Industrial Psychology Careers & Degrees
In today's competitive world, companies are looking for ways to boost productivity and profits, and one way to do this is to promote job satisfaction and well-being among their employees. Improving workplace efficiency and understanding employee behavior are key objectives for industrial psychologists (sometimes called industrial-organizational psychologists). As a professional in the industrial psychology field, you will enable companies to do the following:
- Help people do their jobs effectively
- Treat employees fairly
- Make jobs more interesting and satisfying
An increasing number of schools offer bachelor and master degrees in industrial psychology. In order to become a qualified industrial psychologist, you will need to pursue graduate level education. A master degree in industrial psychology or an associated field such as human resources or organizational development takes approximately two years, after which you will be a qualified industrial psychologist. A doctoral degree will require five to seven years of graduate-level study.
Role of an Industrial Psychologist
Industrial psychologists primarily help increase satisfaction, productivity and well-being in a workplace environment. Traditionally, industrial psychologists evaluate the behavior of workers and their experience within an organization, then they research methods to enhance this experience. Their research ranges from studying the work habits of individuals to analyzing the organization as a whole.
An industrial psychologist has several responsibilities within an organization, including:
- Working to ensure that employees are treated fairly
- Addressing harassment issues
- Creating systems that reward performance
- Making jobs more interesting/satisfying
- Motivating employees and teams to work effectively
- Helping people and teams become more productive
- Offering training and development
- Helping the workforce meet competitive challenges
Industrial psychologists also help develop work processes that are flexible, while maintaining productivity and worker well-being. Industrial psychology consultants thoroughly study an organization and help management create training modules and motivational programs for employees. They may also address issues such as a discrimination and diversity.
Skills Needed in Industrial Psychology
Communication is a vital skill for industrial psychologists. They not only need to be able to effectively communicate with employers and employees in order to gain understanding about the issues they face, but also to present their strategies for solving problems effectively.
Salary and Wages
Salaries for industrial psychologists vary, depending on their level of education and the place of employment. Experience in the field also makes a difference in compensation levels. According to Payscale.com, here are some average salary statistics for industrial psychologists with varying levels of education in different places of employment:
- Master of Science in Industrial Psychology: $64,418
- PhD in Industrial Psychology: $81,818
- Industrial psychology consultants: $76,000
- Industrial psychologists in healthcare establishments: $67,491
- Industrial psychologists in universities and colleges: $29,100
Outlook for Employment
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for industrial psychologists will grow over the next few years as companies want to boost worker morale and improve efficiency. However, jobs in this field are likely to remain competitive, particularly for individuals who have master degrees. A doctor degree in industrial psychology will lead to more job opportunities and higher compensation and make you a more attractive job applicant.
Industrial psychologists will find employment opportunities in consulting firms and small businesses that are looking for human resource specialists.
Take the First Step
Getting you master or doctor degree in industrial psychology will open doors to exciting opportunities in this field. Find school that offers industrial psychology programs, and choose the one that's right for you.