What Degree is Needed to Become an Industrial Psychologist?

Questions regarding flexibility and choice in the degree needed to become an industrial psychologist are a common occurrence today. This growing field in psychology certainly provides a great career path. Due to its importance and great implications on workforces today, there is little leeway in the degree requirements to get on-board with this career. Here’s the scoop.

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Industrial Psychology at a Glance

Before diving into the specific education requirements for becoming an industrial psychologist, it’s a good idea to review the basics of what this career path is all about. An industrial psychologist acts as a sort of guide within organizations to help make decisions and promote overall employee mental well-being and productivity. They are increasingly the background drivers of policy and policy-change.

An industrial psychologist may interview employees to pinpoint a specific systemic issue at a work facility. They also work with their organization’s management team to create and institute new policies that facilitate improved worker morale and fight back against burnout problems. There are many, diverse ways in which this sort of professional, on-site psychologist can benefit an organization. Industrial psychologists are also referred to commonly as IO or industrial-occupational psychologists.

Degree, Certification Requirements of IO Psychologists Today

As touched on briefly above, there is little to no leeway given to the educational requirements in place for becoming an IO psychologist today. For all prospective workers here, the industry-standard educational requirements hold that a master’s in psychology must be earned before applying for any such psychology position in the field. No substitution is accepted in place of this requirement. Additionally, some jurisdictions require the prospective IO psychologist to hold a permit or certification for this line of work. As a result, it is always a good idea to check with the city, county, or state government of an area in which employment may be desired.

Master’s Degree in Psychology

The industry requires IO psychologists is to hold master’s degrees n psychology. The Master’s in Psychology prepares students for all real-world applications of professional psychology. Students of this degree will become masters of the understanding of human mood, personality, decision-making method, human behavioral science, common and uncommon psychological conditions and attributes, and much more. This degree typically takes four to six years to complete for students with no prior college credits. Students can also choose various major and minor routes of study as well as whether to work toward a Master of Art or a Master of Science in Psychology.

Additional Bureau of Labor Statistics Figures

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides some additional, helpful facts and figures regarding IO psychology work and the requirements to get there. According to the most recent figures out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for today’s IO psychologist is approximately $49.29 with an annual mean wage of about $102,530. The strongest states for employment of IO psychologists are Virginia and Massachusetts followed by New Jersey and Missouri. Also worthy of note are the Bureau’s figures on where most industrial psychologists end up working. Companies working in scientific development and research employ the most IO psychologists, while next in line are management and consulting services and governments.

Industrial psychology is a great and growing field to be a part of. Learning more about this professional role as well as its entry requirements is an important first step. The master’s in psychology is the critical component, however, and the only degree needed to become an industrial psychologist today.

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