Industrial Organization Psychology Salary Outlook for Masters & PhD Students

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Someone with a masters in industrial organization psychology looks into how people behave in the workplace. Your role will be to apply certain principles of psychology to elements such as employee training, human resources, organizational development, marketing and sales, recruitment and retention and more. The main goal of your function will usually be to increase productivity at work and to do this you will help in selecting the right people for the right job, but you will also assist in product testing.

Salary Feature

The Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology has determined that the salary of an industrial organization psychologist is mainly determined by his or her degree level. Someone with a master’s, therefore, can expect to earn around $38,750 at entry level. Someone with a Ph.D., however, can expect to enter the workplace with a median salary of $55,000.

About Industrial Organization Psychology

There are now a number of colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees in this type of psychology. With this degree, you can get to work in human resources, although a few other opportunities also exist. If you want a more interesting career and corresponding salary, however, you should consider going for your master’s degree instead.

With a masters in industrial organization psychology, you can work in various interesting fields. This includes human resources, but also government and private sector positions and consultancy. There has been a strong growth in demand for those with a master’s degree, which has caused more universities to offer master’s programs as well. Some of these are only suitable for those who already have a bachelor’s degree, others offer direct entry programs. Online study programs also exist, although some practicum is usually required. By obtaining a master’s degree, you have the greatest opportunities in terms of where you are able to work, and this will also be reflected in your salary.

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Some decide to study on towards a doctorate degree. In doing so, you will be able to take on research and teaching positions, usually in universities. The highest salaries are paid at this level.

What Jobs Does This Lead To?

The field of industrial organization psychology is very wide, and you can enter a number of different jobs. The business world is always on the lookout for new psychologists who can help them deliver better employee training, help increase productivity, assess current process and attract new talent. There are a number of specializations within this field of psychology that will certainly help you get ahead in this particular field, in particular human factors and human-computer interaction. If you hold those specializations, you will also have a bigger chance of working in consultancy.

The duties you will have depend on where you work geographically and the type of organization that hired you. For instance, you may focus specifically on selection and training, helping businesses attract the right people and put them in the right position. However, you could also focus on looking at the various policies and procedures that are in place and whether these have a positive impact on productivity and efficiency.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the most popular field of work for someone with a master’s in industrial organization psychology is management, followed by technical and scientific consultancy. This is also the area that pays the most, with an average salary of $125,980. Another interesting area of employment is state government, although more and more are now working in health practitioner offices, development services and educational institutions.

As an industrial and organizational psychologist, you will be able to resolve a range of workplace issues. Hence, regardless of where you work, your focus is likely to be on:

  •         Finding ways to increase workplace productivity.
  •         Developing recruitment and interview processes to attract new talent.
  •         Increasing the quality of different workplaces.
  •         Counseling employees who are dealing with conflict or are struggling professionally or personally.
  •         Rewriting policies and procedures within a company so they become more efficient for all members of staff.

Salary Prospects

There are tremendous variations in the salaries of industrial organization psychologists. The type of degree is an important factor, as is the type of employer, the geographical location and the years of experience. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology has reported that:

  •         The entry level salary for someone with a master’s degree is $64,000.
  •         The entry level salary for someone with a Ph.D. is $78,000.
  •         Those who work as university professors (must hold a Ph.D.) is $103,000.
  •         Those who work in the private sector can expect to earn around $100,000.
  •         The top 5% of earners have been able to reach between $250,000 and several million per year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Occupational Outlook Handbook in 2012 and this reported that the median annual salary is $83,850. The lowest 10% of earners have a median of $48,780 and the highest 10% of earners have a median of $168,020.

Job Outlook

It is believed that the demand for industrial organization psychologists will continue to grow. This is because there is such a drive to ensure productivity is boosted and to make sure retention rates are improved. Furthermore, there is a stronger focus on issues such as diversity, workplace bullying and discrimination, which require the development of various policies and procedures. As an organization psychologist, you will also work in developing evaluation tools, which are incredibly necessary too. Hence, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in demand for industrial organizational psychologists will grow above average over the next 10 years.

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About the Author: Ann Steele

This website is co-authored by Ann Steele, a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego with extensive experience with children and adolescents. Ann Steele attended American School Of Psychology & Argosy University Online. She especially enjoys using music therapy for mental and emotional well-being.

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We are an open forum for articles, manuscripts, unpublished thesis, and letters as well as a guide for job, career and program advice from like-minded Graduates. We are seeking submissions that will be of interest to the community.