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How Much do Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Make?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Industrial-Organizational psychologists with a graduate degree make around $65,000 every year, while those with a doctoral degree make around $81,000. I-O psychologists who are college and university professors will make around $70,000 every year. Those who teach in the private sector will earn up to $100,000 a year.

BLS Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), I-O psychologists apply psychological principles to areas like management, human resources and operations administration. This includes activities related to policy planning, productivity analysis, organizational development and employee assessments and training. The BLS states that the average annual salary is around $92,000 and that the employment rate is expected to grow by 14 percent. Most I-O psychologists are employed in management consulting companies, but many others work for scientific research organizations.

A small number of I-O psychologists are employed by state governments, higher learning institutions and engineering firms. Some work for health, technical consulting and professional schools. Employers will most likely not accept a bachelor’s degree, so a master’s or doctoral degree is a must. Some states require I-O psychologists to be licensed or certified in order to use the term psychologist. These typically require candidates to have a few years of experience, pass an exam and maintain their credentials through continuing education.

Master’s in I-O Psychology

A master’s in I-O psychology trains students in the application of psychological research in work environments. These programs usually emphasize research as the key to applied skills and knowledge. Most programs foster a collaborative environment for students to cooperate on projects and engage with faculty members. Projects cover everything from staff selection to quantitative analysis to organizational health issues. The industrial-organizational psychology degree trains students to conduct research in workplace concepts like motivation, leadership and human performance assessments.

A master’s in I-O psychology program may offer classes in the social bases of behavior, which surveys things like group processes, individual perception and attitude formation. Classes on psychometric methods examine tools like predictor tests and criterion development within the frameworks of validity and reliability. I-O psychologists often create tests to analyze employee abilities, interests and personalities. Classes on advanced statistics will cover research methodology topics like quasi-experiments, field approaches and data handling approaches.

Doctorate in I-O Psychology

Doctorate in I-O psychology programs cover very complex topics and usually allow students to focus their academic energy in specialized topics for their research. Students usually work with local experts and businesses to conduct their research, which is usually published. Students may examine the strengths and weaknesses of current research techniques that evaluate human and organizational effectiveness. They may research I-O psychology skills related to job analysis interviews, task inventory scoring, employee performance appraisals and job candidate selection instruments.

Some I-O psychology students may focus on how to improve current personnel tests and the associated scoring, administration and interpretation of results. Research issues in personnel psychology will examines current literature related to job compensation, performance training and diversity selection issues. One popular topic is the psychometric and methodological issues that arise from the interpretation and evaluation of Caucasian-based personnel tests that exclude other culture.

Anyone who wants to learn more about Industrial-Organizational Psychologists can visit the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s (SIOP) website.

See also: Top 25 Online Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology 2016

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