What Does An Educational Psychologist Do?

An educational psychologist meets with a young girl and her mother.

Educational psychologists study children of all ages and how they learn. While investigating how children process emotional, social and cognitive stimuli, they make assessments based on the child’s reactions to stimuli. They use this analysis to identify learning, social and behavioral issues that impede children’s learning.

Recently, educational psychology has expanded beyond preschool and elementary school classrooms to assist adults in educational settings. Adults with learning disabilities have especially benefited from the work of educational psychologists.

Though educational psychologists are able to help people of all ages, they are still different from general psychologists. Educational psychology is a specialized field; general psychologists have a broad overview of the study of psychology as it pertains to the study of mental health and psychological functioning.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that school psychologists earn a median annual salary of $78,780.


Career Paths For Educational Psychologists

Educational psychologists can find employment in many environments.


  • Preschools
  • Schools of all levels, including postsecondary institutions
  • Community organizations and learning centers
  • Government or private research firms
  • Independent or private consultant


Typically, educational psychologists work directly with children, but always in conjunction with the child’s parents and teachers. Sometimes they work for a child indirectly through the child’s parents, teachers or another mental health professional. It’s very common for an educational psychologist to work alongside other professionals to do the best work for clients.

Individuals with experience as a teacher, graduate assistant, tutor, speech or language therapist or social worker and a degree in Psychology with concentration in Educational Psychology will have a leg up on the competition when it comes to getting a job as an educational psychologist.