Despite it being around for several years, many still consider organizational psychology relatively new and wonder if it’s a high-paying field. Like most careers, organizational psychology has the potential to be a very good paying field depending on the individual’s experience, training, and degree, among other things. Organizational psychology is a field that introduces basic psychology into the workplace to help find the best ways to have an organization run smoothly, be profitable and have a happy workforce. The success of an organizational psychologist equates to the success of the organization.

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

What is Organizational Psychology?

Also known as Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology, organizational psychology is a scientific study that involves psychology in the workplace with the intent to deal with workplace issues facing businesses, teams, and individuals. Their use of psychology allows them to determine the best employees for the company based on studies of their behavior and the place in which they work.

Organizational psychology involves researching a company and its employees, determining the employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and finding ways to best utilize an employee in a way that is beneficial to the company while keeping the workforce satisfied. The best way to describe I-O psychology is that it’s the study of workplace behavior.

Organizational psychology is a career that typically requires a master’s degree. While an individual with a bachelor’s degree may find entry-level positions in this field, the majority of the I-O psychologists must have master’s or doctoral degrees.

Career Outlook & Wage Potential

The growing economy is resulting in the creation of new and more jobs, which puts a demand for I-O psychologists to help booster employee morale and productivity. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology indicates that many companies are using the expertise of I-O psychologists to perform research and analysis on marketing and employee trends, which helps them develop tools they can use in the workplace.

I-O psychology is expected to be the fastest growing of all types of psychology and also a field that can offer excellent wages. Organizational psychologists work for private companies and government agencies, but the majority work for scientific research and development services. As of May 2017, I-O psychologists nationwide earned an average annual wage of $102,530 with wages ranging from $50,730 to $184,520 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What Affects Wages for Organizational Psychologists?

The wages for organizational psychologists can vary by many factors, including degree earned, experience, employer and location. Typically, higher wages are paid to I-O psychologists with higher degrees. For instance, an organizational psychologist with a master’s or doctoral degree will usually earn a higher wage than one with a bachelor’s degree. Another factor that plays a large role in wages is geographic location.

Wages can vary not just from one state to another but also from one city to the next. This can be demonstrated with the list below, which show the five top-paying states for organizational psychologists. There is a substantial difference between wages in Virginia and Massachusetts.

• Virginia – $123,640

• New Jersey – $107,950

• Pennsylvania – $91,140

• Florida – $79,010

• Massachusetts – $75,100

The highest-paying metropolitan area in the nation for organizational psychologists was the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metropolitan division. I-O psychologists earned $125,830 as of May 2017.

Working as an organizational psychologist can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time, but it is a career that attracts many people today. The bonus of choosing this career is that organizational psychology can be a very high-paying field.