School Psychology Salary: What You’ll Earn

Read about salary and job outlook predictions for school psychologists.

school-psychology-salaryPsychologists make a good living, but their salaries can vary quite a bit depending on a number of factors, such as where they work, their specialties, level of expertise, and the client base and word of mouth that they’ve built up over the years.

Read about comparative psychology salaries and projected job growth below.

Median Annual Salary

A school psychologist works in elementary and secondary schools or school district offices to resolve students’ learning and behavior problems. School psychologists are trained in both education and psychology. Here are some statistics on salaries, job growth, and employers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for school psychologists is $73,270. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

How does a school psychologist’s salary compare to other psychology careers?

Psychology Career Median Annual Salary*
General Psychologist $75,230
Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologist $73,270
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist $82,760
School Counselor $54,560

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

What is my earning potential?

Psychologists could earn as much as $121,610 annually according to the BLS, which reports this salary statistic for the top 10 percent of professionals in the field.

Is there demand for this career?

Yes! According to the BLS, career employment for school psychologists is expected to grow faster than average as demand for psychological services in schools will grow as the number of students grows. School psychologists will be needed especially to work with students with special needs, disabilities and behavioral problems. Others may assess students, and research how factors—both in- and-out of school—affect learning. This data can help teachers and administrators improve the educational experience.

What is the job growth for the field?

Employment of psychologists is expected to grow 14 percent through 2026, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations. Take a look at how some of the other psychology occupations compare as far as job growth:

Job Outlook Comparison Through 2026

  • Psychologists—14 percent
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors—20 percent
  • Social Workers—15 percent
  • School and Career Counselors—11 percent
  • All Industries and Occupations—7 percent

Employment of school psychologists will grow to accommodate the increasing number of children in schools, and many will also be needed to replace school psychologists who are retiring, according to the BLS. Because of the limited number of graduates in this specialty, school psychologists are expected to have good job opportunities.

National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

What kinds of companies hire school psychologists?

According to the BLS, school psychologists can maintain a private practice, but are most frequently employed by the following types of institutions:

  • Public schools (preschool through college-level)
  • Private schools
  • Universities
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Community treatment centers

How do I advance in my school psychologist career?

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) suggests whether you select the specialist or doctoral program that you receive your training from a NASP-approved school as many employers prefer to hire individuals who graduate from these programs. Too, you should consider getting nationally certified, because this certification is viewed as a measure of professionalism by employers.

While specialist programs award a master’s degree—and comprise the majority of currently employed school psychologists—in order to advance your career to the highest level, you should consider a doctoral degree program.

NASP lists some of the career advantages of completing your doctorate as the following:

  • You’ll be recognized as a member by the American Psychological Association
  • You may work in a range of settings
  • You’ll be able to choose a career either as a practitioner, consultant or in academia

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