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Career and Education Opportunities for School Psychologists in Des Moines, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for school psychologists in the Des Moines, Iowa area. There are currently 1,480 working school psychologists in Iowa; this should grow by 11% to 1,650 working school psychologists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for school psychologists are expected to grow by about 11.1%. School psychologists generally investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.

The income of a school psychologist is about $25 per hour or $52,140 per year on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $30 per hour or $64,140 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Sciences, people working as school psychologists in Iowa earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Sciences nationally. People working as school psychologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: educational diagnostician, school social worker, and preliminary school psychologist.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as a school psychologist. Given that the most common education level for school psychologists is a post-Master's certificate, you can expect to spend little over two years studying to be a school psychologist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or a short time if you have 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 Des Moines 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: School Psychologist Training

Central College - Pella, IA

Central College, 812 University, Pella, IA 50219. Central College is a small college located in Pella, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,558 students and an admission rate of 77%. Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated two students in 2008.

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated four students in 2008.

Simpson College - Indianola, IA

Simpson College, 701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125. Simpson College is a small college located in Indianola, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,052 students and an admission rate of 88%. Simpson College has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated three students in 2008.

Grand View University - Des Moines, IA

Grand View University, 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316. Grand View University is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,936 students and an admission rate of 95%. Grand View University has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

Health Service Provider in Psychology

Licensing agency: Board of Psychology Examiners
Address: Bureau of Professional Licensure, Iowa Department of Public Health, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Phone: (515) 281-4401
Website: Board of Psychology Examiners Bureau of Professional Licensure Iowa Department of Public Health

Psychologist

Licensing agency: Board of Psychology Examiners
Address: Bureau of Professional Licensure, Iowa Department of Public Health, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Phone: (515) 281-4401
Website: Board of Psychology Examiners Bureau of Professional Licensure Iowa Department of Public Health

School Psychologist

Licensing agency: State Board of Educational Examiners
Address: Grimes State Office, 400 E 14th St, Des Moines, IA 50319-0146

Phone: (515) 281-3611
Website: State Board of Educational Examiners

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.