How to Begin a Professional Career as an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

How to Begin a Professional Career as an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
I-O Psychologists Percent Change by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist: A Quick Look
Median Salary $83,580 per year
$40.18 per hour
Entry-level education Master’s of Psychology
On-the-job training No
Primary employers Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
Number of positions (U.S.) 1,040 (Not Including Self Employed Consultants)
Job Growth (2010-2020) 53% (Much Faster than national average)
New positions (2010-2020) +900

What Does An Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Do?

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, or I-O Psychologists, are trained professionals who use psychology in the workplace through the use of psychological principles and research methods to resolve issues and improve the quality of the work environment.Read more.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median I-O Psychologists salary as $83,580 in 2012.Read more.

Becoming A Health Information Technician

The entry level of educational attainment for an I-O Psychologist is a master’s degree in Psychology. Most employers with require a doctorate in Psychology.Read more.


Job Outlook

The Bureau expects I-O Psychologists to be the single fastest growing position over the next eight years. This position is expected to grow by 53 percent through the end of the decade. The Bureau credits this increase in positions to growing corporations and their need to hire/manage more employees.Read more.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for I-O Psychologist was a little less than $84,000 per year in 2012. The best pay for I-O Psychologists is in the private sector. The lowest 10 percent of Psychologists earned less than $38,720, and the top 10 percent of Psychologists earned more than $110,880. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists usually work full-time during regular business hours. However, Psychologists working as private consultants may work part time.

How To Become An I-O Psychologist

Earning a master's degree in Psychology typically takes four years for the undergraduate program and two to three years for the master's program. Most employers require a candidate hold a doctorate in I-O Psychology. This doctoral program is a PhD. The Bureau states that the program is incredibly competitive and only a few candidates make the selections every year. Educational Requirements All employers require their I-O Psychologists hold a master's degree in Psychology. Many schools with certified Psychology programs allow their students to focus the degree on certain fields such as I-O Psychology. A growing number of employers require their I-O Psychologists hold a PhD in Psychology - with the focus on this Psychology. Many states require Psychologists possess a license or certification. All states require private consultant I-O Psychologists hold a state certified license. The requirements of these license may vary from state to state. Generally speaking states require license holders complete a pre-doctoral or post-doctoral supervised experience, an internship, or a residency program. Certification Employers usually don't require that an I-O Psychologist hold a Psychology certification. However, many I-O Psychologists are choosing to become certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. This board has specialty certifications in 13 different psychology areas. A certification with the American Board of Psychology can demonstrate professional expertise in the specialized area. Possessing a certifications may not be requirement. But, it certainly will make a candidate stand out and appear better qualified for a position.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Job Description

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, or I-O Psychologists, are trained professionals who use psychology in the workplace through the use of psychological principles and research methods to resolve issues and improve the quality of the work environment. They examine common workplace issues such as productivity, management/employee work styles, and company morale. After conducting this research, I-O Psychologists will use their results to help shape company policy, employee hiring screening systems, and organizational development. A general Psychologist's role is to examine the cognitive, emotional, and social processes of human behavior. They do so through observation and interpretation of the methods in which people relate to one another and their environments. Using these tools, I-O Psychologists assist corporations in their hiring practices, management practices, corporate policy/culture and workplace health policy. I-O Psychologists also handle incidents involving workplace violence, and/or bullying, salary policy/remuneration, and occupational stress. I-O Psychologists work primarily in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry. The second highest employer of I-O Psychologists are state governments followed by scientific research/development services. Duties A general Psychologist may be expected to:
  • Conduct scientific studies of behavior and brain function
  • Collect information through observations, interviews, surveys, and other methods
  • Research and identify behavioral or emotional patterns
  • Test for patterns that will help them better understand and predict behavior
  • Use their knowledge to increase understanding among individuals and groups

Job Outlook

The U.S. BLS says I-O Psychologists jobs will grow by 53 percent by 2020. That figure makes the I-O Psychologist position the fastest growing position in the US through the next half decade. The average median growth of all positions in the US is 11%. The average median growth of all Psychology based professions is 12%. However, this figure is somewhat misleading. Since the I-O Psychology position is such a small field of employment, the actual number of jobs created is expected to be quite low. This figure represents about 900 new positions. Still, an increase of 53% growth still displays a clear growth in the industry and the job market no matter how small the industry is. The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that this increase in positions stems from organizations' need to select (and keep) the best employees, increase productivity, and improve office morale. Furthermore, Industrial–Organizational Psychologists graduates may face a high level of competition for hiring positions as a result of the large quantity of qualified graduates. I-O Psychologists with exhaustive experience in computer science and quantitative research may have an edge over their competition.

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