Like most types of psychology, organizational psychology is a growing field that’s very much in demand today as companies try to make their businesses as profitable as possible through the use of satisfied employees. Organizational psychology, also known as industrial-organizational psychology or I-O psychology, has become very popular today as a method for recruiting and keeping good employees by determining the best ways to keep them satisfied and motivated. This increase in popularity has resulted in a positive job outlook for I-O psychologists.

Related resource: Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

What is Organizational Psychology?

When we hear the word psychology, we tend to think of sitting in a psychologist’s office and talking about our problems. This is the case with many types of psychology but not organizational psychology. Organizational psychology is a type of psychology this involves organizations, employees and the work environment in general.

I-O psychologists spend time within an organization and do research into what employee needs must be met to have a productive workplace filled with satisfied employees. I-O psychologists deal with workplace issues, such as discrimination, sexual harassment, job training, sexual orientation, and find ways to help the organization deal with these issues and put employees in positions based on their strengths and talents. They also help the organizations find the best employees for their company.

How to Become an Organizational Psychologist

To become an organizational psychologist, an individual must have at least a master’s degree in industrial psychology or a relevant field. Some I-O psychologists have doctoral degrees. It generally takes from two to four years to become an I-O psychologist if the student already possesses a bachelor’s degree. In addition to coursework, the individual must complete a 1- to a 2-year internship.

If the candidate wants to use the title of psychologist, he or she must obtain licensure, Licensure can be obtained by completing the required education and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) according to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Job Outlook for Organizational Psychology

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that psychologists should see an increase in job growth during the decade of 2016-2026, the branch of psychology will affect the employment growth. Psychologists overall should see a 14% increase while I-O psychologists are only expected to see a growth of 8%. The job growth may vary by geographic location. For instance, there is typically a higher need for I-O psychologists in large cities with various industries than in small towns. In a 2014 BLS report, I-O psychologists ranked No. 1 among the 20 fastest-growing occupations.

Wage Potential for I-O Psychologists

According to a BLS survey on wages for social occupations, such as sociologists, historians, economists, market research analysts and clinical/school psychologists, I-O psychologists earned the highest mean wages. As of a May 2017, organizational psychologists earned an average annual wage of 102,530 with wages ranging from $50,730 to $184,520. The five top-paying states for I-O psychologists were Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Massachusetts.

The best way to have satisfied and motivated employees is to know “what makes them tick” and provide them with a satisfying workplace based on their needs. To keep up with the growing economy, more companies are using I-O psychologists, which improves the job outlook for organizational psychology professionals is so good.