The School Psychologist Salary in 2017

The salary of a school psychologist is set at $58,137 per year in the US and AU$79,979 (or US$60,328) in Canada – the highest salaries for this profession worldwide. A school psychologist working in the UK will earn about £47,261 (US$57,472) per year on average, while one working in New Zealand will take home about NZ$62,000 (US$42,947). The lowest salaries worldwide for school psychologists are registered in South Africa with R237,765 or US$18,142, and in India with R237,765 (US$18,142) per year.

How Much Does a School Psychologist Make per Year?

School Psychologist Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Wage $27.95 C$29.35 (US$21.80) £15.14 (US$18.41) AU$38.45 (US$29) NZ$29.81 (US$20.66) Rs144.23 (US$2.16) R114.31 (US$8.73)
Annual Wage $58,137 C$61,042 (US$45,372) £47,261 (US$57,472) AU$79,979 (US$60,328) NZ$62,000 (US$42,947) Rs300,000 (US$4,493) R237,765 (US$18,142)

Factors that influence the School Psychologist Salary

The average school psychologist salary varies according to multiple factors like the rate of employment, state, local policies, and experience.

1. Geographic area

School Psychologist Salary in the US

The average salary of a school psychologist in the US is $58,137, less than the average psychologist salary for this country ($72,889). A beginner in this field will earn at least $41,956 per year and will reach the national average for this profession in about 5 years. Skills like case management, childhood education, or data analysis can increase the yearly pay for school psychologists. Therefore, experienced professionals can expect wages of up to $90,859 if they stay in this field for more than 15 years.

Nevertheless, few tend to do so as the school psychologist salary is one of the lowest in psychology. Most tend to move on towards a career in clinical or counseling psychology, after which some go towards forensic psychology, neuropsychology, or management positions within medical institutions.

According to recruiter.com, the highest paying state in the United States is New Jersey, where a school psychologist can earn $92,380 per year or $44.41 per hour. The second highest paying state is Colorado, where you can earn up to $90,130 or $43.33 per hour. Situated on the third place of the high-paying states is California, where you can earn up to $84,600 per year or $40.67 per hour.

Highest Employment Rates for Educational Psychologists in the US

Below you will find the states which have the highest level of employment:

State Employment Employment (per thousand jobs) Local quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Massachusetts 4,890 1.44 1.88 $37.30 $77,580
Pennsylvania 5,250 0.92 1.20 $37.30 $77,580
Texas 5,550 0.48 0.63 $30.83 $64,130
New York 10,540 1.17 1.53 $41.74 $86,820
California 18,720 1.1 1.58 $41.50 $86,310

Meanwhile, the metropolitan areas which have the highest level of employment are the following:

Metropolitan Area Employment Employment per thousand jobs Location Quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 1,510 1.12 1.46 $41.51 $86,350
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 1,520 1.16 1.51 $52.50 $88,410
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 1,530 0.63 2.83 $42,66 $88,730
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Division 1,690 1.60 2.09 $44.04 $91,600
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 1,720 0.91 1.19 $29.67 $61,720
Minneapolis-St. Paul- Bloomington, MN-WI 2,100 1.12 1.46 $36.43 $75,770
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division 2,160 1.12 1.60 $38.02 $79,080
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 2,470 0.69 0.90 $32.86 $68,340
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 5,310 1.29 1.69 $38.60 $80,300
New York-New Jersey City- White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 6,850 1.03 1.38 $43.96 $91,440

Here are the nonmetropolitan areas which have the highest level of employment for this job:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment Employment per thousand jobs Local quotient Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Southern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area 200 1.07 1.39 $32.80 $68,220
Northwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area 220 1.18 1.54 $29.28 $60,900
Southern Vermont nonmetropolitan area 220 2.08 2.72 $26.93 $56,080
Southern Minnesota nonmetropolitan area 230 1.14 1.19 $36.18 $72,250
Balance of Lower Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area 240 0.86 1.13 $36.69 $76,320
Highest Educational Psychologist Salaries in the US

Here are some other high paying states in the US:

  • Ohio: $80,470;
  • Rhode Island: $79,630;
  • New York: $79,480;
  • Delaware: $77,230.

If you are currently seeking employment as a school psychologist, then you should avoid these states because they have the lowest paying rates in the US:

  • Kentucky: $54,970;
  • North Dakota: $54,420;
  • Oklahoma: $54,250;
  • West Virginia: $47,820;
  • Montana: $47,500;
  • Mississippi: $45,000.

School Psychologist Salary in Canada

The average school psychologist salary in Canada is set at C$61,042 (US$45,372) with the starting school psychologist salary at C$40,638, or US$30,039. An experienced professional working in this field in the UK will earn up to C$88,411, or US$65,344, per year. Bonuses can account for up to C$4,750 (US$4,498).

According to PayScale, most of the professionals working in this field in Canada have between 1 and 10 years of experience and only 11% stayed in this line for more than 20 years. A third of the professionals working as school psychologists in this country don’t have any type of health benefits.

School Psychologist Salary in the UK

The starting salary for a school psychologist – called an educational psychologist in the UK – is £22,503, or the equivalent of US$27,356 per year for those who are still in training. However, the salary increases to about £30,737 or US$37,370 after just a few years of practice.

Fully-qualified educational psychologists in the UK that are registered with the Health & Care Professions Council will earn about £35,027 in their first years. Mid-career professionals in the UK take home between £47,261 and £51,861 (US$57,472 – US$63,067) per year.

Experienced educational psychologists have wages measured on a different scale, between £43,914 and £58,068 (US$53,386 – US$70,617), but can take up to £64,970 (US$79,011) home if they are fit for the extension of this scale.

School Psychologist Salary in Australia

A school psychologist in Australia earns AU$79,979 (US$60,328) on average, but beginners will receive an annual salary of around AU$41,217 or US$30,936. An experienced professional will bring home AU$126,045 (US$94,622).

Most of the professionals in this field in Australia have 10 years of experience or less and only 7% have worked as a school psychologist for more than 20 years. In addition, a staggering 86% of the employees in Australia reported they have no health benefits whatsoever with their job.

School Psychologist Salary in New Zealand

Although the school psychologist job exists in New Zealand, no info on the starting, average, or late-career salary is available for this profession in this country. Therefore, we can take the salaries of all psychologists as a reference; keep in mind, however, that the average psychologist salary in the US ($75,000) is higher than the school psychologist average salary (US$59,000).

The average salary of a psychologist in New Zealand revolves around NZ$70,000, or US$48,307. The starting psychologist salary in this country is set at NZ$50,335 (US$34,751), but only entry-level employees seem to receive less than the national average. Experienced and mid-career professionals can earn up to NZ$86,494, or US$59,722.

School Psychologist Salary in India

A school psychologist working in India earns about Rs300,000, or US$4,493 per year on average. A beginner in this field will receive Rs154,418 or the equivalent of US$2,314. An experienced school psychologist, however, will earn up to Rs473,436, or US$7,095 per year. Bonuses can account for another Rs5,000 per year, or just under US$75.

Almost two-thirds of the school psychologists in India have less than 5 years of experience, while the remaining 36% have between 5 and 9 years of practice behind.

School Psychologist Salary in South Africa

South Africa offers an average salary of ZAR237,765 for its school psychologists or just a little over US$17,927. A beginner in this field will earn about ZAR102,684, or about US$7,743 per year, but will reach the national average in about 5 years. Experienced and mid-career school psychologists in South Africa will earn about R536,378 or US$40,464, and bonuses can add another R12,000, or US$905, to their yearly income.

2. Experience

Experience is one of them most crucial factor that influences the salary of a school psychologist. By default, depending on the state, employer, local policies, an entry-level school psychologist (0-5 years) can earn $52,000 per year or $25.00 per hour in the US.

As you earn more experience in the field, your salary will grow accordingly. Compared to an entry-level candidate, a mid-career school psychologist can earn $60,000 per year or $28.85 per hour. An experienced psychologist, with 10 to 20 years of practice can earn $69,000 per year or $33.17 per hour. If you’ve amassed more than 20 years on the job, then your salary can go up as far as $76,000 per year or $36.54 per hour.

To earn a school psychologist salary, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field of studies such as statistics, educational psychology, abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, or social psychology.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you can either take up and Education Specialist (Ed.S.) training, or a master’s degree in school psychology. Regardless of which form of education, you’ll take up; you must ensure that the programs are complying with NASP’s requirements.

All the programs approved by NASP last for three years, the last year being dedicated solely to internships. Furthermore, at the end of the third year, the student must have completed at least 1200 hours on internships and 600 hours or working in a school environment.

Upon completing a master’s degree or the Ed.S, you will be required to obtain NASP certification. To obtain the required certification from NASP and become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, you will need to obtain a passing grade on the Praxis II test.

3. Industry

The industry is another factor that can influence the average school psychologist salary. According to BLS, school psychologists tend to earn the most in the Child Day Care Services industry, where a candidate can earn $106,510 per year or $51.21 per hour.

The second highest paying industry is the Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals industry, where a psychologist can earn $90,980 per year or $43.74 per hour. Ranking third in top paying industries is the General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Branch, where a school psychologist can earn.

Here are some $84,020 per year or $40.39 per month more industries, in no particular order:

  • Elementary and Secondary Schools: $74,130/year;
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners: $84.230/year;
  • Individual and Family Services: $68,440/year;
  • Outpatient Care Centers: $84,020/year;
  • Educational Support Services: $75,480/year;
  • Other Residential Care Facilities: $63,430/year;
  • Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals: $79,100;
  • Offices of Physicians: $83,310.

Working Hours

School psychologist usually works in schoolshigh-schools or Universities. They can also work in or around hospitals. As far as working hours go, candidates working for hospitals or other treatment facilities, usually work 40 hours of the week.

However, at times, they may be assigned to work weekend shifts to accommodate all the patients. Another report posted on BLS states that one in three psychologists are self-employed, meaning that they have a private practice.

School psychologists working in private practice have the advantage of setting their own schedule, and may work over the weekend or legal holidays to accommodate their patients.

Bonuses and Benefit Packages

Apart from the school psychologist salary, candidates seeking employment in this position are also entitled to any number or bonuses and benefits. According to the same report posted by payscale.com, a school psychologist can earn up to $4,092 per year in bonuses.

Some employers often reward working overtime, with wages varying from $0.00 to $80.00 per hour. School psychologists are also entitled to other benefit packages like health insurancemalpractice policydental insurancedisability insurance, and a retirement account.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 19 percent growth for this occupation in the 2014-2024 timeframe.  This means that the market for this occupation is still growing, many psychologists being needed to fulfill similar positions over the following decade. Furthermore, the employment change predicted for the same interval is +30,500, while the occupation rate for the 2014-2024 timeframe will reach a maximum threshold of 185,900.

Conclusion

The average school psychologist study may vary according to multiple factors including the degree of occupation, local policies, experience, and industry. As a school psychologist, you will be able to shape up the mental development of your patients. If you’re currently seeking employment in this profession, then you should take your time to complete basic training, as the market for school psychologists is still expected to grow over the following decade.

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