Earning a Master’s in Educational Psychology Online

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November 20, 2020

Should I Pursue a Master's in Educational Psychology Online?

Ideal for professionals with a strong interest in both education and psychology and excellent interpersonal skills, this degree can open the door to a variety of rewarding careers. As experts in the psychology of learning and motivation, educational psychologists work as counselors, consultants, and psychologists to assess learning needs and recommend actions that students, parents, educators, and organizations can take to improve educational outcomes. These professionals work in private practices, schools and school districts, and companies and organizations. This guide explores more about some of the careers for educational psychology graduates. A master's degree is the minimum requirement for most jobs in this field, though many employers prefer a doctorate. Some positions also require certification or state licensure. Earning your master's in educational psychology online, rather than on campus, gives you the flexibility to study according to your schedule.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Educational Psychology Graduates

Master's in Educational Psychology Salary

Many rewarding careers in education offer steady job growth and excellent benefits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects school counselor jobs, for example, to grow by 13% from 2016 to 2026. Wages in education and psychology vary greatly by position, employer type, and location and typically increase with education and experience. Many positions related to educational psychology, including school counselors, require or prefer a master's degree. As seen in the table below, these counselors can earn average salaries above $60,000.

Salaries for School and Career Counselors by Industry

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Elementary and Secondary Schools; State, Local, and Private $62,990
Other Educational Services; State, Local, and Private $49,570
Junior Colleges, Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; State, Local, and Private $49,150
Healthcare and Social Assistance $37,300

Master's in Educational Psychology Careers

Professionals with expertise and graduate-level training in both education and psychology can enter a variety of career paths. Many work in schools or for school districts. Some work directly with students, parents, and teachers, and others serve in an advisory capacity. Jobs, like those listed below, require an understanding of the psychological processes that impact learning, a passion for education, and strong interpersonal skills.

School and Career Counselor

Annual Median Salary: $55,410

School counselors advise students on issues related to academics, peer and social relations, course selection, and college applications. They help students develop the academic and social skills they need for success. States typically require public school counselors to hold a master's degree and state licensure.

Educational Psychologist

Annual Median Salary: $74,809

Psychologists use their knowledge of human cognitive, social, and behavioral development and processes to help people improve their behavior. Educational psychologists use their specialized expertise in learning and motivation to assist schools and organizations in developing appropriate and effective instructional programs. Many positions in this field require a doctoral degree, although some may only require a master's.

School Psychologist

Annual Median Salary: $59,970

These psychologists work directly with students in schools and may advise teachers, administrators, and parents. They assess student needs; identify learning, emotional, and behavioral disorders that may interfere with learning; and make recommendations about appropriate interventions and strategies. This position requires a master's degree, and many employers require or prefer a doctorate.

Educational Consultant

Annual Median Salary: $61,731

Some psychologists with specialized training in education work as consultants for companies developing educational products or materials, school districts seeking to improve educational services, or parents looking for advice on educational options for their children. Many of these consultants remain self-employed. Professionals working for a school system or organization typically hold at least a master's degree.

Educational Diagnostician

Annual Median Salary: $58,289

These education experts assess educational needs and processes to improve access to appropriate services, teacher effectiveness, and student learning. Many focus on testing students with disabilities and recommending educational interventions to schools and parents. Educational and licensure requirements vary, but many employers prefer graduate degree holders.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Educational Psychology Program?

Required courses for a master's in educational psychology online differ by school and according to program emphasis. All educational psychology master's programs train professionals to apply psychological theory and research to educational practice and include courses in human development, learning theories, and child psychology. Other courses prepare graduates to assess educational needs for individuals, groups, schools, or organizations. These courses also design appropriate interventions and may include field experiences. See sample courses are listed below.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Educational Psychology

Human Growth and Development

This course explores the psychological, physical, and cognitive changes that occur over the lifespan and cultural influences on development. Topics of particular emphasis include the development of young children and adolescents and methods of assessing developmental differences in individuals. Participants learn to identify developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and behavioral interventions.

Child and Adolescent Psychology

In this course, participants learn to apply psychological concepts and mental health principles to the learning and behavior of young children and teens. This course introduces research-informed strategies for maximizing student mental health and learning in classroom and school environments.

Learning and Motivation

This course explores the cognitive, social, cultural, and psychological factors that can influence learning as informed by psychological theory and research. With the goal of applying psychological theory to educational practice, participants apply learning theories to instructional design and delivery.

Social Psychology

This course introduces participants to social psychology theory, research, and practice, enabling them to apply their understanding to educational settings, activities, and programs. Participants explore the influence of relationships and social contexts on educational outcomes and learn to develop appropriate interventions.

Behavioral Interventions

This course introduces participants to the identification and use of research-based behavioral interventions intended to meet the social-emotional needs of students. Participants learn to set behavioral goals for students, design school-based interventions, and monitor student progress.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Educational Psychology Prepares For

Professional Organizations and Resources

Practitioners in the educational psychology field can gain networking, training, and career opportunities from a variety of professional organizations. Associations such as those listed below offer benefits to members that include networking events, journals, and job boards. They also provide valuable research updates, policy briefs, provider listings, and other resources to professionals along with policymakers, the media, and the public.


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