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Career profile Industrial Organizational Psychologist

Also known as Consulting Psychologist, Industrial Psychologist, Industrial/Organizational Psychologist (I/O Psychologist), Management Consultant, Organizational Consultant, Organizational Development Consultant (OD Consultant), Organizational Psychologist, Research Scientist

Industrial Organizational Psychologist

Also known as Consulting Psychologist, Industrial Psychologist, Industrial/Organizational Psychologist (I/O Psychologist)

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Enterprising
  • Social
Pay Range
$57,440 - $192,800 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Judgment and Decision Making
Knowledge Areas
  • Psychology
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Formulate and implement training programs, applying principles of learning and individual differences.
  • Participate in mediation and dispute resolution.
  • Conduct research studies of physical work environments, organizational structures, communication systems, group interactions, morale, or motivation to assess organizational functioning.
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What does an Industrial Organizational Psychologist do?

Industrial Organizational Psychologists apply principles of psychology to human resources, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems.

In addition, Industrial Organizational Psychologists

  • activities may include policy planning; employee testing and selection, training, and development; and organizational development and analysis,
  • may work with management to organize the work setting to improve worker productivity.

What kind of tasks does an Industrial Organizational Psychologist perform regularly?

Industrial Organizational Psychologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Formulate and implement training programs, applying principles of learning and individual differences.
  • Conduct research studies of physical work environments, organizational structures, communication systems, group interactions, morale, or motivation to assess organizational functioning.
  • Conduct presentations on research findings for clients or at research meetings.
  • Provide expert testimony in employment lawsuits.
  • Study consumers' reactions to new products and package designs, and to advertising efforts, using surveys and tests.
  • Develop interview techniques, rating scales, and psychological tests used to assess skills, abilities, and interests for the purpose of employee selection, placement, or promotion.
  • Review research literature to remain current on psychological science issues.
  • Write articles, white papers, or reports to share research findings and educate others.
  • Conduct individual assessments, including interpreting measures and providing feedback for selection, placement, or promotion.
  • Develop new business by contacting potential clients, making sales presentations, and writing proposals.
  • Identify training and development needs.
  • Facilitate organizational development and change.
  • Train clients to administer human resources functions including testing, selection, and performance management.
  • Develop and implement employee selection or placement programs.
  • Analyze job requirements and content to establish criteria for classification, selection, training, and other related personnel functions.
  • Assess employee performance.
  • Observe and interview workers to obtain information about the physical, mental, and educational requirements of jobs as well as information about aspects such as job satisfaction.
  • Coach senior executives and managers on leadership and performance.
  • Study organizational effectiveness, productivity, and efficiency, including the nature of workplace supervision and leadership.
  • Write reports on research findings and implications to contribute to general knowledge or to suggest potential changes in organizational functioning.

The above responsibilities are specific to Industrial Organizational Psychologists. More generally, Industrial Organizational Psychologists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

What is an Industrial Organizational Psychologist salary?

The median salary for an Industrial Organizational Psychologist is $96,270, and the average salary is $112,690. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Industrial Organizational Psychologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Industrial Organizational Psychologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Industrial Organizational Psychologists earn less than $57,440 per year, 25% earn less than $69,780, 75% earn less than $137,930, and 90% earn less than $192,800.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Industrial Organizational Psychologists is expected to change by 2.0%, and there should be roughly 300 open positions for Industrial Organizational Psychologists every year.

Median annual salary
$96,270
Typical salary range
$57,440 - $192,800
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
2.0%

What personality traits are common among Industrial Organizational Psychologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Industrial Organizational Psychologist are usually higher in their Investigative, Enterprising, and Social interests.

Industrial Organizational Psychologists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Industrial Organizational Psychologists typically have strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Lastly, Industrial Organizational Psychologists typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Industrial Organizational Psychologists typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Industrial Organizational Psychologist tend to value Working Conditions, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Industrial Organizational Psychologists very strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Second, Industrial Organizational Psychologists very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Industrial Organizational Psychologists strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Industrial Organizational Psychologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, initiative, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Industrial Organizational Psychologists, ranked by importance:

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

What education and training do Industrial Organizational Psychologists need?

Many Industrial Organizational Psychologists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Industrial Organizational Psychologists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Industrial Organizational Psychologists

  • 8.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 39.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 51.9% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Industrial Organizational Psychologists

Industrial Organizational Psychologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as psychology, personnel and human resources, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Industrial Organizational Psychologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Industrial Organizational Psychologists

Industrial Organizational Psychologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Industrial Organizational Psychologists need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Industrial Organizational Psychologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Industrial Organizational Psychologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Industrial Organizational Psychologists frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and judgment and decision making to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Industrial Organizational Psychologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.