School Psychologist Salary Guide

If you are interested in pursuing a career in psychology, finding your area of specialty will help you decide where you want to work. Individuals who enjoy working with kids may want to check out their region’s school psychologist salary range before deciding to join a career field. 

What Salary Can I Expect to Earn as a School Psychologist? 

If you are considering following a career path as a school psychologist, your salary range can vary, depending on several factors, including: 

  • Education and training
  • Certifications
  • Experience 
  • The school setting, such as primary, college, or private educational institutions

The average salary for a school psychologist in the United States will fall between $60,000 and $90,000, with an entry-level position starting at around $60,000 annually. 

Of course, the more time you spend building experience and obtaining education and certifications, the higher your salary will be. For example, school psychologists that have a Ph.D. will typically earn more than those without it, even in entry-level positions.  

In addition, some locations will offer school psychologists a higher salary than others. This difference can be due to a need for more available candidates, remote areas where it is difficult to attract employees, or high-paying educational facilities.  

Therefore, the same position in one school setting may have a better compensation package than elsewhere. If you are open to relocation, you could find a better school psychologist salary offer away from your current residence. 

Which US Cities Are Paying School Psychologists the Most?

It can be a lucrative career move to apply for school psychologist jobs where they pay the most, especially if you are looking for the best entry-level salary possible.

So naturally, when your school psychologist salary starts higher, annual increases and bonuses continually maintain a higher-than-average wage. Here is a list of the US cities that pay entry-level school psychologists the most. 

  1. Santa Rosa, CA: $138,550
  2. Jefferson City, Missouri: $133,640
  3. Los Angeles, CA: $125,020
  4. San Diego, CA: $121,490
  5. Oxnard, CA: $120,830
  6. San Fransisco, CA: $112,961
  7. Atkinson, NE: $110,916
  8. Bolinas, CA: $106,491
  9. San Jose, CA: $100,631
  10. Salem, OR: $99,613

The trend of higher-paying school psychologist jobs in California is evident. However, some other US states will also offer higher salaries if you do not live in this region or cannot relocate there. 

Which US States Are Paying School Psychologists the Most?

Out of all 52 US states, finding top-paying locations is a terrific way to earn as much as possible in your career field. After examining average school psychologist salary amounts across the country, here is a list of the ten highest-paying US states and their typical salaries. 

  1. New Mexico: $136,704
  2. California: $115,830 
  3. Hawaii: $110,780
  4. Louisiana: $109,180
  5. Oregon: $108,000
  6. District of Columbia: $106,920
  7. Alaska: $102,218
  8. Utah: $96,736
  9. North Dakota: $89,640
  10. Maryland: $88,556

As you can see from this list, many of these locations are in less populated regions or along the borders. 

How Does the Salary of School Psychologists Compare to Other Psychology Subfields?

Pursuing a career in psychology can be rewarding and lucrative, with some subfields providing higher salaries than others. Typically, you can find three fields where a trained psychologist can work, including: 

  • Clinical settings
  • Counseling environments
  • School facilities 

Of course, they can be an overlap of these fields in many situations. For example, a school psychologist may also need to provide counseling to the family members of a student. 

A clinical psychologist will bring in the highest salary out of the three major psychology subfields. However, comparing the school psychologist salary range to these other subfields, it is generally competitive with those working in counseling environments.  

School psychologists can make a similar wage or higher than someone working in a counseling practice. But, of course, certifications, training, and experience will affect your eligibility for a higher salary.

How Do I Advance My Career as a School Psychologist and Earn More?

It is natural to want to advance your career as you gain experience. The more training and experience you have, the better your chance of earning more. So, what should you do to help your career as a school psychologist to gain a better salary? 

Here are some ways to advance your career and earn more money as a school psychologist. 

  • Complete your master’s degree in psychology
  • Earn a doctoral degree in psychology (Ph.D. or PsyD)
  • Become a certified specialist with the American Board of Professional Psychology 

Complete Your Master’s Degree in Psychology

Many school psychologists can earn a good living with their bachelor’s degree. However, if you are looking to make more money, continuing your education to complete your master’s degree will put you in the top 14% of graduates who seek advancement. 

Earn a Doctorate Degree in Psychology (Ph.D. or PsyD) 

A school psychologist who wants a higher salary can earn a doctoral degree in psychology. There are two options, depending on the career path you want to explore. The Ph.D. is more research-based for school psychologists, while the PsyD covers a more clinical approach. 

Become a Certified Specialist with the American Board of Professional Psychology 

Although it is optional to become board certified with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), it can be beneficial. A licensed school psychologist who ABPP recognizes as a certified specialist can be in higher demand and a more attractive candidate for positions providing better salaries.