Career and Education Opportunities for School Psychologists in Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for school psychologists. About 1,020 people are currently employed as school psychologists in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow 21% to about 1,230 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for school psychologists are expected to grow by about 11.1%. In general, school psychologists investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.
Income for school psychologists is about $26 per hour or $55,620 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $30 hourly or $64,140 annually. Earnings for school psychologists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Social Sciences in Alabama and not quite as good as general Social Sciences category earnings nationally. School psychologists work in a variety of jobs, including: behavior specialist, school psychological examiner, and school social worker.
There are eleven schools of higher education in the Huntsville area, including four within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree to start your career as a school psychologist. The most common level of education for school psychologists is a post-Master's certificate. It will take little over two years to learn to be a school psychologist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or a short time starting with a Master's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: School Psychologist
In general, school psychologists investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.
School psychologists furnish consultation to parents and others on topics such as learning styles and behavior modification techniques. They also assess an individual child's needs and potential, using observation, review of school records, and consultation with parents and school personnel. Equally important, school psychologists have to compile and interpret students' test results, along with data from teachers and parents, to diagnose conditions, and to help assess eligibility for special services. They are often called upon to promote an understanding of child development and its relationship to learning and behavior. They are expected to refer students and their families to appropriate community agencies for medical or social services. Finally, school psychologists initiate and direct efforts to foster tolerance and appreciation of diversity in school communities.
Every day, school psychologists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.
It is important for school psychologists to layout classes and programs to meet the needs of special students. They are often called upon to attend workshops or professional meetings to remain informed of new developments in school psychology. They also conduct research to generate new knowledge that can be used to address learning and behavior issues. They are sometimes expected to report any pertinent data to the proper authorities in cases of child endangerment or abuse. Somewhat less frequently, school psychologists are also expected to refer students and their families to appropriate community agencies for medical or social services.
School psychologists sometimes are asked to maintain student records, including special education reports, confidential records, records of services provided, and behavioral data. They also have to be able to collect and analyze data to review the effectiveness of academic programs and other services and furnish educational programs on topics such as classroom management or parenting skills. And finally, they sometimes have to serve as a resource to help families and schools deal with crises.
Like many other jobs, school psychologists must believe in cooperation and coordination and have exceptional integrity.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:
- Economist. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services. May collect and process economic and statistical data using econometric and sampling techniques.
- Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
- Industrial Psychologist. Apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to reorganize the work setting to improve worker productivity.
- Market Research Analyst. Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to determine potential sales of a product or service. May gather information on competitors, prices, and methods of marketing and distribution. May use survey results to create a marketing campaign based on regional preferences and buying habits.
- Market Survey Representative. Design or conduct surveys. May supervise interviewers who conduct the survey in person or over the telephone. May present survey results to client.
- Urban Planner. Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of local jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, and metropolitan areas.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: School Psychologist Training
Oakwood University - Huntsville, AL
Oakwood University, 7000 Adventist Blvd NW, Huntsville, AL 35896. Oakwood University is a small university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,850 students and an admission rate of 57%. Oakwood University has 2 areas of study related to School Psychologist. They are:
- Psychology, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
- Counseling Psychology, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
University of Alabama in Huntsville - Huntsville, AL
University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Dr, Huntsville, AL 35899. University of Alabama in Huntsville is a medium sized university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,431 students and an admission rate of 89%. University of Alabama in Huntsville has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Psychology which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.
Athens State University - Athens, AL
Athens State University, 300 N Beaty St, Athens, AL 35611. Athens State University is a small university located in Athens, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,322 students. Athens State University has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated four students in 2008.
Alabama A & M University - Normal, AL
Alabama A & M University, 4900 Meridian St, Normal, AL 35762. Alabama A & M University is a medium sized university located in Normal, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,124 students and an admission rate of 49%. Alabama A & M University has 3 areas of study related to School Psychologist. They are:
- Psychology, bachelor's degree which graduated 47 students in 2008.
- Clinical Psychology, master's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.
- Counseling Psychology, master's degree which graduated 24 students in 2008.
Certified Vocational Evaluation Specialist: The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) believes that individuals certified as vocational assessment professionals (CVE, CWA, and CCAA) must continue to expand their skills to enhance the quality of services they provide.
For more information, see the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification website.
Licensing agency: AL Board of Examiners in Psychology
Address: 660 Adams Avenue, Suite 360, Montgomery, AL 36104-4373
Phone: (334) 242-4127
Website: AL Board of Examiners in Psychology
LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.
The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.