School Psychologist Salary Overview

school psychologistIf you like to help children, school psychology might be a great fit for you. School psychologists work with children and their parents to address unique developmental needs of students. They help set children up for long term success both in a school environment and in every day life.

Starting salary range

Starting school psychologist salaries range from $34,428 (Ohio) to $48,859 (California).

Average salary

A school psychologist average salary is $70,190 and maximum school psychologist salaries top out at over $116,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Larger school districts tend to pay more than smaller ones, according to Payscale's Median Salary by Company Size Charts)

Opportunities for advancement

School psychologists can advance by gaining on the job experience and tenure. School psychologists can earn an additional 10% or more by earning a Ph.D. Some school psychologists may turn their Ph.D. into training for other psychological specialties including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or research included in the choices. School psychologists can typically increase earning potential by moving to a larger school district. In addition, school psychology salaries vary widely by state - The clear leader is California, where school psychologists can earn over 150% of the national average.

Benefits and perks

Paid time off, health care, pension, education reimbursement, sick days, insurance, bonus, and taxes increase the total compensation package by an average 27.9%**, bringing the median total school psychologist compensation to $77,298.

Salary negotiation tips

Negotiating salary can be tricky. School districts typically set up a salary range (or salary band), so the organization will have a little room to move on salaries (about 5-10%). Smaller districts are less likely to have quite as much wiggle room on salary. Either way, don't expect an employer to give you a higher salary just because you ask. Instead, prepare a well documented justification and stay within the organization's salary range for the specific position so you'll have a good chance at getting the salary increase you're targeting.

Your greatest ability to negotiate salary is when you have options. Interview with a number of school districts and government agencies. In addition, do your homework – get salary information get salary information online with AOL Jobs Salary Center or from staffing and recruiting firms in your industry. Sometimes just having research on average salaries for your local market may provide rationale for a higher salary.

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