It doesn’t seem that long ago that I completed my graduate program in school psychology, but it’s actually been 16 years. Time flies and a lot has changed in the field of school psychology. However, it seems that my reasons for becoming a school psychologist have remained relatively intact. Here you are:
1) The pay is not that bad. Although we have to complete a 3-year graduate school that includes a one-year internship that is usually unpaid, school psychologists are paid relatively well. The average salary seems to be in the $60,000-$80,000 range after around 5-10 years of experience.
2) Vacation time isn’t bad either. School psychologists typically have 210-day contracts or close and don’t work during the summer unless they want to raise some extra money. This leaves time for the family or for longer summer holidays.
3) School psychologists are relatively well respected in the school environment. Despite the fact that most people think of us as counselors and very few school officials even know exactly what we do, school psychologists seem to be highly respected and frequently sought after for finding solutions to a wide range of problems Find.
4) School psychologists have a high degree of autonomy in the workplace. It is not uncommon for you to be assigned more than one school. This can be stressful in terms of workload, but it can also be a blessing in disguise as you can move from school to school depending on the school’s needs. You’re not usually stuck in an office with your boss watching over you. If so, you probably need to reconsider where you work.
5) Number 4 brings up another good point. The job prospects for school psychologists are pretty good. I don’t have stats but it seems there are plenty of jobs for those willing to relocate in the country. As the economy has gotten worse lately, I’ve definitely seen a drop, but even in tough economic times, there still seems to be opportunity for school psychologists. I’ve found Schoolspring.com to be a great place to get a sense of how many schools are actually looking for new school psychologists.
6) You feel like you are helping those who need help. Sure, weeks and months go by in which you torment yourself through the paperwork and complete the evaluations. However, every once in a while you will come across a situation where you can actually help someone who needs help. That always feels good. I actually recommend finding a job in the areas that are the most economical and fraught with problems. Because this is where we are needed most and our efforts are also most appreciated by parents, children and authorities. I work on the Mexican border and wouldn’t change it for anything. Despite the news, the people and community here are very appreciative and value their children’s education. I very rarely get the overly aggressive soccer mom yelling at me because her kid isn’t in the gifted program.
7) Ability to branch into other areas. With a Masters in Psychology, one can teach at the community college level, work weekends for the local counseling center, conduct external assessments for other local school districts, and/or branch out into educational counseling. Not too many areas where you are qualified for so many different things.
8) If you don’t want to supplement your income with the various methods in #7, the field of school psychology offers a variety of areas in which you can choose to be an “expert” and use it in your day-to-day work as a school psychologist. There are postgraduate certificate programs in school neuropsychology as well as behavioral specialist and/or life coaching, all of which can be used with your students in the school setting.
9) We’re called “Psychologists” but we don’t have a license. This was actually up for review by the APA, but luckily we can still call ourselves “psychologists” at school. Funny how many clinical “psychologists” attempted to become academic “psychologists” due to poor career prospects for clinical psychiatry degrees, but that’s another story and subject.
10) Helping is something you are driven to do. If you enjoy helping children who basically just need a little support to lead them to a successful life, then the field of School Psychology may be right for you. I wish I could read the highs and lows of being a school psychologist in the early 90’s before I ventured into this profession. However, this article is intended for those who want to consider this profession. No job is perfect, and jobs vary wildly by location, boss, school board, and so on. In my experience, school psychology positions are more similar than different and the job is what you make of it. You have the freedom to start programs or specialize in the area of your choice. There aren’t many jobs where you can do that.
Thanks to Pete Simon | #Top #Reasons #School #Psychologist