School psychologists work in schools or private practices to help children reach their fullest potential. This industry combines clinical psychology work with developmental, educational, and career psychology. Working in this field requires students to understand how to assess a child or teen’s abilities, as well as how to treat common problems to allow that youth to succeed. Not every child needs the same type of guidance, so working in this field requires students to learn a number of practical techniques. Job settings typically include elementary schools, high schools, and colleges.
Steps Toward an MS in School Psychology
To become a school psychologist, requirements vary significantly by state. Successful students typically complete the following steps:
- Earn proper undergraduate degree (requirements vary by state). Common undergraduate degrees include Bachelor of Science programs in education, psychology or human services.
- Earn proper graduate degrees (requirements vary by state) from an accredited institution like Purdue, Liberty, or Walden University. Typically includes completing a Master of Science degree with a concentration in elementary or high school counseling.
- Obtain proper licensure. Licensure requirements differ greatly by state, occupational specialty, and work setting.
- Consider certification and continuing education options. In some cases, school psychologists aim to become counseling directors, counselor educators, or school administrators by advancing their education even further.
Professionals in the field should consider membership with the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). They offers various levels of membership including student membership. Benefits of joining the NASP include access to evidence-based resources, networking opportunities with special interest groups, promotion of the profession at state and national levels, and discounts to conventions, publications, and professional liability insurance.
My Degree and What It’s Worth
This degree gives you the opportunity to work with students of all ages, helping them find a direction and discover their interests at different stages of their education. A school counselor is typically responsible for the following job duties:
- Evaluate the strengths, problems, or special needs of children and young adults in a school setting.
- Provide personal, educational and vocational counseling.
- Offer case management support and guidance, especially when cases of domestic abuse and other family problems that can affect a student’s development are identified.
- Arrange for medical care, vocational training, job placement and other outside services.
Annual salary varies within the profession based on specific type of job, location, and experience. For more on your earning potential in the field of school psychology, please visit our salary outlook for counselors page.
Online School Psychology Degree Programs
- Bradley University: MA in Counseling – Professional School Counseling
- Our Lady of the Lake University: MEd in School Counseling
- Wake Forest University: MA in Counseling – School Counseling
- Walden University: MS in Educational Psychology
Closely Related Programs
The following degrees are closely related to a master’s degree program in school psychology, often allowing you to pursue a career in this field or others: