Number of Jobs
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|Best Social Services Jobs||#1|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#31|
School psychologists do much more than assist concerned parents and administrators with the academic struggles of a student. They also review test scores to help decide whether a child qualifies for special services, diagnose mental disorders and learning disabilities and help treat behavioral and emotional problems with therapy. They can bear a heavy load, especially when students are struggling with family and mental health problems. School psychologists generally work within school systems, although some also work in private practice, at local mental health agencies or in residential treatment centers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 16,400 new school psychologist jobs will be added between 2012 and 2022, for an employment growth rate of 11.3 percent. Part of that expansion comes from the increasing demands from students with learning disabilities, special needs and behavioral issues.
According to the BLS, school psychologists earned a median salary of $67,650 in 2012. The best-paid earned about $109,340 while the lowest-paid earned less than $38,450. Top-paying areas of the industry include business schools and computer and management training, employment services and retirement communities. The best-paid school psychologists work in Allentown, Pa., San Luis Obispo, Calif. and Boulder, Colo.
Nationally certified school psychologist hold master’s degrees and must also complete a three-year program, which includes 60 hours of coursework plus at least 1,200 internship hours. The internship is usually done at a school. A passing score on the Praxis II exam in school psychology is also required. While most school psychologists work with children, some go on to earn a doctorate in order to teach and study human behavior.
As they approach the end of their graduate programs, aspiring school psychologists embark on their internship. “For a lot of people, their internship turns into a job,” says Kelly Vaillancourt, director of government relations for the National Association of School Psychologists. While school budget cuts in recent years have slowed this trend, Vaillancourt notes that the shortage in school psychologists makes for an appealing job market: “It’s rare when school psychologists are unable to find employment.”
|Upward Mobility||good Above Average|
|Stress Level||poor Above Average|
|Flexibility||good Above Average|
Last updated by Kimberly Palmer.