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Interested in helping children and teens thrive in all areas of their lives? A career as a school psychologist enables you to work with young people while earning a reasonable salary.
School psychologists interact with youth from elementary school through college age, helping them succeed academically, behaviorally, socially, and emotionally. These professionals resolve behavioral problems and boost social skills and self-esteem. School psychologists counsel youth with mental health issues and often assist victims of bullying or other forms of abuse.
Employment as a school psychologist requires at least a specialist-level master's degree. School psychology degrees provide training in interventions, child development, behavioral and learning theories, social-emotional and mental health assessment, and curriculum and instruction.
|Median Annual Salary (BLS)||Average Base Salary (Payscale)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Payscale
Online Doctorate in Psychology Programs
Top 3 States for School Psychologist Salaries
- Colorado - $103,240
- New York - $97,640
- California - $96,530
Top 3 Cities for School Psychologist Salaries
- Boulder, Colorado - $116,280
- El Centro, California - $116,010
- Fresno, California - $115,360
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do school psychologists work?
Most school psychologists work in k-12 public and private schools, primarily in middle schools or high schools. They also find employment in college-based health centers, state agencies, community centers, and private practice.
How do I become a school psychologist?
School psychologists must earn at least a master's degree to receive a state license. The most common educational pathway, the Ed.S., requires a minimum of 60 credits and a 1,200-hour internship. Some school psychologists complete a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., a Psy.D., or an Ed.D.
What is the difference between a school counselor and a school psychologist?
School counselors deliver basic services to address mental health and behavioral issues through individual or group sessions. They often serve an entire school population. School psychologists provide assistance with mental health, behavioral, and academic issues through testing and assessments, focusing on individuals or targeted groups. While both careers require graduate degrees, school psychologists receive more training in special education.
Skills and Experience to Increase Salary as a School Psychologist
Successful school psychologists must possess broad academic proficiencies and good interpersonal and communication skills. However, certain skills correlate more strongly with higher school psychologist salary levels. According to PayScale data from April 2022, school psychologists with experience in cognitive assessment, counseling, and crisis intervention earn above average salaries. Other skills that boost earnings include writing procedures and documentation, case management, and clinical assessment.
Salary levels also depend on factors, such as years of experience, educational attainment, and certification. School districts or state governments often establish pay rates for social psychologists based on experience or graduate training. While the BLSprojects expanding opportunities for all school psychologists between 2020 and 2030, those with doctoral degrees gain the advantage and earn higher salaries.
School psychologists must be licensed by the state in which they work, but those who hold national certification through the National School Psychology Certification Board may have a competitive edge that translates into higher earnings.