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What is School Psychology?
School psychology is the field of study and practice that deals with the application of psychological principles to students in school settings. Individuals working in this field must be able to understand and relate to students, identifying learning or mental issues and how they relate to the learning process. School psychologists will employ various methods for gauging and identifying mental health and learning levels among individuals students, then use various methodologies and techniques to help assist in the treatment of those issues. Additionally, psychologists may be responsible for identifying exceptional or talented students and assisting in their proper educational placement.
Though some programs at the bachelor level may offer a specific education in school psychology, a majority of students will earn a general psychology degree followed by entry into a master's program to continue their education and pursue their specialization. Doctoral graduates will have a more in depth study of their specialization, greater employment opportunities, and may conduct research related to school psychology.
A curriculum in school psychology may include:
- Research Methodology
- Education and Psychology
- Psychological Theory
- Behavioral Science
- Learning Disorders
Employment Opportunities and Job Growth
School psychologists will be able to find positions in public and private educational institutions in order to apply psychological principles to specific learning environments and helping school administrators adjust curriculums based on information and research relating to education in their specific school. Additionally, individuals will work with students to identify issues and problems, or assist in their development as part of their job to provide care and assistance. As more individuals become interested in how education affects their children, the field of school psychology and the role of school psychologists is expected to grow. Due to the high level of education typically required to secure a position, opportunities should be available to those who complete a program.
Salary and Related Fields
School psychologists can expect to earn between $32,000 and $96,000 per year. Individuals in this field will see increased salary based on location, experience and employer, with larger institutions typically offering higher pay due to increased work and responsibility. Additionally, private institutions tend to offer higher pay than public institutions on average, though this can once again vary based on size. Research positions may also have higher pay, though can be limited in availability as grants and positions are highly competitive.
For more information, check out our Career Guide in Psychology on the MatchCollege blog.