The job of a school psychologist involves working with students, teachers and parents. These psychologists work towards promoting academic, emotional and behavioral accomplishments. Besides being a fulfilling career option for those interested in the field of education, the job market is also quite strong for school psychologists. These professionals are specially trained to address a wide range of issues concerning students. While working as school psychologists, candidates are not necessary required to teach students. They use the skills to evaluate students' psychology so as to promote the latter's academic and learning capabilities.
School psychologists earn an annual salary ranging between $53,700 and $80,100. Salary will depend on where you join and what job position you land. The median annual salary for those who have eight years of experience in this education field or more is $60,700.
Professionals trained in school psychology can either work with students individually or in groups. They also work in close contact with the school personnel and parents. While working at schools, professionals provide training to school teachers in areas like behavioral management, referral processes, ADHD etc. Being highly skilled in special education, these psychologists also provide interventions (both individual and group) and counseling. One major job responsibility of these professionals is to assess and evaluate the special education eligibility process. In addition, they examine the effectiveness of academic programs, treatment interventions and classroom agendas among others.
Whether it is clinical psychology or educational psychology, school psychologists are quite well versed in both. Using these expert skills, professionals make personality assessment of students to collect data concerning the students' emotional and behavioral functioning. Collaboration with teachers and students' parents is an essential part of the whole assessment process. In order to completely comprehend a student's functioning, teachers' and parents' perspectives play a vital role. Many times, it may happen that a student's disability interferes with their ability to learn. School psychologists, therefore, develop a multidisciplinary team to determine the same.
Education & Degrees Required to Become School Psychologists:
Candidates aspiring to become school psychologists need to obtain a three year post bachelor's degree (typical a specialist degree in school psychology). If you want to acquire higher ranking job positions, supervisory jobs or superior academic positions, a doctoral degree is required. In addition to obtaining the education degree, candidates also require licensing/ certification by the state where they are willing to work. Before getting enrolled in a degree program, students should make sure that the program or training has necessary accreditations and approvals.
Most of the school psychology jobs are obtained at public schools. However, career opportunities for professionals are immense. They can also land jobs at private school systems, universities, clinics, hospitals etc. The occupation also provides professionals the flexibility of getting involved in private practice. For private practice, a doctoral degree is essential.
Professional Organization for School Psychologists
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
American Psychological Association (APA)
If you are able to land Director of Programs jobs, you will definitely have one of the most rewarding careers. The job position is one of the most satisfying and highly paid jobs in the field of education and training.