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Careers in School Psychology

If you have always wanted to work with children in an educational setting but not as a teacher or instructor, then becoming a school psychologist is a promising option. School psychology is a subfield of psychology. A school psychologist needs to be formally trained in both clinical and educational psychology. They work with children to improve academic, social and emotional issues by diagnosing and treating behavioral and learning problems. School psychologists work with parents and teachers to promote an environment that is conducive to learning by focusing on a child’s requirements.

Responsibilities of a School Psychologist

School psychologists are usually employed at public or private elementary and secondary schools. They can also be employed at school health centers, hospitals and clinics. School psychologists perform a variety of roles during the course of their job. They work with individual children or adolescents, as well as with groups of children. They also work in collaboration with teachers to improve classroom behavior and with parents to improve the behavior of children at home. Job responsibilities include training teachers and parents on how to manage difficult situations.

School psychologists are also special education experts. Assessment of students for learning disabilities is part of the role of such an individual. Other tasks which fall in the realm of school psychology include researching, designing and implementing learning programs and strategies. School psychologists can earn between 43,000 – 64,000 US dollars on average. As you gain more experience, salaries increase. For example someone with fifteen years of experience can earn up to 100,000 US dollars. Those with a doctoral degree are likely to earn more than someone with a Master’s degree.

Possible careers in the field of school psychology include:

  • School psychology trainer
  • School psychologist
  • University faculty
  • Special education specialist

Education & Training Required for a School Psychologist

In order to choose one of the careers in school psychology, it is important to gain the right education and training. Each state has different requirements for those wishing to become school psychologists. Most states require a minimum of a 2-3 year duration graduate degree in school psychology, psychology or counseling. National certification or licensing is required by all states for those wishing to practice school psychology. The National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provide certification. Some states also require potential school psychologists to have completed an internship in the field.

Some of the popular degrees for those wishing to enter this field are:

The curriculum for a school psychology program encompasses topics from psychology, educational psychology and child psychology. Child development theories and personality theories are taught during the course of a program. Students also learn about biopsychology and counseling theories. Behavioral assessment techniques and tools are also taught. Finding careers in school psychology will be easy after you gain the right training and have the relevant degree in hand.

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