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What Can You Do With a Master's in School Psychology?

Mar 01, 2018

The career choices for an individual holding a master's degree in school psychology include school counseling, social work, and research. Let's explore the potential careers and their respective salaries.

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A master's degree program in school psychology prepares you to enter the workforce as a school psychologist, career counselor, behavioral disorder counselor, and more. You will regularly be called upon to provide testing for personality and aptitude. You will also need to prove interventions and collaborate with various stakeholders to ensure the success of a student and/or client.

Careers Related to a Master's in School Psychology

Job Title Median Wage (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
School Psychologists $73,270 (clinical, counseling and school psychologists) 14% (clinical, counseling and school psychologists)
Social Workers $46,890 16%
Educational Researchers $61,566 (assessment and education researchers, 2018)** 11% (instructional coordinators)
School and Career Counselors $54,560 13%
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors $42,150 23%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale

Overview of Careers Related to a Master's in School Psychology

School Psychologists

A school psychologist works with students of varying ages, from kindergarten to high school. The school psychologist is a key figure in identifying and correcting behavioral and/or learning issues. In addition to collecting anecdotal information from teachers and parents, a school psychologist will administer psychological tests to determine both the cause of the difficulty and the most appropriate interventions.

Social Workers

Social workers work with people who are facing challenging times in their lives. These professionals help in a range of difficult circumstances, such as when a child is diagnosed with a terminal illness. They are called upon in crisis situations and can help clients make positive changes in their lives. Their services include providing therapy and documenting progress among their clients. The master's program in school psychology prepares workers to employ diagnostic and treatment development techniques.

Educational Researchers

Educational researchers help schools and school districts determine which areas of instruction are succeeding and which need revision. They do this by collecting data--through interviews, observation, and surveys--and then analyzing the data. Once the data is analyzed, the educational researcher will work with the client to implement the changes necessary for improving learning outcomes. A master's program in school psychology helps develop the needed research skills for this career.

School and Career Counselors

School and career counselors help their clients plan for the future. The school counselor works with students, assessing their interests, abilities, and performance in order to develop strategies for achieving academic success. Career counselors perform similar assessments, but their goal is to help clients reach professional goals. There is often overlap between the two titles: school counselors may guide students toward jobs that will help their academic goals, and career counselors may help college students prepare for careers after graduation.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

Workers in these areas are called upon to evaluate a variety of issues from mental health to problematic behavior. Part of the work in this field involves identifying addictions. These professionals also help clients develop the skills necessary for modifying their behavior. They also work with families to help support changes in a client's behavior. A master's program in school psychology prepares individuals to provide psychological interventions to people in need.

A graduate degree in school psychology can open the door to a variety of careers. Some graduates may prefer counseling people on careers or overcoming addictions, while others might enjoy working with a child and his/her family as they confront challenges. Still others may prefer a more research-focused career aimed at improving an entire school district.

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