The way in which people learn has been the focus of educational psychology for hundreds of years. Educational psychologists will often discuss in great detail the best way for children and adults to learn. While some believe that children could learn on their own through play, others believe that children have to be in a classroom setting with directed learning.
What is an Educational Psychologist?
This type of psychologist works in an educational setting to help children deal with the issues related to school, and how they learn. While some students might do better with directed learning, some children need extra help or moments to play on their own. An educational psychologist can evaluate the child to diagnose how they learn based on their social and emotional issues. This kind of assessment requires the professional to have years of training and education.
The educational psychologist earns a master’s degree or a Ph.D in psychology or counselor education and supervision. The degree track will depend on the ultimate career goal of the student. After obtaining a degree, the graduating student will still have to be certified to practice in the field. It can take many years and extensive coursework to earn a degree, but that doesn’t include license certifications required after graduation or internships the student will have to complete.
The job duties in this position will vary based on where the psychologist is working. The person might analyze and assess a school child or the entire school district. The psychologist might work only with adults as part of their job duties. Since they can work in a range of environments like elementary, middle schools, family services and outpatient centers, the type of child or adult will vary too.
When the psychologist evaluates the school district, he or she will evaluate the teachers and provide education on the best ways to bring the students towards the test scores required by the district.
Outlook and Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that the job outlook from 2014 to 2024 will increase by 19 percent, which is faster than average for other jobs in the next 10 years. The median pay in 2016 was $75,230. They predict there will be an increase of over 32,000 jobs.
What Kind of License is Needed?
The student who finally graduates with a degree in educational psychology will have to be licensed to practice in the state they plan on working. To become licensed, the educational psychologist will have to spend at least 1 year interning in the area they wish to pursue. In some states, the psychologist will have to spend 1 to 2 years practicing. Along with board certifications, the psychologist has to pass an Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
Students who wish to become an educational psychologist can expect to spend years in school earning their degree before being able to sit for their licensing test. While attending school, they can work in a limited capacity in the field to gain experience they’ll need for their career.