How to Get a Job as a School Psychologist
During the final stages of the graduate program, aspiring school psychologists set the wheels in motion for landing a job via an internship. "For a lot of people, their internship turns into a job," explains 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 a very hospitable job market: "It's rare when school psychologists are unable to find employment."
What is the Job Like?
"There really is not a typical day, which makes it exciting," Vaillancourt explains of the day-to-day routine associated with the occupation. Consultations with parents, teachers, and administrators, as well as assessments of the educational and emotional needs of children, are routine occurrences. "Consultation and assessment is a pretty big bulk of your day," says Vaillancourt, who previously worked as a school psychologist at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. One-on-one counseling is another component of the job, as school psychologists can become a positive adult influence for a child lacking one. And depending on the socioeconomic status of the surrounding district, duties can extend to working with local churches and charities to provide disadvantaged children with essentials like clothing and food. After a period of time, some in the field move on to supervisory roles at the county level, become behavioral support coordinators, establish a private practice, or do consulting work.