It does not seem so long since I graduated from my school psychology course but it has actually gone 16 years now. Time flies and much has changed in the field of school psychology. However, it seems like my reasons for becoming a psychologist at school have been reliable. Here they are:
1) The salary is not that bad. Although we need to complete a 3-year high school that includes one year of vocational education, which is generally unpaid, school psychologists are very successful. The average level seems to be in the $ 60-80K range after about 5 to 10 years of experience.
2) The holiday is not bad either. School psychologists are generally on a 210 day contract or around and do not work through the summer unless they want to pick up extra. This makes time to spend a family or go for a long vacation this summer.
3) Psychologists at school are relatively well accustomed to schooling. Despite the fact that most individuals think we are advisory and very few principals even know exactly what we do, school psychologists seem to be highly respected and often try to find solutions to many issues.
4) Psychologists at school have great independence in the workplace. You may need to be assigned more than one school. This can be stressful in terms of workload, but it can also be a bliss in disguise as it is possible to move from school to school as required by each school. You are usually not stuck in an office that looks at your boss. If you are, you probably need to reconsider where you are working.
5) Number 4 is another good team. Job prospects for school psychologists are pretty good. I do not have statistics but it seems that there are plenty of jobs available for those who are willing to move around the country. When the economy has gone worse, I've definitely seen a decline, but even in difficult economic times there seems to be opportunities for school psychologists. I have found Schoolspring.com a great place to go to find out exactly how many schools are looking for new school psychologists.
6) You are like helping those who need help. Yes, weeks and months pass as you click through the paperwork and finish the assessment. However, everybody is so often dealing with situations where you are able to provide real help to those in need. It always works well. I really recommend finding a position in those areas that are most economically depressed and full of problems. After all, this is where we need the most and is also where our efforts are well appreciated by most parents, children and administrators. I work on the Mexican border and would not change it for anything. Since the news, the people and society here are very grateful and appreciate their children very much. I rarely get over an aggressive football mom yell at me because her child is not a talented program.
7) Opportunity to branch out in other areas. A master's degree in psychology can be taught at the university level, working hours for the advisory office, conducting external assessment of other educational institutions and / or branches in study counseling. Not too many areas where you are qualified to do so many different things.
8) If you do not want to add your income to the various methods in # 7, the range of school psychology offers a wide range of areas that you can choose to be an expert in and in your daily life be a school psychologist. There are a syllabus in surgery and behavioral specialist and / or life-training, all of which can be applied to students at school.
9) We are called "psychologists" but do not have permission. This was actually under review at APA, but thankfully we can call us "Psychologists." Funny how many clinical "psychologists" tried to become "psychologists" at school because of poor job prospects for clinical psychology, but that's another story and case.
10) Helping is something you're driven to do. If you want to help the children who are basically just need some support to get through to them, then the area of school psychology might be for you. I wish I could read up and down to be a psychologist at school again in the early 90's before I raised this profession. However, this article is for those who want to consider this profession. No profession is perfect and jobs vary greatly depending on location, bosses, school boards and so on. In my opinion, it seems that school psychology positions are similar to those that are different and the job is what you do. You have the freedom to start an application or specialize in your choice. Not too many jobs out there where you can do it.