How to Become a School Psychologist

How to Become a School Psychologist
This article will tell you about how to become a school psychologist. If you are interested in psychology and want to work with children, then school psychology is an ideal option for you...These days stress is not only hitting adults but also children. Adults at least have an idea about how to handle stress, unlike children. The education system is becoming more and more competent and demands a lot from pupils. We can hardly do anything to change the system, but what we can certainly do is assist and support children in bearing this stress so that they can face problems more confidently. Considering this need of the hour most schools are appointing school psychologists and/or school counselors. If you think you have the abilities to make life easier for children and want to make a career in school psychology then read further. It tells you how to become a school psychologist so that you can contribute in the holistic psychological and emotional development of children.

School Psychologist Jobs

Before I tell you how to become a school psychologist, it is important for you to have a fair idea about the school psychologist job description. A school psychologist uses her knowledge of psychology and education to treat the emotional and mental problems of children regarding the learning process, in an elementary or high school setting. There are various areas in which a school psychologist can specialize, such as education testing, counseling, or research. Some mandatory duties of school psychologists involve conducting and administering psychological tests in schools, ensuring that children get maximum education opportunities and good learning atmosphere, and dealing with parents and teachers to solve critical mental problems associated with children. From their duties it is clear that this field is highly specialized and skilled and so the candidate has to pass strict regulations to enter this profession.

School Psychologist Qualifications

If you are still wondering how to become a school psychologist then the first thing you must know about are qualifications that are required to become the same. It is advisable to start preparing from from your high school days. If possible take up science subjects in high school studies. Science subjects will teach you to think logically and would give you insight on the functioning of the physical world. It will also prepare you for later studies in brain functioning, which are essential to psychology. After high school it is suggested to complete undergraduate psychology major as some graduate programs require so. You can also go for statistics, mathematics, educational psychology, and child psychology and education. At the end of college you must appear for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and apply to graduate schools simultaneously.

A school psychologist must get a license or a certificate from the National Association of School Psychologists for legal practice. To get the certificate a candidate must receive a master's, specialist, or doctoral degree in school psychology. In many states, it is also mandatory to acquire board certification, and to get that a candidate has to complete the American Psychological Association Accredited graduation program. This program includes course work and experience in ethical professional practice, consultation, assessment, and intervention. Apart from this, one has to complete 1500 hours of internship in school psychology along with three years of experience in school psychology. In these three years a candidate should complete one year post doctoral work including face to face supervision one hour a week by a board certified school psychologist. After completing these stringent courses you finally become eligible to work as school psychologist.

School psychologist salary range varies according to different states and the school, but on an average it falls somewhere between $80,000 to $95,000 per year and increases with experience. With this information you know how to become a school psychologist. A role of a school counselor is quite similar to a school psychologist. If you are wondering how to become a school counselor then it is important to know that it is relatively easy to become so, as one has to appear for the GRE and get a master's degree only. Counselors do not have to undergo the further complicated and time consuming process that a school psychologist has to undergo. So give a serious thought to what you want to become and make the right career choice. All the best!!!

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