Many companies say their greatest resource is their employees. Industrial-organizational psychologists help develop positive, effective work environments that support employee success, and organizational productivity. Focusing on making a strong match between employees and positions, they are often adept at job analysis— learning which skills and qualities are most important for different jobs. They develop testing and selection methods to make the best hiring decisions, and help current employees find advancement opportunities within their organization. When conflicts occur, they participate in mediation and dispute resolution. Industrial-organizational psychologists also advise leaders on how to communicate effectively. They use surveys and other tools to identify the areas an organization needs to change to be more successful. To improve morale, lower stress, and build stronger teams, these psychologists also develop training programs for staff and managers. Work settings for this field are most often corporations, research groups, government agencies, or independent work consulting with different types of organizations. A master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology is required to enter this field; some positions require a Ph.D. The great reward for an industrial-organization psychologist… comes from seeing employees achieve their own job satisfaction.
What they do:
Apply principles of psychology to human resources, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems. 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.
On the job, you would:
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, and motivation to assess organizational functioning.
Conduct presentations on research findings for clients and at research meetings.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
human resources (HR)
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by speaking
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Human resources software
Human resource information system HRIS
doctoral degree or master's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.