How to Become an Industrial Organizational Psychologist

To become an industrial organizational psychologist, one needs the proper training, experience, and needs to have an interest in how people operate in a variety of work environments. This is a chance to help companies help employees be as positive, productive, and happy as possible. After all, happy employees are those that go the extra mile for a company. The following are some of the steps people should follow if they are interested in an industrial organizational psychologist career.

Top-ranked Degrees in Industrial Organizational Psychology
1. Arizona State University – BA – Industrial Psychology
2. Capella University – MS – Industrial / Organizational Psychology
3. Walden University – Ph.D. – Psychology – Organizational Psychology

First, it is important that people understand this field. Industrial organizational psychology involves studying how people behave in office or work environments. This means understanding how to hire and promote the right candidates, building a positive work environment, and how to maximize productivity. Such professionals work with companies to help the company as a whole. This is a chance to study how to best motivate and challenge employees. Such psychologists may help with organizational analysis, promotion decisions, and how to deal with management and morale issues.

The first step to becoming an industrial organizational psychologist is to earn a bachelors of arts (BA) in psychology. Some schools will have specific majors and specializations for industrial organizational fields whereas others will have a general psychology major. Some people do not have a BA in psychology when they move on to a master’s in industrial organizational psychologist, but having this initial degree can make it easier to be accepted into such programs. It will help to also have some business classes so that companies see that the psychologist has an interest and some background in the field.

The next step is to earn a master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology. This is an important piece of the puzzle if professionals want to practice or work with people and companies. Such graduate programs will offer specializations: everything from diversity to productivity can be addressed. From here, it will help to have a PhD, though this is not 100% necessary to practice. This degree is important for people who want to be considered experts in their field.

To be licensed, an industrial organizational psychologist will have to practice under an experienced psychologist. Often, such positions are paid, and they give people important hands-on experience with working with people and companies. From here, people have to check with their specific state to see what qualifying licensure is required. Some people will only have to pass the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) whereas others may have a separate oral component too.

Businesses want to work with professionals who are experts in their field. This is why licensure and a Ph.D. come in handy. Many companies not only want the psychologist to analyze and provide advice on the workplace but may want him or her to also create tools for statistical analysis. The best way to find a job is to network and get to know what different companies or groups are looking for.

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