School Psychology is a specialty of professional psychology that focuses on the science and practice of psychology with children and families, learners of all ages, and the schooling process. School psychologists apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, behaviorally, socially, and emotionally.
The basic education and training of school psychologists prepares them to provide a range of psychological assessment, intervention, prevention, health promotion, and program development and evaluation services with a special focus on the developmental processes of children and youth within the context of schools, families, and other systems.
School psychologists are prepared to intervene at the individual and system level, and develop, implement, and evaluate preventive programs. In these efforts, they conduct ecologically valid assessments and intervene to promote positive learning environments within which children and youth from diverse backgrounds have equal access to effective educational and psychological services to promote healthy development.
The PhD program emphasizes preparation of graduates for academic and scholarly careers, but they may also pursue leadership roles in schools, clinics, and other community settings.
In Texas, EdS- and Masters-level school psychologists are referred to as “Licensed Specialists in School Psychology,” or “LSSPs. This is a term specific to Texas as most school psychologists in the U.S. are referred to as “school psychologists.”
School Psychology Career Highlights:
- High job satisfaction
In 2023 U.S. News & World Report named school psychologist as the #3 ranked social services job and as the #36 ranked job overall in the United States. Read US News: Best Jobs
- Excellent Job Prospects
The national job market for school psychologists is outstanding! There has been a shortage of school psychologists for many years and, combined with the increasing need for mental health support for children and adolescents, this is a wonderful time to become a school psychologist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14.7 percent employment growth for school psychologists between 2018 and 2028. In that period, an estimated 23,800 jobs should open.
Shortage of LSSPs in Texas - Texas is not immune to the shortage of school psychologists and, as a result, the Texas Association of School Psychologists (TASP) created the TASP School Psychologist Shortage Taskforce at their 2018 annual convention to investigate potential strategies to reduce the shortage (TASP Trainer’s Meeting Presentation, 2018).
- Competitive Salaries
According to US News & World Report’s Best Jobs Ranking, School Psychologists made a median salary of $78,780 in 2018. The best-paid 25 percent made $100,760 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $58,220.