Five Places Where Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Are Likely to Work

  • Corporate Headquarters
  • Labor Unions
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Manufacturing and Commercial Enterprises
  • Colleges and Universities

A person who is considering a degree in psychology may want to know about the five job settings for an industrial-organizational psychologist. This branch of psychology deals with interactions in the workplace, including those between workers, workers and management, and workers and the place itself. Knowing where an industrial-organizational psychologist is likely to work could help a person decide if this is the area of specialty they want to select in their psychology studies.

Related resource: Top 15 Industrial/Organizational Certificate Programs

1. Corporate Headquarters

Large corporations are likely to employ their own industrial-organizational psychologists in order to enhance the workplace environment, increase employee satisfaction and make the processes and procedures more efficient. Businesses that are on the Fortune 500 list are likely to have their own in-house industrial-organizational psychologists. The industrial-organizational psychologists are likely to maintain the main office at the corporation’s headquarters. They may travel to ancillary offices, manufacturing facilities or production or fulfillment centers in order to make observations and create recommendations for improvement.

2. Labor Unions

Another job setting for an industrial-organizational psychologist is a labor union. Labor unions promote and facilitate fair working conditions. An industrial-organizational psychologist employed at a labor union may meet with workers and management in order to understand problems and create recommendations or action plans for solving those problems. They may observe the work conditions and create an improvement plan. If a union feels that management is not listening, the industrial-organizational psychologist may work as a mediator.

3. Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities have to be efficient, safe and effective. A large university hospital could have thousands of employees, all of whom are essential to patient safety and care. An industrial-organizational psychologist who works in a healthcare facility may meet with different types of workers and observe the different processes and procedures that take place within the facility. They make recommendations for improving efficiency and promoting a safer and more effective environment.

4. Manufacturing and Commercial Enterprises

The industrial-organizational psychologists may also work in manufacturing and commercial enterprises. In that type of a job setting, the industrial-organizational psychologist might assess employee job performance, train and motivate the employees or help the business hire the most qualified employees for specialized jobs. They may also research consumer behavior or conduct research on ways to improve the ergonomics of the workplace in order to cut down on on-the-job injuries.

5. Colleges and Universities

Many industrial-organizational psychologists work in academic research. In that setting, they may conduct research on consumer behavior, worker behavior or management activities. They may act as consultants on specific projects. Many of them write research proposals in order to secure funding for a specific project. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 24 percent of industrial-organizational psychologists work in an educational setting. In the college or university job setting, an industrial-organizational psychologist may also teach students. Their classes could include topics such as labor relations, unions or organizational structures.

An industrial-organizational psychologist will typically work during business hours, but those who work for themselves may offer their services on weekends and evenings in order to accommodate the schedules of their clients. The job settings for industrial-organizational psychologists are consistent, and most of the jobs in this field are in large cities where companies have their headquarters. Knowing about these five job settings for industrial-organizational psychologists could help a person decide which jobs to apply for or where to live upon graduation.

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