What is School Psychology?

definition school psychology

School Psychology is a sub-field of psychology that works to protect and advocate for school age children with needs beyond a typical student.

What are the Primary Responsibilities of a School Psychologist?

School psychology is specialty area of professional psychology that requires a high level of training. School psychologists apply the empirical study and clinical practice of general psychology and apply these concepts and theories to children, families, learners of varying ages, and the overall educational process. The practice of School Psychology employs the idea of protecting and fostering the furtherance of the academic and social development of students. School psychologists are responsible for:

  • Conducting and analyzing psychological and psycho-educational evaluations and assessments
  • Individual, group and family intervention with students, parents and caregivers.
  • Overall physical and mental health promotion
  • Consultation with educators and parents
  • Academic program development and evaluation
  • Research

Where Do School Psychologist Typically Work?

School psychologists typically work in a school setting. This could be an elementary school, high school, collegiate institution, vocational school or other academic setting. School Psychologists can also be found working in governmental agencies, advocacy groups, child study teams and other areas of policy development and implementation.

What Training is Needed to Become a School Psychologist?

In order to become a School Psychologist, students will need to earn at least a Master’s Degree. Some states allow licensure or board certification at the Master’s Level. Other states require a candidate have earned a Doctoral Degree in order to secure licensure or board certification. Each student should research his or her states guidelines before entering into a graduate program.

How Much Money Can I Earn As a School Psychologist?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, School Psychologists earned a median salary of $67,650 in 2012. The best paid earned around $109,340 while the lowest-paid earned less than $38,450. There are many factors that influence the salary level, including region, experience, degree earned and years in practice.

Are There Any Professional Organizations for School Psychologists?

The most widely respected organization for School Psychologists is the The American Board of School Psychology (ABSP). The ABSP is one of several member boards of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). The ABPP is responsible for overseeing and authorizing the credentialing of thirteen specialty boards in psychology. The ABSP is responsible for creating appropriate criteria to define the requirements for education, training, competencies, and the examination, which qualified an individual for Board Certification in School Psychology. The ABSP is overseen by a Board of six Directors who are all fully certified in School Psychology and are representative of the specialty on a national basis.

School Psychology is an excellent career option for individual who have an affinity for working with children. While these professionals can work with learners of all ages, the greatest need is at the Kindergarten through eighth-grade level. A graduate degree in School Psychology can open many doors for a successful career helping children in need.