For those with a master's level degree, the field of industrial-organizational psychology (I-O psychology) offers a diverse career path in the private sector, government, consulting, research and education. In addition, there are opportunities for self-employment. According to the May 2009 Occupational Employment Statistics report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of industrial-organizational psychologists was £50,056. The wages of the lowest 10 per cent were less than £25,148 and those of the highest 10 per cent exceeded £96,928.
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According to the May 2009 Occupational Employment and Wages report, the I-O psychologists' salaries in the states of Florida, New York and Minnesota are the highest. For example, the average salary in 2009 in Florida was £82,316, in New York it was £79,956 and in Minnesota it was £76,771. The states with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation were Massachusetts, in the Boston-Cambridge metropolitan area, and Maryland, in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.
According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, this field of psychology aims to develop better workplaces and to strengthen organizational performance. Industrial-organizational psychologists (I-O psychologists) can help with improving workers' productivity, retention and job satisfaction by bettering the organisation's hiring practices and employee training, introducing performance management systems and fostering employee motivation and dedication.
Some I-O psychologists work in academic positions or research. More often, master's degree holders in I-O psychology work in human resources management; training and development; management with an emphasis on managing change; organizational design and development; and management consulting.
The BLS reported 2,300 I-O psychologists being employed in 2008. By 2018, the BLS expects employment of industrial-organizational psychologists to grow by 26 per cent. Employment will grow due to the increased demand for assistance with issues related to workforce diversity and antidiscrimination policies. Organizations will also seek help to boost employee productivity and retention and to improve market presence.
Skills and Training
According to ONet Online, the most important skills for the industrial-organizational psychologists are active listening, judgment and decision making, critical thinking and complex problem solving. Professionals in this field commonly have in-depth knowledge of psychology and personnel and human resources; in addition, given that effective communication is an important part of the job, many professionals have backgrounds in English language and education and training.
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- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
- Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Inc.: Building Better Organizations. Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the Workplace
- Marshall Goldsmith School of Management: Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
- ONet Online: Details Report for Industrial-Organizational Psychologists