Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

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Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists specialize in workplace behavior. In other words, they attempt to determine what motivates work-related behavior. They work to improve productivity, management practices, and product testing.

Education and Training

Industrial-organizational psychology education programs are available at numerous colleges and universities. Many I-O psychology graduates find jobs in human resources, but other opportunities are available. Obtain a graduate degree to improve job opportunities.

Private companies, consulting firms, and government agencies frequently hire I-O psychologists. Since demand for these specialists is on the rise, more I-O graduate programs are available nationwide. I-O psychologists holding PhDs often become high-level managers.

Typical Job Positions for Those with Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree

  • Workforce Insights Analyst/Manager
    These professionals gather and assess data to make better hiring decisions, improve decision making, train employees more efficiently, and improve worksite safety.
  • Evaluation & Assessment Analyst/Manager
    These specialists develop management evaluation plans, organize group projects, and evaluate company initiatives.
  • Professional Development
    These professionals develop and evaluate employee training programs.
  • Talent Management Specialist/Manager
    Talent managers design and oversee management training programs. They must understand management duties and have the ability to evaluate leadership qualities.
  • HR Organizational Development Specialist
    HR specialists estimate organizational human resource needs. They also organize employee training initiatives.
  • Trainer
    Trainers are responsible for training employees. They typically work for consulting firms.
  • Test and Measurement Specialist
    These specialists develop employee assessment tests and establish metrics for employee performance.
  • Organizational Effectiveness Director
    These specialists work with managers and executives to establish organizational goals.
  • Senior Organization Development Advisor
    These specialists recruit new staff members and develop employee training programs.
    Typical Job Positions for Those with Master’s or PhD Degree
  • Behavioral Analyst
    Behavioral analysts assess personality test results and employee evaluation sheets.
  • Selection Systems Manager
    These experts work to improve employee retention. They also specialize in organizational selection systems.
  • HR Practice Manager
    HR practice managers focus on workplace diversity, are experts in performance management, and fill performance management positions.
  • Research Analyst
    Research analysts are quantitative analysis experts responsible for analyzing data related to employee recruitment, organizational goals, and training initiatives.
  • Professor
    I-O professors teach university-level psychology classes, which includes social psychology, statistics, and general psychology courses.
  • Research Consultant/Senior Research Consultant
    Research consultants specialize in research. They evaluate data, recommend organizational changes, and publish articles for trade magazines and scholarly journals.
  • Consultant
    Consultants meet with executives to offer expert advice on various topics, including labor issues, employee evaluation, selection, and recruitment, management changes, talent management, leadership, and employee salaries and benefits.

Job Outlook

Demand for industrial-organizational psychologists is expected to be high through the upcoming years since more companies are cutting overhead by improving efficiency. Many companies are now consulting with I-O psychologists to train employees and improve workplace diversity.


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