Top Careers In School Psychology (With Salary Information)

Updated 29 December 2022

School psychology professionals provide mental healthcare and support for students and their parents. These psychologists help students who require guidance, academic support and emotional intervention. Knowing about the different job options in schools you can explore after completing a degree in psychology can help you make an informed career decision. In this article, we list a few careers in school psychology along with their salary information and primary duties, discuss the work environment for school psychologists and explain how to become one.

Related: 8 Psychology Degree Skills (With Steps To Improve Them)

Top Careers In School Psychology

Here are some prominent careers in school psychology that you pursue:

1. Social Worker

National average salary: ₹2,58,859 per year

Primary duties: Social workers provide mental health counselling for vulnerable individuals and members of marginalised communities. Social workers who work on children's cases help individuals and families access essential educational and health-related resources. They typically work with children from specific communities or areas and provide them with the necessary support to improve their living conditions. In some cases, social workers working with children might also be responsible for their well-being in children's centres and shelter homes. Most social workers work with non-governmental organisations and government bodies responsible for children's well-being.

2. Psychology Teacher

National average salary: ₹2,73,140 per year

Primary duties: Psychology teachers teach school students about introductory psychological concepts and subjects. Besides following the course curriculum, psychology teachers are usually responsible for assigning projects, evaluating student performance, assessing tests and giving feedback to parents. They may help students and parents make informed career decisions and help other educators in the school change their teaching approach to suit students with different learning abilities. They typically teach senior secondary students and may also perform the role of the student counsellor in some institutions.

Related: How To Become Psychology Teacher (With Steps And Tips)

3. School Counsellor

National average salary: ₹3,24,733 per year

Primary duties: School counsellors provide guidance and mental health resources to students and their parents. They usually help students by discussing admissions-related issues, academic performance, well-being, bullying or peer pressure. A typical workday for a school counsellor usually includes meeting with students in a group or individual setting. These meetings include discussions about their educational path, career choices, emotional issues or concerns about the future or their current experiences in school. School counsellors usually work with students in primary or secondary classes. Some counsellors may also work with students studying in higher education institutes.

4. Education Specialist

National average salary: ₹3,32,263 per year

Primary duties: Education specialists are professionals who work alongside teachers in an academic setting to enhance the learning experience for all students. They usually work with educators and teachers to create interactive lesson plans, improve classroom teaching methods and develop creative testing processes. Education specialists generally have extensive knowledge of children's development, psychology and learning behaviours.

Having deep expertise in educational development and learning acquisition, the responsibilities of education specialists usually include training teachers to ensure they use different learning tools and approaches effectively in their classrooms. Such professionals typically work with public and private educational institutes or may find a suitable role in governmental bodies and agencies working in education.

5. School Psychologist

National average salary: ₹3,43,808 per year

Primary duties: School psychologists usually guide students in navigating career choices, building interpersonal relationships and coping with academic pressures. They may conduct regular sessions with students to provide them with necessary information and resources about mental wellness. In some cases, they may also assist teachers in developing special learning programmes for students with different learning needs. While most school psychologists work at private and public institutions, they can also offer their services independently. They can also work at vocational training centres, colleges and community education programmes.

6. Psychologist

National average salary: ₹2,69,014 per year

Primary duties: Psychologists help individuals manage mental health challenges through counselling and behavioural therapy. Psychologists working with children are experts in the behaviour and cognitive abilities of children and adolescents. These psychologists provide emotional and psychological support to children by identifying sources of stress and healing them to overcome challenges. Child psychologists might work at a school, children's hospital or governmental and non-governmental agencies.

Related: How To Become A Psychologist: A Complete Guide (With Steps)

7. Family Therapist

National average salary: ₹4,78,521 per year

Primary duties: Family therapists are mental health professionals who help individuals, families and couples improve their interpersonal relationships. These professionals can choose a specialisation like a couple's or children's therapy. Family therapists working with children help them strengthen their relationships with parents, siblings and other people in their life by understanding their emotional needs. They may also help children and parents communicate with each other effectively about career choices. They can work at hospitals and mental healthcare facilities or offer their services as independent therapists.

8. Psychology Professor

National average salary: ₹7,43,020 per year

Primary duties: College professors are academic professionals who instruct students at post-secondary levels. Psychology professors help students develop crucial counselling skills and educate them about the theoretical aspects of the subject. Their responsibilities include preparing the course syllabus, giving lectures, evaluating assignments and mentoring students. They might work in a classroom setting and also conduct classes online. A master's degree can be necessary to become a college professor, alongside clearing the required additional qualifying examinations.

Related: How To Become A Professor: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide

FAQs About Careers In School Psychology

Here are the answers to some common questions about jobs in school psychology:

What is a school psychology degree?

A school psychology degree helps students understand and observe children and young adults in a school environment. This degree can be suitable for individuals interested in working with children in non-teaching roles. These programmes usually instruct students on how to provide mental health support and offer educational resources to students. People interested in school psychology and its related positions usually complete a bachelor's programme and then obtain a specialised post-graduate degree before starting working as a professional. Some common undergraduate courses in school psychology include:

  • Social and emotional assessment

  • Adolescent development

  • Legal systems

  • Cognitive psychology

  • Clinical psychology

  • Educational psychology

  • Developmental psychology

  • Research in school psychology

  • Child behavioural disorders

Related: What Does A Psychologist Do? A Comprehensive Guide

What is the work environment for professionals working in school psychology?

School psychologists and counsellors usually work in schools and other educational institutes. Some may work in clinical or hospital settings if they have the required specialisation. They typically work with children of different age groups and help with school-related problems. If they work at educational institutes, school psychologists would generally work as per the school timing, like other teachers and school staff. At hospitals and non-governmental organisations, the schedule and shift can be more physically and mentally challenging.

It can also be challenging for such professionals to maintain healthy boundaries while working with vulnerable children and not get impacted by their work. Working with children can also require high creativity, determination and positivity.

What are some essential skills of a school psychologist?

Here are some essential skills that professionals in school psychology can use to fulfil their roles effectively:

  • Communication: School psychologists regularly talk to students, teachers, administrators and families. Strong communication skills can help them discuss the results of evaluations, help students manage their stress, build trust and intervene in specific classroom situations.

  • Empathy: Psychologists within school systems often work with adolescents experiencing emotional and developmental challenges. Empathy while evaluating and treating students is important to help address the student's needs and give them a strong support system.

  • Patience: Many professionals who work in schools and educational institutes can benefit from patience, especially school psychologists. Listening to the concerns of students, following up with them for sessions, conducting evaluations and supporting them through challenging situations can require patience.

  • Attention to detail: School psychologists usually make inferences based on what they hear and observe when meeting students. This skill becomes especially important when addressing cases related to neglect or misdiagnosis.

Related: Counselling Skills: Definition and Examples

What are the steps to start a career in school psychology?

If you want to pursue a career in school psychology, knowing your degree options can be helpful. You can choose a different type of degree depending on what specialisation you wish to achieve. Here is how to start your career in school psychology:

  1. Complete your bachelor's degree. Students interested in this profession often earn a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree during their undergraduate years at college. This can be in the subject of family and child sciences, psychology and sociology.

  2. Finish your master's degree. Most psychologists complete their master's degrees to gain specialisation and enhance their skills. You can also pursue relevant internships during your bachelor's and master's degree programmes to develop professional skills.

  3. Pursue a PhD degree: If you wish to develop your expertise further, you can pursue a doctorate. This can also increase the scope of salary and career development.

  4. Look for suitable opportunities. You can start looking for relevant work opportunities after completing your bachelor's or master's degree, but completing more qualifications can increase the number of jobs available.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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