Psychologists who work in schools help address learning, developmental and behavioral problems. They may counsel students, staff and families and also advise administration on teaching strategies that may help students succeed in class.
Psychology diplomas are educational credentials that psychologists can earn after completing a graduate degree program. These diplomas are not required for all jobs; they typically prepare a psychologist to practice in specialized contexts or gain certification. For example, a professional diploma in school psychology can prepare a psychologist to work in a school and gain school psychologist certification. Those interested in becoming psychologists should be comfortable working with physically, mentally, or emotionally troubled patients. Psychologists need a license or certification in most states, and all states require psychologists who work in private practice to hold licensure. The following table outlines the requirements for becoming a school psychologist.
|Education Requirements||Education specialist degree or Ph.D.|
|Licensure and Certification||State license required; voluntary National Certification as a School Psychologist (NCSP) credential|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||19% (for all psychologists)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$72,580 (for all psychologists)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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School psychologists deal with learning, developmental and behavioral problems in schools. In addition counseling students, staff and families, they may advise the administration on new classroom approaches and teaching strategies to help students succeed.
Some universities and colleges award postgraduate diplomas in school psychology to those who already hold a master's or doctoral degree. A diploma program often consists of educational coursework and may include a supervised intern- or externship in a school setting. The content of these diploma problems differs between schools, and they sometimes allow students to specialize in a particular area of practice that interests them. The programs may also help school psychologists qualify for the National Certification as a School Psychologist (NCSP) credential.
In many states, a school psychologist must be licensed to practice in schools, a process that requires someone to make a formal application to the government agency that oversees the licensing of educational professionals. Educational requirements vary, but may include holding a graduate degree in school psychology, a graduate diploma or a specialist educational credential, such as the Ed.S. designation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Other requirements can include passing a licensing exam and completing a program of supervised job experience.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for clinical, counseling and school psychologists will increase by 20% from 2014 to 2024. This increase is much faster than average for all occupations within the nation. According to the BLS, the median salary for all psychologists was $72,580 as of 2015.
After completing a graduate degree program, some psychologists may opt to obtain a diploma in psychology. A diploma is not always required but it can prepare psychologists for an area of specialization and for voluntary certification.