may offer alternative solutions for students with learning disabilities. For example, a school psychologist may recommend alternative testing arrangements—such as untimed tests—for students who struggle with formalized testing. Their goal is to ensure the mental health and success of all students in a school.
Typical Work Schedule for School Psychologists
School psychologists generally work during normal business hours and are off on all major holidays and weekends. Additionally, they are usually also off with students during seasonal breaks. They may occasionally need to be available in evenings to meet with parents of students in counseling.
Projected Job Growth for School Psychologists
As educators and parents become more aware of the importance of mental health in student educational success, it’s expected that the demand for school psychologists will increase significantly.
School psychologists are employed by preschools, elementary, middle, and high schools for both public and private educational institutions.
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School Psychologist Salary Data
We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Annual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do School Psychologist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, School Psychologist's can make an average annual salary of $76,040, or $37 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $53,190 or $26 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#163 Nationally for All Careers
Above Average Salary Nationally
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How To Become
The first step in becoming a school psychologist is earning a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree earned is somewhat flexible—a master’s degree is also required—though most aspiring school psychologists choose to major in either education or psychology. While a psychology degree provides a thorough grounding in the concepts you’ll use as a school psychologist, an education degree will also provide you with training in pedagogy and a teaching license.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to complete a master’s degree program. Most aspiring school psychologists pursue an education specialist master’s degree (Ed.S.). This degree program generally requires 60 credit hours of coursework and the completion of a 1,000+ hour internship with a professional school psychologist. Other programs may provide sufficient credentials to work as a school psychologist as long as the program includes coursework in both education and psychology topics.
In addition to having a bachelor’s and master’s degree, state licensure to work as a school psychologist may also be required, though each state has its own laws regulating the practice. Licensure may require school psychologists to work in an internship, assistantship, or apprentice program under a licensed school psychologist as well as pass a written examination.
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Recommended Min. Degree
Highest Education Among School Psychologist
- 49.3% Doctorate
- 44.3% Masters
- 5.6% Bachelors
- 0.2% Associates
- 0.2% College
- 0.2% High School
- 0.2% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs155,300
2024 Est. Jobs185,900
Job Growth Rate19.7%
Est. New Jobs30,600
How does School Psychologist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 30,600 jobs for a total of 185,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 19.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#53 Nationally for All Careers
Above Avg. Growth Nationally
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