How to Become a School Psychologist

Are you looking for a role in which you get to support the mental health of students, enabling them to thrive in their academic careers? If so, you very well could be looking for a position as a school psychologist.

In this guide, we’ll look at what a school psychologist is, the duties of a school psychologist, and how to become a school psychologist.

What is a School Psychologist?

A school psychologist is a medical professional who works with students to support their mental health, learning, and behavior. School psychologists assist students in reaching their full potential, academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.

School psychologists work alongside students’ families, teachers, administrators, and other health professionals to ensure all students’ needs are being met, both at home and in the school setting.

What Does a School Psychologist Do?

The primary responsibility of school psychologists is to support the emotional, behavioral, social, and academic development of students. This support can be provided by:

  • Supporting students in their mental health, academic advancement, and behavior
  • Facilitating open communication among parents, guardians, and school staff
  • Offering anger management support to students
  • Enhancing students’ communication skills
  • Supporting a harmonious classroom environment

School Psychologist Requirements

In order to become a school psychologist, you must first obtain a master’s degree. Many school psychologists go on to obtain additional degrees, including a Doctorate of Education or Philosophy; however, neither of these are required to become a school psychologist.

Some cities and states require additional certification requirements. However, these vary by location and state. Be sure to research what certifications are required in the area in which you intend to work.

How Long Does It Take to Become a School Psychologist?

The duration it takes to become a school psychologist varies depending on the state, as certain states require additional certifications. In general, it takes at least seven years to become a school psychologist, including four years to obtain a bachelor’s degree and another three years to earn a master’s degree.

Many states also require internship hours, hours spent practicing in the field in a support role and gaining additional certifications, which can add time to the process. Look up the requirements for becoming a school psychologist where you live to gain a better understanding of the time it takes to become a psychologist in schools.

If a career as a school psychologist sounds like a path you’re interested in exploring, check out our school psychology job listings today!

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