How Much Do School Psychologists Make?
School psychology is concerned with the practice and science of psychology as it affects children, youth, families, learners in all age groups, and the educational process. The training and education of school psychologists prepare them to offer psychological diagnoses, assessment, prevention, intervention, health promotion, and program development. There is a specific focus on the child’s developmental process and how it interacts with the school, family, and related systems. (APA.org)
A school psychologist is trained to intervene in the system and individual level to develop, implement, and evaluate programs that aid children in their schools and lives.
Over the past several decades, school psychology has evolved into a specialty of psychology with its fundamentals rooted in education and psychology. School psychologists possess advanced knowledge of developmental and social psychology. They also have a grasp of developmental psychopathology in the areas of active learning and instruction.
School psychologists engage in most of the following:
- Understand and use effective instructional processes
- Understand school and classroom environments
- Understand how schools and educational organizations operate
- Apply learning principles to the competence develop inside and outside school
- Assess the developmental needs of children in and out of school
- Work with educational, psychological and behavioral health services for the benefit of children in the school system
School Psychologist Salary Information
Professionals who are interested in being a school psychologist will need to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. in school counseling. Below is detailed salary information for school psychologists.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes the median salary for psychologists is $79,000, and the top 10% of psychologists earn $129,000 per year. These psychologists have many years of work experience and a doctorate in psychology.
The Bureau also notes the median salary for school psychologists is $76,900. All other types of psychologists make $100,700 per year. (BLS.gov)
Psychologist salaries also vary by industry:
- Government institutions: $96,400
- State, local and private hospitals: $86,500
- Ambulatory healthcare services: $79,100
- Elementary and secondary schools: $75,800
BLS also includes salary information for school and career counselors, which are related to the school psychology profession. BLS states the median salary for school counselors is $56,300. The top 10% earn $94,500. The highest salaries for school counselors are in these areas:
- Elementary and secondary schools: $63,200
- Other educational services: $52,400
- Junior colleges, colleges, universities and professionals schools: $50,000
- Healthcare and social assistance: $38,700
The American Psychological Association reports that licensed, doctoral-level school psychologists earn a median salary of $77,000. School psychologists with a master’s degree earn a median wage of $61,000.
Payscale.com reports the average school psychologist salary is $60,500, with a range between $44,000 and $90,000. Pay varies above or below the average according to the city in which you live: (Payscale.com)
- Los Angeles: +33%
- Phoenix: +9%
- Atlanta: +8%
- Denver: +3%
- New York City: +2%
- Philadelphia: 0%
- Chicago: -4%
Payscale reports the salary for a first-year school psychologist is $51,000, and $74,000 for one with 20 years of experience.
Ziprecruiter.com reports the average salary for school psychologists is $81,600, with a range between $35,000 and $150,000 per year. (Ziprecruiter.com). The website also states that most school psychologists make between $61,000 and $95,500.
US News and World Reports
US News and World Reports state that school psychologists make a median salary of $75,000 The top 25% of workers earn $98,260, and the bottom 25% earn $56,650. (USNews.com)
School Psychologist Job Outlook
The APA reports that the Bureau of Labor Statistics found school psychology to be one of the five fastest doctoral-level fields through 2020. According to BLS, educational leaders said universities had been unable to graduate enough people to fill available school psychologist jobs. Job openings are growing because there is a large population of school-age children, and more schools recognize children with special needs require psychological help. (APA.org)
BLS also reports that the job outlook for school psychologists as of 2018 was healthy. There will be a 14% increase in jobs through 2028. This rate of growth is much faster than average. There is much more awareness today of the connection between school performance and mental health. Also, there is more demand for mental health services in schools to boost academic achievement. (BLS.gov)
For school counselors, the job outlook is average, with an 8% increase in jobs expected by 2028. An increase in student enrollment in some areas of the USS will lead to higher demand for counselors. (BLS.gov)
If you decide to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. in school psychology online, there will be increasing job demand and salary potential. With a doctoral degree and 10 years of experience, a school psychologist can earn $100,000 or more per year. You may earn more if you live in cities with higher demand, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, or New York City.
You may find your salary is limited if you work for a school district. Many psychologists with a Ph.D. go into private practice. By working one-on-one with individual students, it is possible to earn a salary well above $100,000.