How to Become a School Psychologist

As a school psychologist you will use your knowledge of psychology and education to treat the emotional, learning and behavior problems of children of all ages. You will collaborate with teachers and parents to create a supportive learning environment, and suggest improvements in classroom management strategies. You will have to evaluate students with disabilities as well as gifted and talented students, to determine the best way to educate them. You will also have to counsel students and parents to help solve critical emotional issues associated with the child [source: BLS]. Continue reading to find out how to become a school psychologist.

  1. Go to college and earn a bachelor's degree in psychology.
  2. Earn a master's degree in school psychology. Although it's not always necessary, earning a doctorate in school psychology will enable you to have more employment opportunities.
  3. Enroll in a training program that includes fieldwork and an internship. This will give you practical experience in the area of school psychology, and will help you fulfill your National Association of School Psychologists certification requirements.
  4. Get certified or licensed by the state you want to work in. If you work in the public school system, you will have to be certified by the State Department of Education.
  5. Get certified by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The certification requirements include a minimum of three years of graduate study beyond a bachelor's degree, one academic year of internship consisting of 1,200 hours of supervised practice. Half of these hours must be done in a school setting. Your internship can be part of the post-graduate study [source: NASP].