Educational psychologists have the option of working in schools or research facilities, the duties varying for each. A number of jobs should be opening, as a 20% job growth is expected up until 2024. These professionals earn an average of $76,040 per year.
An educational psychologist might focus on doing research or creating and implementing programs that can help people learn more effectively. Many work as school psychologists, working with educators to devise ways to help students and their families. School psychologists need a graduate degree, which they can earn through specialist, master's or doctoral programs. Most states require that anyone who uses the title of psychologist hold a license or certification, which generally calls for meeting education and experience requirements and passing an examination.
|Required Education||Graduate degree in a relevant field|
|Other Requirements||State licensing or certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||20% for clinical, counseling or school psychologists|
|Average Annual Wage (2015)*||$76,040 for clinical, counseling or school psychologists|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Job Description for an Educational Psychologist
Educational psychologists might work for schools or government agencies, as well as in the private sector. They might be involved with the development of instructional methods and materials, in addition to studying existing educational programs to see what's working and what needs improvement. Some educational psychologists work directly with educators to train them in effective teaching methods, while others develop curricula and tests.
Specific duties may depend in part on area of specialization, such as human development, learning sciences or school psychology. For example, a school psychologist might provide counseling services to students and work with teachers and parents to resolve issues a student is experiencing. School psychologists also might work with students who have learning disabilities or those who have behavioral or social problems, ADHD or autism.
Educational psychologists also might work with agencies like the U.S. Department of Education to help develop education-related regulation. They might conduct university studies evaluating various educational tools and techniques, as well as dealing with issues of diversity and culture in the classroom.
Educational Psychologist Salary
Salaries vary depending on employer and specialization. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for clinical, counseling and school psychologists is $76,040 as of May 2015 (www.bls.org). Yearly salaries ranged from less than $40,920 to more than $116,960. Those working specifically in elementary and secondary schools earned an average wage of $74,130 annually.
Outlook for an Educational Psychologist
The BLS notes a favorable occupational outlook for clinical, counseling and school psychologists, with job opportunities expected to grow by 20% between 2014 and 2024, about as fast as average for all occupations. School psychologists were expected to be in demand due to increased awareness of issues such as bullying and the growing need for student counseling. The BLS also reported that job prospects would be best for applicants who hold a doctoral degree in school psychology from a top university.
An educational psychologist can work with all types of students, assisting them in reaching their academic potential. They may also choose to research and improve education programs and strategies. Most educational psychologists need a doctorate, and either licensure or certification may be mandatory, depending on the state.