Students of psychology may wish to investigate the employment outlook for professionals working in the field of organizational psychology since the profession offers excellent wages, a rewarding work environment, and the potential for career growth. With excellent opportunities for employment across the United States, the only barrier to becoming an organizational psychologist is the many years of training required to secure employment. Sometimes referred to as industrial psychologists, these mental health professionals are one of several swiftly-growing professionals in the healthcare industry.
What is the Job of an Organizational Psychologist?
An organizational psychologist is an expert in human behavior in the workplace, and businesses hire these professionals to help reduce turnover, increase employee productivity, and reduce overall labor costs. Organizational psychologists often work as consultants for businesses, but they may also find permanent work with large businesses in need of continuous advisement on employee experiences in the workplace.
As a profession, psychologists often find work in school, clinical, and counseling, as well as with the government, ambulatory healthcare services, and as self-employed psychologists in private practice. An organizational psychologist will generally find work with private companies that are interested in boosting employee productivity and the general efficiency of the workspace.
For example, an organizational psychologist may work hand-in-hand with the company’s human resources department, or he or she might work with a team during a corporate merger. Businesses interested in reducing waste related to inefficient employee working environments may rely on an organizational psychologist to consult on necessary changes. Organizational psychology also helps in gauging the emotional and mental status of employees. An organizational psychologist may offer counsel to unhappy employees, as well as work at the enterprise level through psychological research as it impacts the workplace.
Growth of Available Positions for Organizational Psychologists
In 2014, ABC News reported that industrial-organizational psychology represented the swiftest-growing profession in the United States while also offering one of the highest median incomes for popular jobs. Since that report, the need for organizational psychologists has cooled somewhat; however, the earnings potential for those psychology professionals has remained quite high when compared to the average for all other professions.
The most recent information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that top earners in the industry earn an average of $184,380 a year, which translates to a healthy $88.64 hourly wage. Overall, organizational psychologists may expect to earn a mean hourly wage of $50,27, which is $104,570 a year. There are only between 1,000 and 1,600 organizational psychologists working in the United States today.
That scarcity may translate into a significant number of job offers for the trained organizational psychologist. Just as most professionals working in psychology, organizational psychologists need an advanced degree to practice their craft. Not only will a future organizational psychologist require a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree in psychology, but he or she may even need to consider a Ph.D. program to secure the highest earnings possible.
Many Years of Study Reward Organizational Psychologists
In addition to securing a graduate degree or gaining Ph.D. status, an organizational psychologist will typically need to secure licensure in the state where he or she wishes to practice. Before working independently as a contractor for a business, an organizational psychologist may need to complete an extensive internship and one or two years of supervised experience. However, these significant educational requirements don’t diminish the value of organizational psychology as an excellent and high-paid career choice.