Organizational psychologists, also called industrial organizational psychologists, enhance the quality of work life and productivity. They collaborate with managers to reorganize the work environment in order to improve worker productivity. Some industrial organizational psychologists are employed in academic or research positions. Specialty areas include human-computer interaction and human factors.
Some sample job titles are consulting psychologist, management consultant, organizational consultant, I-O psychologist, management psychologist and industrial psychologist.
They utilize research methods in fields such as marketing, administration, personnel and management. Many I-O psychologists work with companies to create training courses and design new products. Some organizational psychologists help in selecting the candidate that is the best fit for a specific job. Some industrial organizational psychologists provide consulting services and assist managers with solving particular problems.
- Provide advice to management regarding managerial, personnel and marketing practices and policies
- Evaluate employee performance
- Create and implement employee selection and placement programs
- Use statistical methods and applications to analyze data in order to evaluate the results and effectiveness of workplace programs
- Develop interview techniques
- Observe and interview employees to learn about job satisfaction
- Provide suggestions for potential changes in organizational functioning
- Identify development and training needs
I-O psychologists should enjoy research and be proficient with working with statistics. They should enjoy finding practical applications for psychological research. They need good communication and interpersonal skills, especially those working in human resources.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 21 percent growth rate for industrial psychologists from 2006 to 2016. Industrial organizational psychologists will be in demand to increase worker productivity and retention rates in a variety of businesses. They will also help companies deal with anti-discrimination policies and workplace diversity.
The median annual earnings for industrial organizational psychologists in 2006 was $86,420. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $139,620.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Many universities offer bachelor's degree programs in industrial-organizational psychology. Those with a bachelor's degree usually work in human resources, however they do have other job opportunities. Those with a master's degree in industrial organizational psychology have a variety of job opportunities including in consulting, human resources, the government and various positions in the private sector. Candidates that have earned a doctoral degree in industrial psychology have the highest number of opportunities.
Master's degree programs in industrial and organizational psychology provide training in topics such as the scientific study of group and individual behavior in institutional environments, applications to organizational and industry problems, and applying principles in industrial and organizational environments.
The master's degree programs typically include a thorough review of topics such as organizational theory, group behavior theory, human-machine and human-computer interactions, environmental and organizational influences on behavior, motivation dynamics and job testing and assessment.
The major job providing sectors are private industry, education, government, and consulting services.
Schools for Organizational Psychologists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.