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Organizational Psychologists

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.

Responsibilities

  • 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

Job Characteristics

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.

Employment Outlook

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.

Resources

Major Employers

The major job providing sectors are private industry, education, government, and consulting services.

Schools for Organizational Psychologists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Organizational Psychologists Skills

Below are the skills needed to be organizational psychologists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Reading Comprehension4.254.75
Active Listening4.254.62
Judgment and Decision Making4.124
Complex Problem Solving4.124
Speaking4.124.62

Organizational Psychologists Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be organizational psychologists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Comprehension4.254.75
Oral Expression4.254.75
Written Expression4.254.88
Written Comprehension4.254.88
Inductive Reasoning44

Organizational Psychologists Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be organizational psychologists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Psychology4.96.29
Personnel and Human Resources4.816.38
English Language4.455.36
Administration and Management4.285.06
Education and Training4.136.07

Organizational Psychologists Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being organizational psychologists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Getting Information4.815.82
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships4.666.14
Making Decisions and Solving Problems4.615.22
Analyzing Data or Information4.545.64
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization4.455.61

Organizational Psychologists Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being organizational psychologists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Analytical Thinking4.77
Initiative4.76
Integrity4.74
Dependability4.67
Achievement/Effort4.64
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Organizational Psychologists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.