Educational Psychology Careers

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in educational psychology. Read on to learn more about career options, along with educational requirements and licensure information. Schools offering Educational Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Educational Psychologist?

Educational psychologists work with students and their families to address behavioral issues or developmental disorders. They meet with students, assess their condition and develop a behavior or educational plan that will help students achieve goals they set. As part of the process, they may meet with students and their families together in order to strengthen the communication and cooperation between the two. Educational psychologists may also assist teachers and administrators with strategies to address specific issues with students.

Social & Human Service AssistantSchool/Career CounselorSchool Psychologist
Degree RequiredHigh school diploma or equivalent; postsecondary education preferred by some employers Master's degree Doctorate
Education Field of StudyPsychology, human services or a related field School counseling or a related fieldSchool psychology
Licensure/CertificationNoneState licensure or certification required State licensure required
Job Growth (2014-2024)11%*8%*20%* (all clinical, counseling and school psychologists)
Average Salary (2015)$33,190*$56,490*$76,040* (all clinical, counseling and school psychologists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Careers Can I Find in Educational Psychology?

You can find a variety of career opportunities in this field, such as a school psychologist, teacher, education administrator or instructional coordinator. Other educational psychology positions can be found in mental health, substance abuse or teen advocacy careers. If you are interested in writing, editing or conducting research, you can also find work with psychology-oriented publications, such as academic journals.

Where Can I Work?

Depending on your degree and experience, there are a variety of places you could work, including group homes, hospice centers, hospitals, prisons and rehabilitation programs. For example, if you choose to become a school psychologist, you might work for a public or private school system, community agency or clinic.

You may also be interested in working for an educational company that develops tests or as a private consultant or practitioner. You may also consider a research or teaching assistant position while you are completing your studies.

What Should I Study?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you will need a doctorate to work as a school psychologist (www.bls.gov). If you are considering becoming a certified psychometrist, you might need a master's or doctoral degree.

If you have a bachelor's degree in psychology, you could work as a caseworker, behavioral technician, program assistant or family program aide. This would also enable you to obtain experience, which may further influence your career path or advanced degree choices.

What Are the License and Certification Requirements?

After you obtain your doctorate, you will need to become licensed in order to work directly with clients as a psychologist. This process generally includes completing an internship, 1-2 years of experience and an exam. The BLS also states proof of continued study may be required, as well as the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential offered by the National Association of School Psychologists.

According to the National Association of Psychometrists (NAP), obtaining certification from the Board of Certified Psychometrists (BCP) could potentially increase your employment opportunities (www.napnet.org). If you are interested in writing about your research and experience, the APA indicates you may want to further specialize in order to find a publishing niche.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Community health workers interact with members of their community to educate them about health issues and to provide information about local resources, including mental health facilities. These workers need a high school diploma or GED and will receive on-the-job training. Mental health counselors and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors meet with individuals to work on their psychological and behavioral issues. In some cases they may work with an individual and then meet with his or her family to address how the family can facilitate the individual's treatment. For example, a substance abuse counselor working with a recovering alcoholic may meet with the family to discuss ways they can eliminate temptations or avoid triggers that may cause the patient to relapse. Some of the issues that these counselors and therapists deal with may be similar to the issues educational psychologists address. Mental health counselors need a master's degree in a relevant field, and substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors need a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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