Industrial Psychologist Careers








$68,640 /yr

$33.00 /hr

All Stats from

Industrial psychologists apply psychology principles to internal business challenges—ranging from Human Resources, retention, and productivity issues to marketing, sales, management, and use of resources. Industrial psychologists participate in a range of areas, including employee recruitment and testing, training and development programs, policy planning, and motivational strategy.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Job Description

Basically, an industrial psychologist’s job is to improve the environment of a workplace in order to boost employee satisfaction—and overall company performance. Their strategies may impact hiring, training, feedback, and management systems to improve morale during usual operations as well as periods of transition—when employee turnover is typically higher and morale is lower. They may also design workplace harassment and diversity policies, develop incentive programs, and work to increase productivity and talent retention.

Becoming an Industrial and Organizational Psychologist

A Masters-level degree is usually required to get into this field. To enter a Masters degree program, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree—a psychology or business degree is helpful, but not mandatory.

A doctoral degree is usually not required to start. But it can be useful—especially if you are going for higher-level consulting and leadership positions or you are interested in a research position at a university. Doctoral degrees in this area typically take around five to seven years to earn.

Most industrial-organizational psychology positions don’t require licensure. However, some do—and licensure requirements vary by state, although they usually involve earning a Doctoral degree, completing an internship supervised by a licensed psychologist, and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Check with your state board of licensure to see if you’ll be required to earn the license in your chosen career.

Working Conditions for Industrial Psychologists

There are a variety of places where industrial psychologists are in demand. The most obvious is private industry; industrial psychologists may find themselves working for anything from pharmaceutical companies to silicon chip manufacturers. Most industrial psychologists in private industry are employed by larger rather than mid-sized companies.

You could also find yourself working for a hospital. Industrial psychologists are particularly useful in health care settings, where you can apply your expertise to hiring and retaining top medical talent.

Research and teaching positions are also available in universities. These positions typically require a PhD in industrial psychology or a related field.

Becoming an Industrial Psychologist with an Online Degree

In general, you should be able to land a job with an online degree in industrial psychology. However, this industry is not as friendly to online degrees as some others are, and it’s best to earn your degree from a traditional, nonprofit school that also offers a hybrid or online Masters degree program rather than a fully-online or for-profit school.

If you are one of the minority of industrial-organizational psychologists required to be licensed, you may have a hard time earning licensure with an online doctoral degree. That’s because most states require potential license-holders to earn a Doctoral degree from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association—and many online programs are not.

Be sure to check the licensure requirement programs for your state, however. Some do not have the APA accreditation requirement. Others do not require industrial psychologists to be licensed. And others will honor exchange agreements with other states that do not have an APA requirement. Check the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards to start gathering more info on your situation.

Industrial Psychologist Salary

The payment outlook varies depending on where you work and the type of education you have. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the salary range for this profession stretches from $55,330 on the low end to $143,950 on the high end.

Pros and Cons of Becoming an Organizational-Industrial Psychologist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook in this field is projected to rise at around 15.6% in the next decade. This makes it a fairly stable career path. However, the education requirement is high, at a minimum of a Master’s degree—so it takes considerable investment to get a job. In addition, positions in industrial psychology tend to be highly competitive, especially at the Masters-degree level.

Industrial psychology can be both a challenging and rewarding career. Check out the many industrial psychology degree programs out there—and find one that’s right for you.

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