School Psychologist Career

school-psychologist-500A school psychologist’s main responsibility is to support and enable students to learn and grow academically, socially, and emotionally through their school activities. This will involve working with the student who is facing difficulty, and with the teachers, school personnel and parents to build the understanding and support that the student needs. It includes the referral of students needing additional help to the right resources.

The school psychologist is a resource for teachers to extend their understanding of aids and barriers to the learning process, and of the social and psychological dynamics that occur in a classroom and among students. The psychologist supports the work of the school to build a healthy and safe learning environment for students.

School Psychologist Career Snapshot

The great majority of school psychologists work in public schools, elementary, middle and secondary. Some work in private school systems, universities, clinics or private practice.

Further details on a career as a school psychologist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for school psychologists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Master’s degree while 32% have a Post-Master’s degree.

School Psychologist Education

School psychologists must be certified or licensed by the state to work in public schools. States generally require completion of a graduate program in school psychology with 60 semester credit hours in this specialization, and may add other requirements such as the number of internship hours. Many will accept the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) national certification, which is earned through completion of an accredited graduate program.

School Psychologist Job Outlook

The job outlook for school psychologists between 2014 and 2024 is reported as 19 percent, which is much higher than the average for all occupations. The kinds of problems occurring among youngsters today, such as obesity, drug abuse, bullying and eating disorders, signal a great need for mental health professionals in our schools.

School Psychologist Salaries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in May 2015, the average annual salary of psychologists working in elementary and secondary schools was $74,130. Combined with clinical and counseling psychologists, the highest ten percent earned more than $116,960 and the bottom ten percent earned less than $40,920.

School Psychologist Job Duties

A few of the duties of school psychologists are: working with teachers to individualize instruction and interventions for students having difficulty; providing individual and group counseling; conducting assessments to identify students with exceptional needs; and making referrals to community resources. They work with parents to help them understand the learning and mental health needs of their children. They help resolve school-wide problems and issues that affect the well-being of students.

School Psychologist Skills & Traits

School Psychologist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by School Psychologists:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Reading Comprehension
• Social Perceptiveness
• Speaking
• Writing
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Written Comprehension
• Written Expression
• Speech Clarity
• Desktop/notebook computers
• Scanners
• Special purpose telephones
• Email software
• Test scoring software
• Getting information
• Working with others
• Maintaining relationships
• Recording information
• Explaining information

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