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What Does It Take to Become a School Psychologist?

[Summary]How To Become A School Psychologist | Educational Requirements | Salary | CareersinPsychology.org What Is School Psychology? School is a very influential part of a child's life, and for good reason. Children typically spend a large amount of times at

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How To Become A School Psychologist | Educational Requirements | Salary | CareersinPsychology.org

What Does It Take to Become a School Psychologist?
What Is School Psychology?

School is a very influential part of a child's life, and for good reason. Children typically spend a large amount of times attending school, starting at the age of five or even younger. Besides getting their first tastes the world of academia, children will also experience a number of other first while in school - first friends, first enemies, first loves, and first heartbreaks. It is also in school when children first begin to really learn about their strengths and weaknesses.

How to Become a School Psychologist | School Psychology Programs and Carers

What Does It Take to Become a School Psychologist?

Learn how to become a school psychologist, one of many professionals who help students, teachers and administrators overcome academic and emotional challenges.

School psychology as a career

I was certified 4 years ago and am now working full-time in a school district, but I'm really not surprised that so many school psychologists have chimed in with negative feedback. As much as I love those times when a parent sincerely thanks me for helping their child, or a teacher praises the thoroughness of my evaluation, or a student succeeds because of interventions I recommended, I feel like the majority of my time and mental energy is spent dealing with parents who are absolutely furious that I found their child to be normally developing and not disabled, or God forbid, when I tell them their child is merely high achieving and not gifted. Special education law is basically set up as an adversarial system... it's not always about what a child needs, but instead what they qualify for. This is an EXTREMELY litigious field... parents are constantly threatening me with their lawyers or advocates, and even when I know I'm in the right and have done my best, this is really stressful. I've also found that I need to adapt my recommendations depending on where I'm working and what resources are available... it's very difficult serving two masters (the child and the district). To people who are considering a career evaluating children, I would STRONGLY recommend that you don't limit yourself to just school psychology. Find a program that prepares you for both state/national certification as a school psychologist as well as licensure as a clinical psychologist. This will allow you to go into practice for yourself, or work in a number of other hospital or outpatient settings, and you're not locked into a public school setting if you can't find work or just don't like working in a school. Also, and this has been said before, there are only so many school psychologist positions in a district, which means that job openings can be scarce. If you are not in a position to move or commute, you may want to rethink school psychology as a field.

How to Become a School Psychologist | Getting Started

Becoming a School Psychologist

It typically takes several years of graduate coursework and internship to become a school psychologist. There are some steps, though, that can be carried out much earlier. Early preparation can have you poised for success.

If You Do Not Have a College Degree

Step 1: In high school, take a college prep or honors curriculum. There are no specific courses you need to take at this stage. However, you may want to seek out volunteer experiences with special needs students. It’s also a good idea to do some career exploration. You can even become a student affiliate of the American Psychological Association.

How long does it take to become a psychologist?

How long does it take to become a psychologist?

The time it takes to become a psychologist depends largely on your specialty area and career interest. But here is a general timeline.

The Path to Becoming a Psychologist

First, you will need a bachelor's degree (4 to 5 years), which teaches the fundamentals of psychology. After that, you will need a master's degree (2 to 3 years), which can qualify you to practice in the field as a case manager, employment specialist, or social worker. Then, most state licensing boards require a doctorate (4 to 7 years). The type of doctoral degree you choose––either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)––will depend on your career goals. Many states also require post-doctoral training equivalent to about 1 year of work.

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