Industrial Organizational Psychology provides details about organizational psychology degrees, where to find the best degree program for you, who might be best suited for this type of degree, types of job opportunities that are available to those earning an organizational psychology degree,  average salaries for organizational psychology jobs, and more.

For those attempting to decide upon a specific career or degree program, making the right choice for their personal talents, interests, and financial goals can seem very overwhelming. For many people, choosing a career option that helps other people is an important part of their choice overall. Psychology is a very common field that covers a wide variety of sub-specialties that are generally appealing to those who place a primary emphasis on helping others. An organizational psychology degree, however, is vastly different from the vision that often comes to mind when picturing a psychologist. What is organizational psychology all about?


An organizational psychology degree is a specialized branch of a general psychology degree. Organizational psychology programs study human behavior as it relates to the workplace. This field of study applies psychological theories to entire organizations and their individual employees. People who possess strong communication and people skills, who enjoy performing psychological research, analyzing specific results, and applying them to the workplace and employee/employer relationships may enjoy and benefit from a career in organizational psychology. Leadership, teamwork, communication, trust, and determination are important areas where organizational psychologists must hone their skills.

The employer/employee relationship is a very important, but often overlooked, part of job satisfaction and organizational success from a financial perspective. Employee satisfaction on the job drastically reduces absenteeism, productivity, the employee turnover rate, the number of sick days taken, and the overall mood of employees on a daily basis. This not only serves to improve the experience of employees, but it also protects the organization in the process.  An organizational psychologist fulfills an important role in helping an organization become more successful by helping them improve the way they hire, train, and manage their employees. They perform vital functions that help businesses to become more profitable while their employees experience better experiences on the job. An organizational psychologist can be useful within an organization for improving the motivation, performance, safety, and job satisfaction of an organization’s employees.

How To Find the Top Organizational Psychology Degree Programs

How To Find the Top Organizational Psychology Degree Programs

Before an individual can pursue an organizational psychology degree, they must first earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. Most students begin by earning a bachelor’s degree in general psychology. After this, they continue their schooling to earn a master’s in organizational psychology or master’s in industrial psychology. This career can also be accomplished through a doctorate program specifically geared toward organizational psychology. Individuals who earn a Ph.D. generally earn a higher salary and have the best career options in the field overall.

In considering whether to obtain their organizational psychology degree online or at a traditional brick and mortar school, it is important for students to realize that most employers view the degree in much the same manner. Whether it was obtained online or not, the degree represents the work that the individual put into obtaining it. As long as it was achieved through an accredited school, it is viewed in the same manner by someone considering hiring an organizational psychologist.

Online programs allowing individuals to earn an organizational psychology degree are vast today. These programs provide versatility and freedom for those who have very active and busy lives. For example, many college students today are in their 20s or 30s when they begin pursuing this type of degree. As a result, they often have existing jobs and family obligations that they must attend to while striving after their organizational psychology degree. For these busy individuals, an online degree program can be the perfect choice.

There are many benefits to earning an online organizational psychology degree, but it also requires a great deal of discipline and the ability to be self-motivated enough to complete the work required without supervision. Unlike a traditional school setting, online degrees require the student to be able to keep up with required reading, test preparation, studying, and other factors that come into play with this degree. Self-motivation and the ability to keep up with a demanding course-load are important when considering an online degree. Whether a person chooses an online program or a brick and mortar university, a quality school should be accredited by one of the major US accrediting agencies. After obtaining a degree in this field, additional certification testing may be required for some locations or specific sub-specialties.

The cost involved in earning an organizational psychology degree will vary greatly. For example, depending on a student’s location, earning a master’s degree in this field can run over $25,000 if not substantially more. While some schools may charge slightly more or less, trends in college pricing indicate that the average cost for a four-year public school runs close to $10,000 for in-state tuition and almost $26,000 for out-of-state tuition. When deciding if this career is the best option for them, it is important for students to consider the overall cost of obtaining the level of degree that they aspire to. Additionally, they may want to consider whether moving to a denser metropolitan area may be beneficial post-graduation for finding the type of job they desire the most.

Related Resource: What are Psychomotor Skills?

If being able to afford an organizational psychology degree is a concern for students, they may be interested in determining whether or not they qualify for various types of financial aid that exist today. Many students today rely on a variety of student loan and financial aid programs that will allow them to make their pursuit of an organizational psychology degree more affordable. Loans can help students afford their yearly tuition without having to worry about paying the money back until they have secured a job post-graduation. Students must remember that there are additional costs involved in obtaining a degree aside from tuition and boarding. For example, the cost of buying textbooks and covering other incidental required purchases must also be considered. In some cases, students can qualify for additional grants that do not have to be paid back at all. The financial aid department at any school can assist students with finding the financial aid programs that will benefit them the most.

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Careers and Salaries for Organizational Psychology Degree Graduates

Careers and Salaries for Organizational Psychology Degree Graduates

The demand for organizational psychologists is on the rise today. Many facilities now require the use of an organizational psychologist to improve their employees’ productivity levels, keep them happier on the job, and ensure their own maximum profitability. This is a very in-demand career due to the fact that the benefits provided help both employers and employees to have a more successful working relationship.

Those achieving an organizational psychology degree can work in a wide variety of settings, making this a very diverse and interesting field. Organizational psychology job domain descriptions cover the following areas within the workplace:

* Hiring new employees

* Training employees

* Facilitating organizational change in the workplace

* Measuring the performance of employees on an ongoing basis

* Identifying job dangers and ensuring the safety of employees

* Reducing absenteeism and sick days taken by employees

* Developing programs that improve employee satisfaction

For those that are more interested in the research side of this career, job opportunities in the academic sector are in demand as well. Faculty members can be hired by academic institutions in all sectors of the psychology field, opening up enormous windows of opportunities for limitless career options.

One way to start out in the field is through internships. Many types of internships are available for organizational psychology degree students. These internships can be found in a wide variety of small and large corporations who rely on the unique skills that organizational psychologists possess. Once an internship has been completed, this often opens the door for successful employment in these organizations.

The starting salary for organizational psychologists who have earned their master’s degree begins at around $64,000 annually. For a student who has earned his Ph.D., this salary jumps drastically to around $78,000 annually. Graduates who end up working in the academic sector as university professors can earn an average annual salary of $103,000. Last but not least, the highest earners in the field can bring in as much as $250,000 annually.

It is important to remember that these organizational psychology salary figures are averages. The actual salaries that can be earned in these various positions will differ greatly depending on the experience level, geographical area, and level of degree.

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Additional Resources for Organizational Psychology Degrees and Related Careers

Careers in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Industrial-Organizational Psychology Careers

Pursuing a Career In I/O Psychology

How To Become an Industrial Psychologist