Indeed.com suggests plenty of jobs for Educational Psychologists in the Texas region, with various requirements for the job seeker’s expertise and education. For instance, the job description for Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in Cameron, Texas, implies that the applicant has a Specialist or Master’s degree, a valid Texas teaching certificate, and a valid Texas License for School Psychology. There are also similar jobs in Amarillo, Dallas, Sugar Land, Rosenberg, Huntsville, and Southlake. This paper aims to discuss the career paths in the psychology field and explain the related benefits and challenges.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) informs that the median salary for the Educational Psychologist in the US is $ 78,200 as of May 2019. According to the presented data, the professionals working in schools earn a bit more than those working in educational support services. However, the salary on the Texas market for this job is considerably lower than the mentioned median level. Only $ 53,000- $ 73,000 is proposed for the job seekers in the positions presented above. The BLS also says that educational psychologists who work in the research capacity field can earn up to $ 103,690- $ 106,860 when applying their expertise in primary and secondary schools.
The mandatory training and education include a four-year Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. The courses that students can take as part of such education may include developmental psychology, early childhood education, and educational psychology. Typically, students continue their studies to obtain a Master’s or Doctorate, because to pursue a career in the educational psychology sphere, the professional will have to participate in the research field. Schools throughout the US offer courses in Educational Psychology, so the choice is reasonably wide.
Educational Psychologists usually work in primary or secondary schools or private research centers. They improve and develop new learning systems, focusing on particular areas, like learning disabilities in children, or adults (Douglas-Osborn, 2017). Educational Psychologists may also work in learning centers and community organizations, and government research centers. The Educational Psychologist career can offer future stability since there is a wide range of opportunities for professional growth. Educational Psychologists spend a lot of time on research and improving the learning systems. There is a demand for this activity in various spheres, which may go beyond the mere schooling field of expertise. For example, the Educational Psychologist can work with adults in community organizations, or write books presenting the unique learning systems developed for particular categories of learners.
Working at school usually involves being at the workplace in the morning and working from home in the afternoon. Educational psychologists can have an unstable workload and must plan their work. For example, at the beginning of the school year, an Educational Psychologist can observe students and take notes to improve curricula or develop new teaching systems and tools. Once the tools have been developed, the Educational Psychologist will work on implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the plan, which can be time-consuming.
Working in school or with adults who have learning difficulties has several benefits. First, the Educational Psychologist can feel emotionally fulfilled by realizing what is changing people’s lives. Many people experience educational problems and may perceive them as an insurmountable barrier that separates them from a fuller and happier life. Second, the Educational Psychologist can also derive intellectual satisfaction from work that requires creativity and leaves room for unique learning systems.
The Educational Psychologist career can be exciting, but also challenging and overwhelming. When a specialist is working on a project to create a system, he can set himself a deadline for completing tasks, which will be very limited in time due to the fast turnover of the school year and the need for students to intensively learn and follow the curriculum (Charlton, 2020). Therefore, the professional will not depend on a schedule, but on the project work usually associated with burnout.
Opportunities for advancement may include work in the research field, writing books, and creating unique learning tools and systems. The professional can get a Ph.D. and work in organizations that develop learning systems or consult less experienced colleagues. Currently, I am getting a college degree, so I will have to gain a bachelor’s certificate to start my career. This career matches my skill level, since I have some knowledge of diagnostic procedures, learning theories, and human development (Pearce, 2021). I will also have to acquire some skills in the education of special education students since this will be one of the main goals of my job. The career path of the Educational Psychologist aligns with my personality and my value system, because I like helping people, and it is important for me that I can change their lives for the better. At the same time, I believe that getting an education is one of the opportunities that should be available to all members of society.
I think that I would like to work in school as an Educational Psychologist, since I enjoy working with children, especially the younger ones. I will help teachers with the reading classes and consult them regarding the existing learning tools and systems. Surprisingly, the career paths in the Psychology field can be distinct from just working with patients in the counseling practice. Working as an Educational Psychologist is a challenging choice that goes beyond my previous expectations of working as a Psychologist.
Charlton, L. (2020). School staffs’ views regarding transgender pupils and the role of the Educational Psychologist (Doctoral dissertation, Cardiff University).
Douglas-Osborn, E. (2017). Early investment: The use of action research in developing the role of an educational psychologist in early years setting. Educational Psychology in Practice, 33(4), 406-417.
Pearce, R. (2021). Supporting children and young people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in schools: the role of the Educational Psychologist (Doctoral dissertation, Cardiff University).