Organizational psychologists, also known as industrial-organizational (I/O) psychologists, play an important role in helping a workforce be as productive and profitable as possible and many who aspire to work in this capacity wonder if organizational psychologists work with multiple companies at one time. The good news is that while an I/O psychologist may choose to work in just one organization, many choose to work in several locations. Here is an overview of organizational psychologists and what their career entails.
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What is an Organizational Psychologist?
An organizational psychologist is a trained professional who uses research and psychological principles to solve employment problems in the workplace and improve the quality of the employees’ lives. They communicate with employees, assess management, review employee working styles and study workplace productivity. After performing screenings and collaborating with management, the I/O psychologist oversees training programs and creates a plan for moving forward.
Where Do Organizational Psychologists Work?
Throughout the course of a workday or workweek, organizational psychologists do the following according to the American Psychological Association.
• Apply psychological research to the workplace
• Assist companies with hiring qualified workers
• Assess an employee’s job performance
• Increase business efficiency
• Work with human resources offices
• Identify development and training needs
• Coach employees
• Act as consultants
• Research and study consumer behavior
• Assist with training and motivating the workforce
It’s not unusual for organizational psychologists to work in more than one setting. In fact, they often work with multiple companies at one time. For instance, an I/O psychologist might spend one day observing and speaking with employees in the workplace and the next day performing research in an experimental laboratory.
Organizational psychologists also work in various work settings. They may work in typical psychology environments like hospitals, clinics or schools, or they may work in large corporations or small factory settings. Their skills are needed and called upon any place where the company needs an improved morale and performance.
How to Become One
A candidate interested in working as an organizational psychologist is usually required to have at least a master’s degree in psychology. This will take two years provided the candidate already possesses a bachelor’s degree. If the individual has a bachelor’s degree in another field, he or she can still pursue a master’s degree in psychology with a concentration in organizational psychology.
Some I/O psychologists advance their education and earn doctoral degrees. Licensing and certification requirements vary from state to state. Even in states where certification may not be required, the psychologist may choose to obtain certification from the American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology.
Organizational psychologists have the potential to earn excellent wages according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). I/O psychologists earned wages ranging from $50,730 to $184,520 with the average annual wage at $102,530 as of May 2017. In 2014, the BLS ranked industrial-organizational psychologists as the No.1 fastest-growing occupations in the nation. The bureau also stated that I/O psychologists should see job growth of 53% from 2012-2022.
Working as an organizational psychologist can be rewarding because they’re able to see their progress as they continue to work with both employees and management. The ability to work at multiple companies at one time puts the organizational psychologist in a position to earn the best possible wages and experience challenging and rewarding work.