Industrial and organizational psychologists often narrow their concentration down to a specific subject area within the field of psychology such as employee productivity, workplace behavior, human resources, recruitment and more. I/O psychologists who focus on employee training specialize in the recruitment and development of employees for an organization in order to build the best staff and organizational culture. With productivity and efficiency in mind, these psychologists use their skills and knowledge relating to human behavior in order to create a diverse and qualified workforce that is both motivated and dedicated.

Depending on the organization or industry, employee training techniques may differ. However, most training methods involve:

  • Computer-based learning
  • Executive coaching
  • Management development
  • Competency modeling
  • Team design
  • Training effectiveness

Industrial and organizational psychologists use their research abilities to design, implement and analyze education and training methods and plans. An employee training psychologist looks for trends and concerns in different facets of an organization. Are the employees badly trained or do their skills simply need to be updated? Do the current training methods engage the employees and help them develop their skills and knowledge? How can the training methods change to address the different needs of the company?

Career Growth

I/O psychologists who specialize in employee training can work in a variety of environments and industries. Most psychologists in this field choose to either work for consulting firms or as independent consultants for hire. Since almost all industries require some kind of employee training program, IO psychologists with skills and knowledge on the subject of employee training can work across myriad industries and still be able to use their methods.

Industrial and organizational psychology is one of the fastest growing occupational fields in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is partially due to businesses wishing to bolster productivity and retention rates of employees, but also because of the need for expertise in developing tools for analysis and policies. According to the BLS, the top five states with the highest levels of employment for industrial and organizational psychologists are Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Salary Potential

Three industries with the highest levels of employment, as well as the highest median annual salary for industrial or organizational psychologists, are:

  • Consulting for management, scientific and technical organizations;
  • Elementary and secondary schools;
  • Scientific research and development services.

The median salaries for these industries are $83,110, $110,550 and $83,160, respectively.

Education Required

Industrial and organizational psychology is one of 14 recognized concentrations of professional psychology, according to the American Psychological Association. Like most psychology-related positions, these psychologists are required to have at least a master’s degree in psychology or a specific field of psychology in order to hold licensure or certification. A Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is a great example of a graduate program that prepares students for this field. A master’s program in industrial and organizational psychology aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to implement the theoretical practices of this field of psychology.