There are many different specializations in any medical field. In the psychology field, one of the more obscure is that of the Industrial-Organizational Psychologist. Also known as an I-O Psychologist, this branch of the field of Psychology applies psychology to organizations and workplace environments. The primary mission of the I-O Psychologist is to applying the science of psychology to the needs of individuals in an organizational environment, corporation, government or other group setting. Find out more about your industrial organizational psychology degree below.
The effort is dually focused on the well-being of the individuals that are a part of the organization as well as the productivity and positive environment of the organization itself. For example, I-O Psychologists will research and analyze the behaviors and attitudes of the people in the organization to determine how to improve the organization's performance through hiring practices, training programs and other feedback systems. The provide counseling and therapy for individuals that are experiencing difficulties related to the environment or their position in it.
In order to be licensed as an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist you will need to have at least master's degree in psychology with a focus on Industrial-Organization Psychology. There are certification exams that must be passed as well and these requirements vary from state to state. You will also have to undergo a one or two year internship. This is usually a total of 3000 hours and you can accrue this time prior to graduation during your graduate study phase. So for example, you might acquire the needed hours of clinical supervision during your masters studies. You also need to insure that your institution is accredited by the APA or the American Psychological Association, for certifying I-O Psychologists.
Once you are licensed, you will be one of a very select group of only 2,300 individuals in the United States. This is not, however a new profession. Its history goes back to World War II and the period following. As America industrialized and transformed there was an increasing interest in the subject of "group" psychology as applied to business and industrial environments. One of the reasons for the limited number of professionals in this area is that until recently this was primarily a theoretical and research field. Very few where employed in the private sector save as high-level advisors. Recently there has been an upswing in the need for these professionals in the workplace, as our society has become more diverse and dynamic.
If past performance is any guide then this number is grossly underestimated. With such stiff competition and intense growth, we can expect wages to rise commensurate with the demand. Keeping in mind that wage estimates are for the median salary or the middle of the middle 50% of earners. This includes those in their internship phase as well as those just starting out. The actual salaries earned by full-time professionals will be at or above the median. At this rate, this will NOT be an obscure branch of psychology for long.
During school you’ll be able to learn and have a good understanding of psychology and its history. You’ll be properly prepared upon graduation to be able to form your own hypotheses after researching and collecting data as well as use your critical thinking skills to obtain results.
Social Psychology – Learn individual behaviors and how they influence the human mind and behaviors.
Organizational Psychology – Learn how teams work together in a corporate setting. Study how to design training for employees as well as work with HR to help improve hiring and training of staff members.
Occupational Health Psychology – Study how illness and psychology affect employees. Study the diversity of employees in the workplace.
Cognitive Psychology – Take courses that deal in the study of memory, language and organizational development. Study attention spans of employees and how it can affect organizations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median salary is $88,740 and reported to grow 22%. I-O psychologists also have the highest level of income in New York and California.
Question: What do you do for a living?
I currently work with a company and work directly with the human resource manager. I develop training for new employees. I cover and deal with sexual harassment documentation as well as absenteeism issues.
Question: Why is having an industrial organization manager important for a business?
One of the biggest things that can hurt a company is if you have unhappy employees. I write manuals and train HR managers to help screen employers.
Question: What is the best thing about your job?
I really enjoy helping employees. It is so expensive to hire and train employees that sometimes an unhappy employee is just a matter of miscommunication between them and their manager or another employee.