Top 5 Jobs: Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology is considered to be the most lucrative and fastest growing field in psychology. I/O psychologists apply their skills and knowledge to the workplace in order to alleviate problems and confront issues concerning productivity, management, and employee morale and employee working styles. They may also work specifically with policy planning, employee screening and recruiting, training and organizational development.

The average salary for an industrial and organizational psychology is $83,580, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is significantly higher than the average annual salary of psychologists ($69,280).

The BLS also projects that employment of I/O psychologists will increase 53 percent by 2022. This is almost five times the average for all occupations in the United States.

Here are the top five positions for I/O psychologists.

1. Professors

Educators are responsible for training and teaching organizational and industrial psychologists at colleges and universities. Generally, professors of I/O psychology need to hold at least a master’s degree. I/O psychology professors must stay at the forefront of the field in order to teach relevant information to their students. This may require working with researchers and other I/O psychologists. Some higher education institutions may require professors to have a doctoral degree as well as job experience as an I/O psychologist.

2. Trainers and Facilitators

Trainers and facilitators are either hired by companies or organizations or work in the human resources department of a company or organization. They apply their research and skills to workplace productivity, employee morale, training and recruitment. This may include activities like holding training sessions, creating online courses for training and planning events for organizations to increase productivity, morale and effectiveness.

3. Independent Consultants

Independent consultants either work for a consulting firm or for themselves. They may work in a variety of industries or have specialized skills and knowledge that can be directed toward a certain industry.

4. Human Resources Professionals

HR professionals use their skills and knowledge in industrial and organizational psychology to better meet the needs of the employees and administrators of an organization or company. This may include acting as an advocate or counselor for employees, as well as facilitating communication between different departments or levels of administration.

5. Researchers

For I/O psychologists who are not interested in working with businesses, research may be the best career path. Researchers focus on gathering and analyzing data in order to come to conclusions about best practices and trends in industrial and organizational psychology.

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