Industrial Organizational Psychology Jobs & Career Guide 2023

What Is an Industrial Psychologist?

Industrial and organizational psychology applies psychological principles and theories to the workplace. Industrial Psychology is also known as Industrial-Organizational Psychology, or I-O Psychology. This growing specialty in the field of medicine focuses on improving and increasing workplace flow and productivity. Industrial Psychologists evaluate corporate climate by studying employee behavior, productivity, and attitudes. They provide training and guidance to leadership, management, and team members. Industrial Psychologists collaborate with corporate leadership to evaluate workplace behavior, create policies, direct training sessions, and develop company strategy.

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What Is an Industrial Psychologist Responsible For?

Industrial Psychologists apply psychological principles by studying individual behavior and an organization’s climate. An Industrial Psychologist evaluates management styles, company expectations, social situations, and organizational structure within a company. Based on their findings, they work to improve individual job performance and the overall health of its team members. The benefit of a healthy and happier workforce translates to a more stable and efficient organization.

An Industrial Psychologist works with the Human Resources department to observe employees and their work environment to measure elements, such as job satisfaction and performance. Employee training, performance evaluations, and the company’s hiring practices and techniques are also considered.  By evaluating each employee’s motivation and productivity, an Industrial Psychologist can help make the company a better place to work.

On the job, an Industrial Psychologist can expect to:

  •         Use psychological research in the workplace
  •         Help businesses hire qualified employees
  •         Train and motivate the labor force
  •         Collaborate with the Human Resources Department
  •         Provide a consultative role in the organization
  •         Assess employee job performance
  •         Improve organizational structure
  •         Increase business efficiency
  •         Aid with corporate transitions, such as mergers and staff realignment
  •         Research consumer behavior
  •         Provide ergonomic consultation to maximize performance and improve comfort
  •         Enhance the quality of life for employers and employees

Where Does an Industrial Psychologist Work?

Industrial Psychologists apply scientific research in a wide range of workplace settings. Some work in the manufacturing industry, health-care facilities, commercial enterprises, or labor unions. Many Industrial Psychologists work as consultants or hold academic positions at universities. They qualify to work as trainers, coaches, and facilitators, working directly with a company’s Human Resources Department. They may be hired by an organization to assist with resolving a specific problem.

What Career Options Are Available to An Industrial Psychologist?

Industrial organizational psychology jobs are an ever-growing sub-specialty within the field of psychology.  They find great job satisfaction in helping people improve their work processes and motivations, which leads to a better individual experience in the workforce.

An Industrial Psychologist can expect to find a career in the following areas:

Human Resources Organizational Development (OD) Manager

This important position is a liaison and advisor to company leadership. The OD Manager plans and coordinates company initiatives across the organization by developing and implementing HR programs company-wide. This position is directly responsible for creating Human Resource policies to attract and keep valuable employees and help the organization achieve business and operational goals.

Talent Management Specialist

A talent management specialist develops and implements programs intended to train supervisors and leaders in an organization. These specialists work closely with organization management to understand what skills, knowledge, and experience they need to excel in a leadership position.

Behavior Analyst

This position focuses on behavior that can be observed and measured. A behavior analyst focuses on describing, understanding, predicting, and changing behavior. They consider factors such as biological and environmental influences. Behavior analysts may research consumer trends for marketing companies or other industries interested in what influences consumer decisions.

Human Resources Practice Manager

Human resources practice managers specialize in talent selection, performance management, and workplace diversity. They train company managers and develop plans for workplace diversity. They specialize in employee recruitment and retention.

Consultant

A consultant meets with executives and others in leadership positions to review organizational development, training, management changes, staff evaluations, talent recruitment, and issues related to pay and benefits. A consultant may run their own consulting practice or work for a larger consulting firm.

Research Analyst

A research analyst organizes research projects and works closely with project teams. They analyze data and make rec

How to become an Industrial Organizational Psychologist

How long does it take to become an IO psychologist? It depends on the route you take but typically 7-12 years from starting your Bachelor’s degree to practice.

Educational requirements

IO psychology programs typically cover topics such as employee selection and assessment, training and development, organizational culture, and work motivation. Graduates of IO psychology programs are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to design and implement effective workplace interventions, and they are often sought after by employers in a variety of industries.

To become an industrial-organizational psychologist, you typically need to have at least a Master’s degree in psychology, with a focus on industrial-organizational psychology. However, most practicing IO psychologists hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology, with a specialization in IO psychology.

Learn more about getting a PhD in organizational psychology

A Bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field is typically the starting point for pursuing a career in IO psychology. This typically takes 4 years to complete.

After completing your Bachelor’s degree, you will need progress to a Master’s degree in psychology, with a focus on industrial-organizational psychology. This typically takes 2 years to complete.

Unlike becoming a clinical psychologist, a Master’s degree is sufficient education to become a practicing IO psychologist but in reality most students choose to go on to study for a doctoral degree to improve their career prospects and earning potential.

Licensing

States often require a license to practice as an IO psychologist. See here for licensing by state.

Unlike many other subfields of psychology where you might typically work in one setting within a single state e.g. a hospital or clinic serving local patients, IO psychologists frequently travel to consult with organizations across the country. With this in mind, the licensing is more flexible and you can work in another state for up to 60 days without being specifically licensed to practice in that state.

To earn your license you will need to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) followed by any state specific exams (if required) e.g. CPLEE.

You can then apply to your state’s licensing board and apply for membership with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology which is the industry body for industrial and organizational psychologists. Visit their membership page for more information.

Continuing education

Continuing education requirements to maintain your license vary by state.

Many states require continuing education to be related to the practice of psychology i.e. industrial-organizational psychology. Some states may require a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) to be in specific areas, such as ethics.

IO psychologists can earn CEUs through a variety of methods, such as attending conferences, workshops, and training sessions, or completing online courses or webinars. You are responsible for tracking your CEUs and should be able to provide proof of completion to the licensing board if required.

Many IO psychologists will extend their continuing education beyond board mandate in order to advance their knowledge on specific organizations and industries that they serve. This type of training may not generate CEUs but will likely advance your career prospects.

What Skills are Required in Industrial/Organizational Psychology?

Industrial/Organizational Psychologists should have a strong background in psychology. They must possess a firm understanding of psychological theory and understand human behavior. Industrial/Organizational Psychologists must have a solid understanding of social and cultural issues and they need to have strong teamworking skills. They must be critical thinkers and utilize logic and reason to identify employee and employer strengths and weaknesses.

Industrial/Organizational Psychologists should possess emotional intelligence and the ability to respond compassionately to diverse personalities. They must also gather and review data and communicate well to employers and employees. Industrial/Organizational Psychologists should be able to evaluate human behavior and how different personality types work or don’t work well with one another.

How Much Money Does an Industrial Psychologist Earn?

The salary range for industrial and organizational psychologists varies widely. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for Industrial Psychologists is approximately $112,690. Specialty in the field, experience, company size, and location are a big factor in salary determination. The top 10 percent of experienced Industrial Psychologists make more than $192,000 per year.

Latest Industrial Organizational Psychology Jobs & Career Guide 2024 Listings

PositionCompanyLocationPosted
Director of Change ManagementConfidential Georgia US03/26/2024
Job Summary The client is establishing a new Center of Excellence(COE)for Change Management to provide centralized support across the organization’s transformation efforts. The Change Management COE will be responsible for establishing and continuously improving change management methodology based on leading practices and industry standards, as well as building organizational capability for the change methodology. Responsibilities … More
Assistant/Associate/Professor of InstructionThe University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas US03/26/2024
The Naveen Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas seeks applicants for a full-time non-tenure track position (rank open) to help with the growth of our undergraduate program in Human Resource Management. The successful candidate will be required to develop … More
Human Resources & Training SupervisorChoctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CHELCO) DeFuniak Springs, Florida US03/25/2024
Join Our Team as a Human Resources & Training Supervisor at CHELCO Are you a seasoned HR & Training professional looking for a dynamic leadership role? Do you thrive in a collaborative environment where your expertise can … More
Senior Associate, Talent Assessment (Hybrid)Capital One McLean, Virginia US03/23/2024
Overview Center 3 (19075), United States of America, McLean, VirginiaSenior Associate, Talent Assessment (Hybrid)As a Talent Assessment team member, you’ll work closely with Talent Acquisition partners and other I/O Psychologists to design and deliver innovative selection strategies to support our shared business goals. With an emphasis on quantitative and qualitative analysis, you’ll support the design, validation, and implementation of assessment tools and processes … More
Cognition and Learning Lab Manager (Laboratory Research Assistant)Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana US03/23/2024
The core mission of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington is to unlock the mysteries of the human brain and behavior, and to prepare students to apply that knowledge to improve the lives of people around the globe. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion as core strengths and essential elements of research, teaching, and service; and we are committed to broadening interactions among students, faculty, and staff that allow us to learn from … More
Human Resources & Training SupervisorChoctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CHELCO) DeFuniak Springs, Florida US03/22/2024
Join Our Team as a Human Resources & Training Supervisor at CHELCO Are you a seasoned HR & Training professional looking for a dynamic leadership role? Do you thrive in a collaborative environment where your expertise can make a real impact? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you! … More
Human Resources DirectorOak View Group Chicago, Illinois US03/22/2024
The Human Resources Director is responsible for overseeing all functional areas dealing with federal and state regulatory compliance, Collective Bargaining Agreement compliance, employee recruitment and selection, employee retention and development, policy and procedure implementation and interpretation, training, local benefits administration, risk management, safety, and employee relations at McCormick Center. Additionally, the HR Director … More
Industrial Psychologist IIUnited States Postal Service Washington, Dist. Columbia US03/22/2024
The United States Postal Service is looking to hire an Industrial Psychologist II that will serve as a consultant for job architecture and competency model programs. Leads … More
Position
Job Summary The client is establishing a new Center of Excellence(COE)for Change Management to provide centralized support across the organization’s transformation efforts. The Change Management COE will be responsible for establishing and continuously improving change management methodology based on leading practices and industry standards, as well as building organizational capability for the change methodology. Responsibilities … More
Company
Confidential
Location
Georgia US
Posted
03/26/2024
Position
The Naveen Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas seeks applicants for a full-time non-tenure track position (rank open) to help with the growth of our undergraduate program in Human Resource Management. The successful candidate will be required to develop … More
Company
The University of Texas at Dallas
Location
Richardson, Texas US
Posted
03/26/2024
Position
Join Our Team as a Human Resources & Training Supervisor at CHELCO Are you a seasoned HR & Training professional looking for a dynamic leadership role? Do you thrive in a collaborative environment where your expertise can … More
Company
Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CHELCO)
Location
DeFuniak Springs, Florida US
Posted
03/25/2024
Position
Overview Center 3 (19075), United States of America, McLean, VirginiaSenior Associate, Talent Assessment (Hybrid)As a Talent Assessment team member, you’ll work closely with Talent Acquisition partners and other I/O Psychologists to design and deliver innovative selection strategies to support our shared business goals. With an emphasis on quantitative and qualitative analysis, you’ll support the design, validation, and implementation of assessment tools and processes … More
Company
Capital One
Location
McLean, Virginia US
Posted
03/23/2024
Position
The core mission of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington is to unlock the mysteries of the human brain and behavior, and to prepare students to apply that knowledge to improve the lives of people around the globe. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion as core strengths and essential elements of research, teaching, and service; and we are committed to broadening interactions among students, faculty, and staff that allow us to learn from … More
Company
Indiana University
Location
Bloomington, Indiana US
Posted
03/23/2024
Position
Join Our Team as a Human Resources & Training Supervisor at CHELCO Are you a seasoned HR & Training professional looking for a dynamic leadership role? Do you thrive in a collaborative environment where your expertise can make a real impact? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you! … More
Company
Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CHELCO)
Location
DeFuniak Springs, Florida US
Posted
03/22/2024
Position
The Human Resources Director is responsible for overseeing all functional areas dealing with federal and state regulatory compliance, Collective Bargaining Agreement compliance, employee recruitment and selection, employee retention and development, policy and procedure implementation and interpretation, training, local benefits administration, risk management, safety, and employee relations at McCormick Center. Additionally, the HR Director … More
Company
Oak View Group
Location
Chicago, Illinois US
Posted
03/22/2024
Position
The United States Postal Service is looking to hire an Industrial Psychologist II that will serve as a consultant for job architecture and competency model programs. Leads … More
Company
United States Postal Service
Location
Washington, Dist. Columbia US
Posted
03/22/2024