School psychologists work together with teachers, students and patents to help enhance the overall learning experience. These professionals use their understanding of the human brain and behaviors to improve the learning environment and the emotional health of students at various stages of their academic life.

If you want to find out how to become a school psychologist, the following guide would be of great use to you.

Should I Become a School Psychologist?

If you are looking for a career that is challenging, yet highly rewarding, working in the school psychology field might be for you. Becoming a school psychologist requires several years of schooling, in addition to licensing and training. The following table provides a quick look into this career.

The data used below is for Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists.

Education Required Professional or Doctoral Degree
Training Required
Licenses/Certifications Required
Key Skills/Qualities Organizational Skills, Problem Solving Skills, Leadership Skills, Patience, Attention to Detail, Observation Skills, Communication Skills, Leadership Skills, Empathy
Annual Mean Salary (2019) $87,450 (Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists)
Job Outlook (2018-28) 14%

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for a School Psychologist

The job field for psychologists is expected to experience a high growth rate of 14%, in the years from 2018 to 2028, as per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. School psychologists will continue to be in demand as the student population deals with various pressures, exam stress, social anxiety and different developmental disorders.

Steps to Become a School Psychologist

  1. Complete an Undergraduate Program
  2. In order to go for advanced studies in psychology, students will need to complete an undergraduate degree. No specific major is required at this stage.
  1. Complete a Master’s Program in School Psychology
  2. Graduate programs in school psychology could include a Master of Arts (MA), Education Specialist (Ed.S.) or a Master of Education (M.Ed.). A lot of the times, these programs would combine a master’s degree with an Ed.S. certificate. Students are required to get into a program approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
  1. Get the NASP Certification
  2. To get this certification, students have to complete a school psychology program, an internship and should have passed the Praxis II school psychology exam. This is a voluntary certification.
  1. Get a License
  2. School psychologists are required to be licensed in every state, though the exact requirements may vary.
  1. Consider a Doctoral Degree
  2. Even though it is not required for most positions of school psychologists, more and more professionals in this field have started opting for a doctoral program.

How Long Does It Take to Become a School Psychologist?

The education for a school psychologist can take around five to eight years, after a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree in school psychology would typically take two to three years to complete, followed by an additional four to six years for a doctoral degree.

What Are the Requirements to Become a School Psychologist?

In order to become a school psychologist, students will have to meet the following requirements.

  • Get a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Get a Master’s Degree in School Psychology
  • Complete experience requirements
  • Get a license


How Much Can I Earn as a School Psychologist?

After becoming a Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologist, students can expect to earn $87,450 as annual mean income. This salary figure has been extracted from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the occupational category of Clinical, Counseling and School Psychologists for the year 2019. The salary potential varies from state to state and industry to industry. For instance, the top paying state for this occupation was Oregon, paying an annual mean income of $112,010 in 2019.