School Psychologist

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What Are School Psychologists?

school psychologistSchool psychology is one of the most prominent speciality or discipline of professional psychology. It is the practice of psychological studies that is associated with the schooling process, children as well as learners of all ages. Expert School Psychologist supports the students regarding their ability to learn; and support the teachers regarding their ability to teach.

These School Psychologists often partner with school administrators, families, teachers and other professionals. So that a learning environment is created for the students; that is healthy, safe and supportive. The entire support is provided in terms of learning, mental health and behavioral aspect. This helps students socially, emotionally, academically and behaviorally.

Quick Facts
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
2016 Median Annual Sallary$73,270
Typical Entry-Level EducationDoctoral or professional degree
Typical On-The-Job TrainingInternship/residency
Work Experience In A Related OccupationNone
Projected Job Openings 2014 - 202463,800
Employment Change 2014 - 202430,500
Projected Growth 2014 - 202419.6%

Steps to Become a School Psychologist

  • Education:

    A Bachelors degree in educational, counseling, school or general psychology is minimum requirement. Along with these, major in developmental psychology is also a must. One must take each of these disciplines during their course. This is a 4 years course. Depending on the state licensing and university rules, a master's degree and a PsyD or PhD degree is always preferred. The Masters degree takes about 2 years and the Doctoral degree takes about 2 to 4 additional years to complete. Below is degree level percentage distribution for this occupation:

    • Master's Degree: 47%
    • Post-Master's Certificate: 32%
    • Professional Degree: 19%
  • Licenses & Accreditations:

    Just like every other field of psychology, in order to be an approved practitioner and to become a School Psychologist in any registered institution, one has to have a valid license. The licensing rules vary from state to state. One has to take a test for passing the licensing examination and thus, become an approved license holding school psychologist. For that the individual has to check out the licensing regulatory board of the state to know the rules and regulations.

  • Other Experience:

    After completing the Bachelors degree, one has to complete a 1,200 hours internship. Often 60 credit score during the Bachelors degree is also a must, in order to become a qualified school psychologist.

Job Outlook

Salary/Pay

Below are national percentile wage estimates for this occupation in United States.
PERCENTILE 10% 25% 50% 75% 90%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Hourly Wage $20.11 $26.47 $35.23 $46.11 $57.85
Annual Wage $41,830 $55,050 $73,270 $95,910 $120,320

Industries with Highest Levels of Employment in This Occupation:

INDUSTRY EMPLOYMENT PERCENT OF EMPLOYMENT HOURLY MEAN WAGE ANNUAL MEAN WAGE
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Elementary and Secondary Schools 44,280 0.53 $36.38 $75,670
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 15,600 1.86 $43.04 $89,530
Individual and Family Services 6,930 0.41 $36.01 $74,910
Outpatient Care Centers 5,960 0.71 $36.07 $75,020
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 5,680 0.10 $40.13 $83,480

Top Paying Industries for This Occupation:

INDUSTRY EMPLOYMENT PERCENT OF EMPLOYMENT HOURLY MEAN WAGE ANNUAL MEAN WAGE
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 460 0.18 $45.02 $93,650
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 15,600 1.86 $43.04 $89,530
Offices of Physicians 4,650 0.18 $41.45 $86,220
Management of Companies and Enterprises 390 0.02 $41.43 $86,180
Employment Services 370 0.01 $41.22 $85,750

States with Highest Employment Level in This Occupation:

STATE EMPLOYMENT LOCATION QUOTIENT HOURLY MEAN WAGE ANUUAL MEAN WAGE
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
California 18,990 1.55 $43.37 $90,210
New York 11,230 1.61 $43 $89,430
Texas 5,820 0.64 $31.40 $65,310
Pennsylvania 5,040 1.14 $34.92 $72,640
Massachusetts 4,900 1.84 $36.32 $75,550

Top Paying States for This Occupation:

STATE EMPLOYMENT LOCATION QUOTIENT HOURLY MEAN WAGE ANNUAL MEAN WAGE
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics.
New Jersey 3,600 1.18 $45.50 $94,650
South Dakota 250 0.79 $45.08 $93,760
California 18,990 1.55 $43.37 $90,210
New York 11,230 1.61 $43 $89,430
Oregon 1,130 0.82 $41.91 $87,170

Key Attributes

Every field has basic requirements for people having different skills, abilities and knowledge. Understanding these requirements will help you find right career path for you. Below are few such key attributes that a School Psychologist should have.

Skills

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  • Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation: Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Personnel Resources: Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Knowledge

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  • Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling: Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Sociology and Anthropology: Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Abilities

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  • Oral Comprehension: The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension: The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression: The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression: The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas: The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality: The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity: The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning: The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning: The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering: The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility: The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure: The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention: The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Time Sharing: The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Near Vision: The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition: The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity: The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What They Do?

Tasks

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  • Compile and interpret students' test results, along with information from teachers and parents, to diagnose conditions and to help assess eligibility for special services.
  • Report any pertinent information to the proper authorities in cases of child endangerment, neglect, or abuse.
  • Assess an individual child's needs, limitations, and potential, using observation, review of school records, and consultation with parents and school personnel.
  • Select, administer, and score psychological tests.
  • Provide consultation to parents, teachers, administrators, and others on topics such as learning styles and behavior modification techniques.
  • Promote an understanding of child development and its relationship to learning and behavior.
  • Collaborate with other educational professionals to develop teaching strategies and school programs.
  • Counsel children and families to help solve conflicts and problems in learning and adjustment.
  • Develop individualized educational plans in collaboration with teachers and other staff members.
  • Maintain student records, including special education reports, confidential records, records of services provided, and behavioral data.
  • Serve as a resource to help families and schools deal with crises, such as separation and loss.
  • Attend workshops, seminars, or professional meetings to remain informed of new developments in school psychology.
  • Design classes and programs to meet the needs of special students.
  • Refer students and their families to appropriate community agencies for medical, vocational, or social services.
  • Initiate and direct efforts to foster tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity in school communities.
  • Collect and analyze data to evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs and other services, such as behavioral management systems.
  • Provide educational programs on topics such as classroom management, teaching strategies, or parenting skills.
  • Conduct research to generate new knowledge that can be used to address learning and behavior issues.
  • Interpret test results and prepare psychological reports for teachers, administrators, and parents.

Work Activities

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  • Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People: Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies: Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities: Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Interacting With Computers: Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others: Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Developing and Building Teams: Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Training and Teaching Others: Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates: Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Coaching and Developing Others: Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Work Context

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  • Telephone: 86% responded "Every day"
  • Electronic Mail: 88% responded "Every day"
  • Letters and Memos: 32% responded "Every day"
  • Face-to-Face Discussions: 98% responded "Every day"
  • Contact With Others: 68% responded "Constant contact with others"
  • Work With Work Group or Team: 99% responded "Extremely important"
  • Deal With External Customers: 49% responded "Extremely important"
  • Coordinate or Lead Others: 52% responded "Extremely important"
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations: 55% responded "Every day"
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled: 62% responded "Every day"
  • Physical Proximity: 19% responded "Very close (near touching)"
  • Spend Time Sitting: 20% responded "Continually or almost continually"
  • Consequence of Error: 23% responded "Extremely serious"
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results: 63% responded "Very important results"
  • Frequency of Decision Making: 56% responded "Every day"
  • Freedom to Make Decisions: 50% responded "A lot of freedom"
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate: 77% responded "Extremely important"
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work: 21% responded "A lot of freedom"
  • Time Pressure: 48% responded "Every day"

Job Zone

  • Title: Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  • Education: Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Related Experience: Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
  • Job Training: Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Job Zone Examples: These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.
  • SVP Range: (8.0 and above)

Find Your State Licensing Requirements

Whether you need to complete an internship or a doctoral degree, licensing requirements may vary from state to state. Click name of state below to find licensing requirement for that particular state.

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