How to Become an

Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO)

The complete career guide to be an Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO): salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $92,320
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 15%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Industrial organizational psychologists apply their expertise and focus to employees in the workplace and their work environment.  They study workplace productivity and management and attempt to the best of their abilities to improve conditions in the workplace.

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What is an Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO)?

The following responsibilities are common for Industrial Organizational Psychologists:

  • Assists businesses to hire quality employees
  • Increases businesses efficiency by improving its organizational structure
  • Helps ease employees into corporate mergers
  • Works with human resources to properly train and motivate the employees

A Day In The Life

Industrial Organization Psychology is an area of psychology that focuses on studying employees in their work environments.  This role involves focusing on improving workplace dynamics and organizational structures.

Those who choose to work in corporate positions can expect to operate alongside the Human Resources department.  This can be either in direct relation to the well-beings of employees in the workplace or it can be related to how employees fit or do not fir into particular roles.  They will match employees to certain roles depending on the employees physical and mental characteristics.

This role can also include ways to increasing productivity based on employee behaviors.  This is accomplished by making sure all employees are happy and healthy.  Enhancing productivity involves the individual to use their knowledge with organizational management, performance management, training development and ergonomics.

Typical Work Schedule

Industrial organizational psychologists normally have a regular working schedule of 40 – 50 hours per week. The typical workday extends from 9 am to 5 pm. However, this can change on occasion when some employers are facing some problems that requires further hours of consultation. You will have to be flexible enough particularly if you are working as independent consultant. This could sometimes mean working on evening and weekends. However, in most cases the working schedule will be corelated to the organization for which the psychologist works. The working schedule should include time for research and analysis related to the working environment to identify potential problems and how to provide a productive environment. You will have to deal with workplace issues such as discrimination, sexual harassment, job training, sexual orientation, and help companies deal with these issues as well as participating in the hiring of new employees for their company.

Projected Job Growth

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of psychologists in general including IO psychologists is expected to grow by 8% in the period between 2019 to 2029. This is faster than the expected average growth for other jobs during the same period. This is mainly attributed continuing changes in the economy and recent cultural shifts. IO Psychologists is expected to increase to help different organizations select and retain employees as well as increasing organizational productivity, efficiency, and improve office morale. You should expect to face fierce competition for positions because of the large number of qualified psychologists and therefore those psychologists with extensive training, experience and education in quantitative research methods and other related fields may have a competitive edge.

Typical Employers

IO psychologists can work for a wide variety of organizations or corporations. Their employers could include various private companies and corporations, often large companies to manage the company’s employees and solve any psychological problem and provide help when necessary. Some IO psychologists prefer to work independently and privately where they can provide services for multiple companies and clients. Some can work for different governmental agencies to oversee the workplace and increase its efficiency and help employees have a better workplace life. They can also participate in setting the policies related to employee rights.

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How To Become an Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO)

Like any other psychology profession, an individual requires extensive studying.  Many students begin their careers with a Bachelor’s degree in general psychology and then go on to advance their education through advancing their degrees and/or work experience.  Coursework should include classes in research methods, social psychology, statistics, personnel and industrial psychology and personality psychology.   Next, a student will need to pursue a master’s degree in Industrial Psychology, which generally takes about two years to complete. A graduates master’s degree is sufficient to land a career at an entry-level position in this field.  Although, those students that go on to obtain their Ph.D’s will be considered for more employment opportunities and have an edge over their competition. To obtain a Doctorate degree a student will need to be accepted into a graduate school.  These graduate schools provide psychology students with the opportunity to perform any original research. Students must choose advisers and committees in assisting them with choosing, developing and executing a psych. research project and study.  Once a student obtains their doctorate degree, they will then need to obtain a license.  Applicants for licenses should contact the psychology board for qualifications on where they intend to practice.  Once licensed, an individual will then also need to participate in continuing education courses to maintain their license.

Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO) Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO) salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO)'s can make an average annual salary of $92,320, or $44 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $65,940 or $32 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #90 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO). a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO)s

  • 49.3%   Doctorate
  • 44.3%   Masters
  • 5.6%   Bachelors
  • 0.2%   Associates
  • 0.2%   College
  • 0.2%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO) job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 300 jobs for a total of 2,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 15% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #103 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Industrial Organizational Psychologist (IO)s

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 800 300 0%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 300 100 0%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 200 --- ---

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