How Much Can I Earn With a Master’s in School Psychology?

“How much does the job pay?” is often the first question one asks when considering a certain career path, and especially if earning–and financing–more education is required to maximize earning potential, and the field of psychology is not exempt from this inquiry. Though an undergraduate psychology degree might allow you to work in some districts, the vast majority of public and private schools around the country require their school psychologists to have much more education. The good news is that you can usually expect a higher salary when you do this. The average salary figure for school psychologists is around $70,000 though several factors will influence your number.

Earn More in Bigger Cities

Bigger cities tend to feature better pay for all professionals. This is because the cost of living is much higher in large cities, and companies have to compensate for this if they are going to attract quality candidates. There is another factor in play, though. Big city school districts tend to have more money because they’re funded by property taxes. This gives these districts tremendous resources to hire people with good credentials. Those individuals in cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston can expect to make more than $70,000 as a school psychologist with a masters degree.

Contract Length Matters

If you plan on working in a high school, then contract length will affect your earning capacity. Some people will get hired with 180-day contracts. The statistics suggest that the average salary for these individuals is around $65,000. When you step it up to a 200-day contract, you will have the chance to earn more than $70,000. If you have good credentials and you are comfortable doing so, then you should negotiate for a longer contract. This will give you a chance to earn the most money with your graduate degree.

University Employees Make the Most

Though most school psychologist jobs are found in high schools, a few people with master’s degrees in school psychology will have a chance to work in universities. These individuals have average salaries of closer to $80,000. While many high schools and districts are cutting their budgets, colleges are often more financially secure.  Know, however, that you will be up against a lot of competition for these positions. Prepare more to compete with many qualified applicants when you are angling for a university job.

School psychology master’s degrees are much like many other degree types. The longer you stay in the industry, the more money you can expect to make. While the figures provided above represent the average in the industry, people starting out will make less. If you are willing to stay around for ten or more years, you can expect to earn six figures. There is a high ceiling for people who are professional and willing to work at their craft.