I originally planned to become a school psychologist (can't
afford the year off for the internship, and around here all
the schools are full-time so I'd need to take off all three
years) so I've done a fair amount of research on this.
From what I have been able to learn it doesn't seem to have a
lot of burnout. Most school psychologists I know have been
doing it for years. It is less stressful for most people
than classroom work. You don't have classroom management
issues to contend with and your bosses are not based in the
same location with you so you are given a good deal of
independence. They do have a lot of paperwork like the rest
of us though.
What they do day to day depends a lot upon the school
district. Some do almost nothing but testing. Other
districts allow them to do some therapy with the kids. Even
when they do therapy, they have a lot of kids they are
responsible for, and they are responsible for testing and
special ed assessements, so they don't see any one student
very often. They are usually a major part of the special ed
team- they are involved in assessment, special ed placement,
Within the schools, most school psychologists work as school
psychologists. They can move into administration as school
psych supervisors (though with the number of school
psychologists with Psy.D.'s and Ph.D.'s you practically need
a doctorate to have a chance), and I know at least one school
psychologist who became a director of special ed services in
Outside the schools you are pretty limited if you get your
masters. However, with a doctorate you can be a fully
qualified psychologist and with your state license you can
practice psychology independently. Many go into private
practice, college counseling centers or community agencies,
and theoretically you can work in any setting any other
psychologist can work including hosipitals (though I worked
once in a psychiatric hospital that would not consider school
psychologists because "this is not a school, it is a
For a lot more info, check out the following from the "About
School Psychology" section of the National Association of
School Psychologists website:
On 11/10/09, first grade teacher wrote:
> I am a teacher who is interested in becoming a school
> psychologist. Before beginning this program, which requires
> a year long internship, I was hoping to get a bit of advice
> from a few counselors (I cannot find a chat board for
> school psychologists).
> Is this a job where many burn out quickly?
> What are the best aspects of the job?
> What are the least appealing aspects of the job?
> What other opportunities are available for one with a
> school psychology degree?
> Thank you in advance for any advice!
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