Industrial/organizational psychologists assist in research design, assessment exercises, interviews, and survey work for organizations. Their goal is to analyze human behavior and interactions in a workplace environment. These psychologists work with a small team to improve selection tools, testing programs, policies, and other human-resources issues. This often involves counseling management, as well as activities such as focus groups, presentations, survey administration, and interpreting research results. Industrial/organizational psychologists regularly communicate with both high- and low-level employees with a minimal knowledge of the involved topics, so the ability to clearly explain the work to non-psychologists is essential. This position requires regular analysis of relevant research, as well as the innovation and creativity to find data and improvements for their organization. Industrial/organizational psychologists generally work full time in an office environment, and some travel or teleconferencing may be required to work with remote offices. Industrial/organizational psychologists may also provide instruction to junior psychologists on their team, depending on the position.
Industrial/organizational psychologists generally have at least a master's degree in industrial-organizational psychology or a related field. A doctoral degree may be required or preferred. Experience in a related position is generally required as well. Experience in statistics, research methods, and literature selection are also needed. Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential, as are strong analytical and organizational skills.
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Tasks
- Develop and implement employee selection and placement, training and performance programs.
- Advise management of training needs via a gap analysis.
- Observe and interview workers, write reports on research findings and implications.
- Administer competency tests, rating scales and psychological tests.
- Work with management to reorganize the work setting to improve worker productivity.