INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Definition, Duty, Salary &How to Become One

Industrial Psychologist
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A rewarding job in industrial psychology enables people to enhance the workplace. To decide if being an industrial psychologist is the right career path for you, you should first understand what these experts do and the qualifications you must meet in order to become one. This section discusses the duties of an industrial-organizational psychologist, their typical salary, and how to become one.

Industrial Psychologist

Industrial psychologists use their understanding of human psychology to enhance working environments. This career combines corporate strategy with psychology in their work and comprehends how others behave. In order to assess their existing methods for managing their personnel and make suggestions for improvements, this includes talking with corporate executives and human resources specialists. Making the workplace a happier, healthier environment for employees while fostering productivity is frequently the aim of an industrial psychologist. Here are a few tasks that industrial psychologists complete each day:

  • Utilizing business data and statistical methods to make decisions
  • Creating performance assessments that spur development
  • Conducting worker interviews to learn more about the dynamics at work
  • Assisting to determine a candidate’s suitability for the job environment as part of the hiring process
  • Utilizing their understanding of how individuals learn, they develop training approaches
  • Advising management on potential personnel effects of policy and practice changes

Skills for Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

With a degree in industrial-organizational psychology, you can pursue a variety of professions in human relations and people analytics. There are some fundamental talents that will help you in this sector even though the degree and certification you’ll need ultimately depend on the job.

#1. Listening

You need to understand the requirements of both individuals and organizations to be effective in this sector, so you must be a good listener.

#2. Problem-Solving

An important aspect of an industrial-organizational psychologist’s skill set is the ability to resolve conflicts, whether they are interpersonal or organizational in nature. You’ll need to be an objective party skilled at getting to the heart of workplace problems and developing solutions that are just and keep true to the culture and objectives of your firm.  

#3. Persuasion and Negotiation

Compromises are commonplace at work, and as an industrial-organizational psychologist, you might be the chief mediator. You must create workable and agreeable solutions for all parties, whether you are mediating compensation packages, contracts, or disputes between two parties.

#4. Data Analysis

Beyond soft talents, industrial-organizational psychology demands hard capabilities. The subfield of people analytics requires quantitative analysis because recruiting decisions, benchmarking, and organizational demands can all be based on the examination of data.

#5. Comprehension in Writing and Reading

These abilities should not be taken for granted, particularly in a field where written documentation is crucial. To ensure efficient and open operations, you’ll need to be able to draft and comprehend complex rules, contracts, agreements, and even laws and legal documents.

What Does an Industrial Psychologist Do

An “industrial psychologist” or “industrial-organizational psychologist” is a mental health specialist who focuses on researching and applying psychological theories to office settings. These experts concentrate on enhancing workers’ physical and mental well-being in order to boost productivity at work.

Industrial psychologists track and observe employee attitudes and actions to identify areas for development and create customized solutions to workplace problems through procedures, products, and leadership development. Professionals in this area of psychology are expected to be familiar with the legal precedent, administrative rules, and ethical issues surrounding workplace actions. Their precise duties could include the following:

  • Increasing corporate effectiveness
  • Enhancing both employers’ and employees’ quality of life
  • Examination of customer behavior
  • Utilizing statistical techniques and applications to analyze data in order to assess the results and efficacy of workplace initiatives
  • Analyzing workplace research to determine how well a business is functioning
  • Creating rating scales, psychological evaluations, and interviewing methods for hiring, promoting, and placing employees
  • Identifying an organization’s needs for training and development
  • Employee counseling around work performance and other career-related issues

Industrial Psychologist Salary

The average annual salary for an industrial-organizational psychologist is $120,191, but there are no salary statistics available for industrial psychologists specifically. An industrial-organizational psychologist may make more salary on average than a general psychologist because they specialize in a certain field.

Industrial psychologists’ pay may also differ depending on their geographic region, place of employment, amount of education, number of years of experience, and field of expertise. For instance, an industrial psychologist who serves as a freelance business consultant for large firms might earn a remuneration that is higher than the industry standard.

Top Industrial Psychologist Salary by State

An industrial-organizational psychologist’s base salary and benefits depend on their location, the requisite degree and experience, the size and nature of their employer, and the job’s requirements. Smaller cities and rural places may not offer as high of pay as major urban areas where corporate offices are situated.

The average pay for psychologists in each state is shown below.

  • Alabama: $114,353 per year
  • Alaska: $121,917 per year
  • Arizona: $120,264 per year
  • California: $130,259 per year
  • Colorado: $124,888 per year
  • Connecticut: $124,951 per year
  • Florida: $115,591 per year
  • Illinois: $122,952 per year
  • Kentucky: $111,779 per year
  • Indiana: $114,159 per year
  • Georgia: $118,225 per year

Requirements for Industrial Psychologists

A lot of education and training must be completed in order to become an industrial psychologist.

The following are some prerequisites for becoming an industrial psychologist:

#1. Education

A master’s degree is the bare minimum education required to become an industrial psychologist. An industrial psychologist who holds a master’s degree can offer consulting services to businesses but cannot engage in clinical treatment. Industrial psychologists need to have a Ph.D. degree in order to provide clinical services. A doctorate degree gives industrial psychologists the knowledge and abilities to examine their clients’ mental health using diagnostic techniques. You probably only need a master’s to become an industrial psychologist if you’d rather work in consulting.

#2. Training

Industrial psychologists are trained while in school, and once they start working, they receive extra on-the-job training. Industrial psychologists must complete considerable training throughout their education in order to offer clinical services. Additionally, they continue their education in order to keep their qualifications current. This education might entail going to seminars or taking more classes.

#3. Certifications

Those who wish to practice clinical psychology must be licensed. Once students complete a Ph.D. program and a specific length of clinical training, they can submit an application for a license. Industrial psychologists must first complete the unique licensure standards of each state, which may involve completing a background check or comprehensive exam. Although certification is conceivable, industrial psychologists do not require a license if they do not intend to provide clinical services. Industrial psychologists can become certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) to prove their expertise and commitment to the field. Individuals who want to become board-certified industrial psychologists must pass an exam and renew their certification in accordance with the ABPP’s current requirements.

How to Become an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

You must fulfill a number of prerequisites before you can start working as an industrial psychologist. Several physical and soft skills that are necessary for the job can be acquired through education and training. The most popular and efficient measures you can take to become an industrial psychologist are listed below:

#1. Get Your Bachelor’s Degree.

The bachelor’s degree program for prospective industrial-organizational psychologists must be accredited. Although it is not necessary, most students are interested in becoming industrial psychologists majoring in psychology. Make sure you take classes in social psychology, statistics, research technique, and psychological concepts if you decide to pursue a different major. I-O psychology is a major offered by some schools and universities, although general psychology is also offered as a specialization by others. Most master’s programs require you to take the GRE after you have earned your bachelor’s degree. The GRE is a three-and-a-half-hour test with three sections: a verbal part, a quantitative section, and an analytical writing assessment.

#2. Finish Your Master’s Program.

Students that are interested in working as I-O psychologists in the private sector often need a master’s degree. Although some students may choose to finish a Master’s in Business Administration, the most typical master’s degree for this role is a Master’s in Organizational Psychology.

Graduate students take courses in organizational structuring, leadership psychology, and other topics that train them to use the appropriate frameworks in the workplace. While MBA programs have a greater emphasis on business and economics education, M.A. and M.S. degrees place a greater emphasis on research design and methods. It will typically take two to three years to finish a master’s program.

#3. Consider Doing an Internship.

Although not all academic institutions need internships for I-O psychology, they may help you get practical experience in your subject of study. Try exploring for chances to finish an internship in a professional context while pursuing your undergraduate or graduate degree.

You can gain an advantage when applying for positions by shadowing an I-O professional as you train for a career in I-O psychology. Additionally, you can establish working connections with individuals in the field who could act as references on your applications or résumé.

#4. Think About Getting Your Ph.D. or Psy.D.

Consider getting a graduate degree if you’re interested in I-O psychology research, teaching, or clinical practice. The theories and principles covered in the curriculum for a Ph.D. program are based on scientific research. A Ph.D. can be earned in three to five years. With a Ph.D., you could be able to boost your income potential.

#5. Take Into Account Obtaining the Necessary Licenses.

The majority of I-O psychologists can begin working for organizational advances without first obtaining a state license. But if you want to be taken seriously as a psychologist and operate in a clinical setting, you might think about getting a license. To get licensed, a person must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), complete a doctoral degree program, and complete a supervised internship. Before pursuing licensing, you might want to learn more about the rules in your state to see if you actually need one.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Certification

A member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology, the American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology (ABOBCP) is where you must apply for certification if you want to become a board-certified I/O psychologist. You must complete a Ph.D. program in order to become board certified. The certification process will thereafter need you to pass both a written and an oral exam. The cost of the written exam is $300, while the cost of the oral exam is $450. Recertification must be done every year.

Who Is the Father of Industrial Psychology?

I-O psychology is frequently credited as having Hugo Munsterberg as its father.

Which Country Is Best for Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

Similar to the US, one of the highest-paying job paths in psychology in the UK is industrial-organizational psychology. They contribute to enhancing and improving workplace efficiency, communication, and efforts to improve working conditions inside the organization.

Is Industrial Psychology in Demand?

Between 2021 and 2031, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 3.8% increase in employment for industrial psychologists. An estimated 100 positions should become available during that time. The concepts of psychology are applied to the workplace by industrial psychologists.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become an Industrial Psychologist?

Individuals must first obtain a bachelor’s degree before pursuing a master’s degree in order to work in the field of IO psychology. It can take this process 6-7 years on average. Additionally, they should plan on completing an additional 4-6 years of education to obtain a doctorate.


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