How Much Do School Psychologists Earn?

How much do school psychologists earn
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School psychologists work in educational settings to help young people with academic, social, and emotional problems. Being a psychologist is often identified as a hot career due to expected growth in job demand in the coming years, thanks to an increased need within the educational system, as well as an expected increase in the number of psychologists retiring. In 2018, 24% of psychologists worked in schools.

School Psychologist Ranks as a Top Career

In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked school psychology as one of their 50 best careers of the year. School psychologists made their list thanks to good salaries for professionals in the field and a strong projected job outlook.

Of course, salary should never be your only consideration when selecting a career. Other factors such as quality of life, type of work, and job demand should also factor into your decision. That said, school psychology is expected to continue to grow in the coming years as the demand for psychological services in educational settings rises. According to projections by the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists is expected to grow by an estimated 15% from 2018 to 2028, which is considered much faster than the average for all other occupations.

So just how much might you expect to earn each year as a school psychologist?


The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports that in May 2018, psychologists employed in both private and public elementary and secondary schools earned a mean annual salary of $75,890. Specific salaries vary depending on a number of factors, including geographic location and years of experience.

Annual salaries tend to be higher in major metropolitan areas, although it's important to note that these areas also generally have a higher cost of living.

How to Become a School Psychologist

You'll need a doctorate or a specialist-level degree to become a school psychologist. After you've completed your graduate degree, you'll need to become certified or licensed by the state in which you are working.

Salaries Versus Other Education-Related Fields

How do earnings for school psychologists compare to others employed in the field of education? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school psychologists earn higher average pay per year than school counselors ($56,310 average per year), elementary school teachers ($57,980 average per year), high school teachers ($60,320 average per year), and special education teachers ($59,780 average per year).

Miscellaneous Statistics

Other statistics regarding clinical, counseling, and school psychologists from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report of May 2019:

  • The best salaries for school psychologists were in Oregon, California, District of Columbia, New York, and Louisiana.
  • The states with the highest number of jobs for school psychologists were California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.
5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Psychologists. Occupational Outlook Handbook.

  2. U.S. News and World Report. School Psychologist: Salary.

  3. National Association of School Psychologists. School psychology: A career that makes a difference.

  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Occupational Outlook Handbook.

  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational employment and wages, May 2019: 19-3031 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists.

By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.