How to Become an Educational Psychologist
As education continues to evolve and change, educational psychologists will continue studying the ways we teach and learn. The need for educational psychology professionals will always exist, with roles ranging from in-school psychologist to private educational consultant. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that positions for clinical, counseling and school psychologists will grow 20 percent by 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Earning a Degree
Understanding the fundamentals of psychology and building a foundation of knowledge is the first step to becoming an educational psychologist. This is achieved through higher education. You can begin by earning a bachelor’s degree, preferably in psychology. This will give you insights into human behavior that you will apply to education.
After completing your undergraduate studies, you must pursue a graduate degree. A master’s degree with a concentration in educational psychology is the ideal choice. You will build on the information you learned as an undergrad.
Many educational psychologists hold a doctoral degree such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D. While a doctorate may not be required for certain educational psychology positions, it significantly increases job opportunities and earning potential.
The next step to becoming an educational psychologist is licensure. This process depends on the state, as different boards have different requirements. However, the basics typically remain the same. For example, here are the requirements from California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences.
- At minimum, a master’s degree in psychology, educational psychology, school psychology, counseling and guidance, or a degree deemed equivalent by the board.
- Three years of full-time experience working as a school psychologist.
- Two years of full-time (or equivalent) experience as a credentialed school psychologist in public schools. This experience can be unsupervised and needs to be obtained in the most recent six years from the time a person applies for licensure.
- One year of supervised professional experience in an accredited school psychology program OR one year of full-time (or equivalent) experience as a credentialed school psychologist in public schools obtained under the direction of a licensed educational psychologist or a licensed psychologist.
Once you have completed these requirements, you can take the Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP) written examination. This test will assess your knowledge and skills in the field. Once you pass, you will be an LEP in California.
Educational Psychology at Touro
Touro University Worldwide offers online psychology degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level. With the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, you can choose from concentrations in elementary education, secondary education and special education. Our Master of Arts in Psychology includes an educational psychology concentration. Our experienced faculty will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this rewarding field. Most important, our fully online programs give you the flexibility to complete your coursework when it is convenient for you. Learn more about how we can help you pursue a career as an educational psychologist by requesting more information today!