Educational psychology is concerned with children and young people in educational and early years settings. Educational psychologists address challenges such as learning difficulties, social and emotional problems, and issues around disability as well as more complex developmental disorders.
Educational psychologists also work in a variety of ways including observations, interviews and assessments and offer consultation, advice and support to teachers, parents, the wider community, as well as the young people concerned. They are involved in providing advice such as through EHC (education, health and care) plan.
Being an educational psychologist also involve carrying out research. They look for innovative ways of helping vulnerable young people and often train teachers, learning support assistants and others working with children.
Having a caring nature
Educational psychology is all about helping other people learn. To get the most out of this career option, you have to enjoy spending time with other people, often children or individuals with learning disabilities.
Educational psychologists also support those with learning difficulties to achieve their full potential through the use of assessment, monitoring and evaluation. They work with children and young people usually between 0-19 years of age experiencing difficulties.
If you’re a person who gets a sense of self-worth from bringing joy and confidence to others and helping them improve their minds and their lives, you are likely to enjoy working as an educational psychologist.
An educational psychologist, Kairen Cullen has worked with many parents, children, carers and adults who need guidance about their development and learning. She frequently appears as an expert in the UK print and broadcast media.
What is it like to be an educational psychologist?
According to TARGETjobs, typical responsibilities of the job include:
- using psychological tests, theories and procedures to support the well-being and learning of young people
- helping young people with learning difficulties to achieve their full potential
- recommending, developing and administering appropriate therapies and strategies
- working with young people, their families and school staff, including teachers and learning support assistants
- carrying out psychological assessments to uncover a child’s problem
- writing reports
- conducting research
- providing training
- advising and making recommendations on educational policies
Dr Angie Wigford and Dr Ian Smillie give an insight into a career as an educational psychologist.
According to Prospects, these are the average salary for educational psychologists:
- Salaries for trainee educational psychologists in England, Wales and Northern Ireland range from £22,955 to £31,355. Once fully qualified, salaries begin at £35,731 and rise incrementally up to £48,211. This can increase to £52,903 with the addition of structured professional assessment points.
- Senior and principal educational psychologists can earn from £44,797 to £60,409. With the addition of discretionary scale points and structured professional assessment points, this can increase to £66,276.
- Fully-qualified educational psychologists in Scottish local authorities earn in the region of £42,495 to £52,068. Salaries for senior and management-level educational psychologists range from £55,311 to £64,098.
How to get funding?
Funding is available to train to become an educational psychologist. There are 150 funded places available on the scheme for 2017 and 160 funded places for 2018.
Are you thinking about a career in educational psychology? Do you want to know what training and qualifications are needed by educational psychologists to allow them to practise in England, Wales or Northern Ireland? If so, head on to the Association of Educational Psychologist (AEP). They run the central application process for all Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme places.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.