School psychologist

Last updated December 31, 2014

Fourth-grader Monica rarely seems to listen to her teacher. Instead of doing assignments, she fiddles with her pencil. Yet Monica did great in third grade.

The school psychologist meets with Monica's parents and learns that her older brother has recently developed cancer. The parents, busy with medical appointments, often leave Monica with a babysitter. The psychologist explains the impact of this crisis on Monica. Together, they plan ways for her to get the attention and support she needs. She becomes noticeably more engaged in class.

School psychologists work in elementary, middle, and high schools or school district offices to solve students' learning and behavior problems.

Did You Know?

Training for school psychologists includes courses in both education and psychology.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Counsel students one-on-one and in groups
  • Help set district-wide policies to make schools safer
  • Evaluate academic programs to see if certain teaching methods work
  • Help teachers improve classroom management skills
  • Help parents improve parenting skills
  • Help students with disabilities
  • Work as part of a team

It Helps To Be...

Someone who wants to help kids overcome various challenges, such as depression. You'll want to be able to listen thoughtfully and offer wise advice. You'll need to be ready to help the whole school community -- not just students, but teachers, administrators, and parents, too.

Make High School Count

  • Consider getting a head start by taking a statistics class.
  • Volunteer as a peer counselor at your school.
  • Ask your school counselor to tell you about his or her career.
  • Keep a diary to explore your own thoughts and feelings.
  • Take psychology to learn about human emotions, behavior, and communication.
  • Sign up for health science and family and consumer science to learn about issues facing young people.
  • Make the most of your math classes.

Did You Know?

Almost 30 percent of U.S. teens are either bullies, victims of bullies, or both.