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Career profile School Psychologist

Also known as Autism Consultant, Bilingual School Psychologist, Challenging Behavior Consultant, Consulting Psychologist, Early Intervention School Psychologist, Educational Diagnostician, Learning Consultant, Psychologist, School Psychologist, School Psychometrist

School Psychologist

Also known as Autism Consultant, Bilingual School Psychologist, Challenging Behavior Consultant

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Social
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$46,410 - $138,550 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Psychology
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Compile and interpret students' test results, along with information from teachers and parents, to diagnose conditions and to help assess eligibility for special services.
  • Maintain student records, including special education reports, confidential records, records of services provided, and behavioral data.
  • Report any pertinent information to the proper authorities in cases of child endangerment, neglect, or abuse.
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What does a School Psychologist do?

School Psychologists diagnose and implement individual or schoolwide interventions or strategies to address educational, behavioral, or developmental issues that adversely impact educational functioning in a school.

In addition, School Psychologists

  • may address student learning and behavioral problems and counsel students or families,
  • may design and implement performance plans, and evaluate performance,
  • may consult with other school-based personnel.

What kind of tasks does a School Psychologist perform regularly?

School Psychologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Compile and interpret students' test results, along with information from teachers and parents, to diagnose conditions and to help assess eligibility for special services.
  • Maintain student records, including special education reports, confidential records, records of services provided, and behavioral data.
  • Report any pertinent information to the proper authorities in cases of child endangerment, neglect, or abuse.
  • Select, administer, and score psychological tests.
  • Interpret test results and prepare psychological reports for teachers, administrators, and parents.
  • Assess an individual child's needs, limitations, and potential, using observation, review of school records, and consultation with parents and school personnel.
  • Develop individualized educational plans in collaboration with teachers and other staff members.
  • Counsel children and families to help solve conflicts and problems in learning and adjustment.
  • Collect and analyze data to evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs and other services, such as behavioral management systems.
  • Provide consultation to parents, teachers, administrators, and others on topics such as learning styles and behavior modification techniques.
  • Collaborate with other educational professionals to develop teaching strategies and school programs.
  • Design classes and programs to meet the needs of special students.
  • Promote an understanding of child development and its relationship to learning and behavior.
  • Attend workshops, seminars, or professional meetings to remain informed of new developments in school psychology.
  • Refer students and their families to appropriate community agencies for medical, vocational, or social services.
  • Serve as a resource to help families and schools deal with crises, such as separation and loss.
  • Initiate and direct efforts to foster tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity in school communities.
  • Provide educational programs on topics such as classroom management, teaching strategies, or parenting skills.

The above responsibilities are specific to School Psychologists. More generally, School Psychologists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a School Psychologist salary?

The median salary for a School Psychologist is $79,820, and the average salary is $89,290. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the School Psychologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many School Psychologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of School Psychologists earn less than $46,410 per year, 25% earn less than $60,750, 75% earn less than $104,860, and 90% earn less than $138,550.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of School Psychologists is expected to change by 10.4%, and there should be roughly 9,400 open positions for School Psychologists every year.

Median annual salary
$79,820
Typical salary range
$46,410 - $138,550
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
10.4%

What personality traits are common among School Psychologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a School Psychologist are usually higher in their Investigative and Social interests.

School Psychologists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, School Psychologists typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a School Psychologist tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Recognition.

Most importantly, School Psychologists very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, School Psychologists strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, School Psychologists strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as School Psychologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, integrity, and persistence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of School Psychologists, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do School Psychologists need?

Many School Psychologists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

School Psychologists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among School Psychologists

  • 8.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 44.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 46.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by School Psychologists

School Psychologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as psychology, therapy and counseling, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most School Psychologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Important Abilities needed by School Psychologists

School Psychologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, School Psychologists need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and deductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for School Psychologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by School Psychologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

School Psychologists frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for School Psychologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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