Industrial – Organizational psychologists (I-O) study the psychological aspects of the workplace. Some I-O professionals teach and research in academic settings, while others work in the human resource department.

Should I Become an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist?

Education Required Master’s or doctoral degree
Major Requirement Psychology
Training Required
Licenses/Certifications Required
Key Skills Integrity, Patience, Analytical Skills, Problem-Solving Skills, Communication Skills, Interpersonal Skills and Observational Skills.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) –National $111,150
Job Outlook (2018-28) 14% (Psychologists)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industrial – Organizational psychologists apply principles and theories through research to create a better workplace environment. They identify development and training needs in multiple areas such as, productivity, and developing performance criteria of a company. I-O psychologists are required to have knowledge of administrative regulations, ethical considerations and case law related to workplace activities. Most of these professionals work full-time; however, those who are self-employed can work their schedules accordingly.

Career Outlook

From 2018-2018, I-O psychologists will be witnessing a growth of 13% as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As companies want to improve their rate of retention, they prefer having an I-O on board to facilitate them. Most of these psychologists earn a general degree in psychology; however, due to their increasing demand, multiple schools have started offering degrees in industrial psychology. I-O professionals are also required to improve efficiency, organizational productivity and boost office morale.

Steps to Become an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

  1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. For aspiring industrial- Organizational psychologists, the first step is to get a bachelor’s degree. There is no specific major requirement but students have to make sure that they take a few mandatory courses like social psychology, statistics and psychological principles. Some colleges also offer a major in I-O.

  1. Get a Master’s Degree
  2. A Master’s degree is the minimum education required by employers in most private sector companies. Students can choose a Master in Arts (M.A) or Master in Science (M.S). These programs focus on foundational coursework in I-O psychology, research design and methodology. Students are also trained for industry work during these programs. While in a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program, students get trained in management and economics.

  1. Get a Doctoral Degree
  2. Aspiring I-Os who want to advance their career in clinical practice, research or academia have to obtain a doctoral degree. These programs require 3-5 years to complete; however, the requirement for coursework varies. Students spend the first two years to complete the coursework, while the remaining years are used to write a dissertation. Completing a practicum or internship may also be required.

  1. Consider Licensure
  2. Most I-O professionals do not require licensure as they are employed in areas of employee relation and development. However, those who want to work in a clinical setting need to obtain it. They are required to have a doctoral degree and supervised internship to be able to apply for licensure. Applicants have to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Candidates may contact their state board to find out about the jobs that need licensure.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist?

Prospective I-Os are required to complete a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree. Those who want to go on to clinical practice have to pursue a doctoral degree as well. After fulfilling the education requirements, students need to gain professional experience and obtain licensure.

What Are the Requirements to Become an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist?

Following are the requirements to become an industrial psychologist:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s and a master’s degree
  • Get a doctoral degree
  • Complete an internship
  • Obtain licensure

How Much Can I Make After Becoming an Industrial – Organizational Psychologist

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of industrial psychologists was $111,150 in 2019.