A school psychologist is a professional who applies psychological principles and techniques to students at all levels in school. He/she helps students to deal with behavioral and emotional issues affecting them. They usually work closely together with teachers and parents with the ultimate objective of creating a safe learning environment for students.
School psychologists usually focus on the individual study of children's learning in schools. Essential skills that a school psychologist must have are listening skills, communication skills, attention to detail, and analytical skills. He/she should also be empathetic, understanding, and willing to assist students with their psychological needs.
School psychologists have a regular work schedule. They work 35-40 hours a week from Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5. Their work schedules depend on the number of schools they work for.
Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and their environments.Duties
Psychologists typically do the following:
Psychologists seek to understand and explain thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behavior. Psychologists use techniques such as observation, assessment, and experimentation to develop theories about the beliefs and feelings that influence a person.
Psychologists often gather information and evaluate behavior through controlled laboratory experiments, psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy. They also may administer personality, performance, aptitude, or intelligence tests. They look for patterns of behavior or relationships between events, and use this information when testing theories in their research or treating patients.
The following are examples of types of psychologists:
Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists help people deal with problems ranging from short-term personal issues to severe, chronic conditions.
Clinical psychologists are trained to use a variety of approaches to help individuals. Although strategies generally differ by specialty, clinical psychologists often interview patients, give diagnostic tests, and provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy. They also design behavior modification programs and help patients implement their particular program.
Some clinical psychologists focus on certain populations, such as children or the elderly, or certain specialties, such as the following:
Clinical psychologists often consult with other health professionals regarding the best treatment for patients, especially treatment that includes medication. Currently, Illinois, Louisiana, and New Mexico allow clinical psychologists to prescribe medication to patients. Most states, however, do not allow psychologists to prescribe medication for treatment.
Counseling psychologists help patients deal with and understand problems, including issues at home, at the workplace, or in their community. Through counseling, they work with patients to identify their strengths or resources they can use to manage problems. For information on other counseling occupations, see the profiles on mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, and social workers.
Developmental psychologists study the psychological progress and development that take place throughout life. Many developmental psychologists focus on children and adolescents, but they also may study aging and problems facing older adults.
Forensic psychologists use psychological principles in the legal and criminal justice system to help judges, attorneys, and other legal specialists understand the psychological aspects of a particular case. They often testify in court as expert witnesses. They typically specialize in family, civil, or criminal case work.
Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychology to the workplace by using psychological principles and research methods to solve problems and improve the quality of work life. They study issues such as workplace productivity, management or employee working styles, and employee morale. They also work with management on matters such as policy planning, employee screening or training, and organizational development.
School psychologists apply psychological principles and techniques to education and developmental disorders. They may address student learning and behavioral problems; design and implement performance plans, and evaluate performances; and counsel students and families. They also may consult with other school-based professionals to suggest improvements to teaching, learning, and administrative strategies.
Social psychologists study how people’s mindsets and behavior are shaped by social interactions. They examine both individual and group interactions and may investigate ways to improve interactions.
Some psychologists become postsecondary teachers or high school teachers.
Although psychologists typically need a doctoral degree in psychology, a master’s degree is sufficient for some positions. Psychologists in independent practice also need a license.Education
Most clinical, counseling, and research psychologists need a doctoral degree. Students can complete a Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. A Ph.D. in psychology is a research degree that is obtained after taking a comprehensive exam and writing a dissertation based on original research. Ph.D programs typically include courses on statistics and experimental procedures. The Psy.D. is a clinical degree and is often based on practical work and examinations rather than a dissertation. In clinical, counseling, school, or health service settings, students usually complete a 1-year internship as part of the doctoral program.
School psychologists need an advanced degree and certification or licensure to work. The advanced degree is most commonly the education specialist degree (Ed.S.), which typically requires a minimum of 60 graduate semester credit hours and a 1,200-hour supervised internship. Some school psychologists may have a doctoral degree in school psychology or a master’s degree. School psychologists’ programs include coursework in both education and psychology because their work addresses education and mental health components of students’ development.
Graduates with a master’s degree in psychology can work as industrial-organizational psychologists. When working under the supervision of a doctoral psychologist, master’s graduates can also work as psychological assistants in clinical, counseling, or research settings. Master’s degree programs typically include courses in industrial-organizational psychology, statistics, and research design.
Most master’s degree programs do not require an undergraduate major in psychology, but do require coursework in introductory psychology, experimental psychology, and statistics. Some doctoral degree programs require applicants to have a master’s degree in psychology; others will accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree and a major in psychology.
Most graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology find work in other fields such as business administration, sales, or education.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
In most states, practicing psychology or using the title of “psychologist” requires licensure. In all states and the District of Columbia, psychologists who practice independently must be licensed where they work.
Licensing laws vary by state and type of position. Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Information on specific state requirements can be obtained from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. In many states, licensed psychologists must complete continuing education courses to keep their licenses.
The American Board of Professional Psychology awards specialty certification in 15 areas of psychology, such as clinical health, couple and family, or rehabilitation. The American Board of Professional Neuropsychology offers certification in neuropsychology. Board certification can demonstrate professional expertise in a specialty area. Certification is not required for most psychologists, but some hospitals and clinics do require certification. In those cases, candidates must have a doctoral degree in psychology, state license or certification, and any additional criteria of the specialty field.Training
Prospective practicing psychologists must have pre- or post-doctoral supervised experience, including an internship. Internships allow students to gain experience in an applied setting. Candidates must complete an internship before they can qualify for state licensure. The required number of hours of the internship varies by state.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Psychologists must be able to examine the information they collect and draw logical conclusions from them.
Communication skills. Psychologists must have strong communication skills because they spend much of their time listening to and speaking with patients.
Observational skills. Psychologists study attitude and behavior. They must be able to watch people and understand the possible meanings of facial expressions, body positions, actions, and interactions.
Patience. Psychologists must be able to demonstrate patience, because conducting research or treating patients may take a long time.
People skills. Psychologists study and help people. They must be able to work well with clients, patients, and other professionals.
Problem-solving skills. Psychologists need problem-solving skills to design research, evaluate programs, and find treatments or solutions for mental and behavioral problems.
Trustworthiness. Psychologists must keep patients’ problems in confidence, and patients must be able to trust psychologists’ expertise in treating sensitive problems.
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As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, a school psychologist can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as adjunct professor, progress to a title such as assistant principal and then eventually end up with the title assistant principal.
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|Job TitleCompany||Company||Start Date||Salary|
Substitute School Psychologist
Substitute School Psychologist
Beaumont Unified School District
Beaumont Unified School District
The Stepping Stones Group
The Stepping Stones Group
Modesto City Schools
Modesto City Schools
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Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a School Psychologist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.
Learn How To Write a School Psychologist Resume
At Zippia, we went through countless School Psychologist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.View Detailed Information
Hispanic or Latino
Black or African American
Evanston, IL • Private
New York, NY • Private
Baltimore, MD • Private
Saint Louis, MO • Private
Long Beach, CA • Public
La Jolla, CA • Public
Vestal, NY • Public
New York, NY • Public
College Park, MD • Public
Clemson, SC • Public
The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.4% of school psychologists listed professional development on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and integrity are important as well.
Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a school psychologist. The best states for people in this position are Oregon, California, Alaska, and Utah. School psychologists make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $87,853. Whereas in California and Alaska, they would average $86,938 and $83,964, respectively. While school psychologists would only make an average of $78,282 in Utah, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.