Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all psychologists in 2019 was $80,370. The lowest 10% earned less than $45,380 and the highest 10% earned more than $132,070 per year. Specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that school psychologists have a median annual salary of $78,200.
The highest paying industry was the government, which had a median annual salary of $96,870. Hospitals were the second highest paying industry, with a median annual salary of $88,480. This was followed by ambulatory healthcare services ($82,250) and elementary and secondary schools ($76,960).
Autonomy and flexibility
Like many careers, autonomy and flexibility increases with the more experience and knowledge you have. Due to the specialist and challenging nature of a lot of the work, most school psychologist will be supervised by someone else in the early phases of their career and will therefore have less flexibility and autonomy. However, with experience and further education (Ed.D or Psy.D), school psychologists quickly become well educated and well respected and will be in control of their decisions and working schedule.
Locations and commute
Job opportunities may vary by state because the employment of school psychologists in public schools and universities is contingent on state and local budgets. According to Zippia, the best states to be a school psychologist, based on average annual salary and number of job available, are:
- Nevada, where the average annual salary is $85,603
- California, where the average annual salary is $88,802
- Montana, where the average annual salary is $74,334
- Alaska where the average annual salary is $79,205
- Delaware, where the average annual salary is $71,862
The worst states, according to Zippia, are Indiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Tennessee and Maine.
School psychology is the largest psychology sector (along with clinical and counseling) with 171,500 jobs in 2019 . School psychologists may work alone doing independent research or counselling school children. They may also work as part of a team with other healthcare professionals (e.g., physicians or social workers) to promote overall wellness. Typically speaking, school psychologists will always work in a school. They may or may not have an office in that school.