An organizational psychologist applies psychology principles to human resources, sales, marketing, administration, and management issues in the workplace. They may include development and training, assist with policy planning, and perform organization analysis.
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How to Become a Organizational Psychologist
In order to become an organizational psychologist, you are required to hold a master’s degree. You must earn a four-year degree in statistics or psychology first and then you can move onto the graduate studies in research design, organizational psychology, and statistics to earn the master’s degree. Some employers require a Ph.D., M.D. or J.D. (law degree) and prefer employment experience in a psychology field or related area as well. According to O*NET OnLine, almost half of all industrial designers hold a master’s degree and almost half hold a doctorate. The remaining few hold a post-doctorate certification.
Job Description of a Organizational Psychologist
An organizational psychologist would research studies of group interactions, physical work environments, morale, organizational structures and other areas, such as, motivation to determine organizational functionality. They apply principles of individual differences and learning in order to develop and put in place productive training programs. They use tests and observations to study a consumer’s reaction to package designs or new products and efforts to advertise. One may be required to give testimony in lawsuits involving an employee.
An organizational psychologist might be involved in the development of improving interview techniques, phycological testing and rating skills that would determine the interests and abilities of an employee that may be considered for employment or promotion. They encourage new business by making sales presentations, interacting with potential clients or writing proposals. They remain up-to-date on psychological science issues by reading current research literature and would apply new knowledge to the workplace. One needs knowledge in human and personnel resources, psychology, management and administration.
These psychologists need to have a knowledge of sociology and anthropology in order to understand group behavior and dynamics, their history or culture and any other relevant information for the job. They must also have the ability to solve problems, make decisions, and communicate well so that ideas and information given and/or received easily understand.
Organizational Psychologist Career Video Transcript
Many companies say their greatest resource is their employees. Industrial-organizational psychologists help develop positive, effective work environments that support employee success, and organizational productivity. Focusing on making a strong match between employees and positions, they are often adept at job analysis, learning which skills and qualities are most important for different jobs. They develop testing and selection methods to make the best hiring decisions and help current employees find advancement opportunities within their organization. When conflicts occur, they participate in mediation and dispute resolution.
Industrial-organizational psychologists also advise leaders on how to communicate effectively. They use surveys and other tools to identify the areas an organization needs to change to be more successful. To improve morale, lower stress, and build stronger teams, these psychologists also develop training programs for staff and managers.
Work settings for this field are most often corporations, research groups, government agencies, or independent work consulting with different types of organizations. A master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology is required to enter this field. Some positions require a Ph.D. The great reward for an industrial-organization psychologist comes from seeing employees achieve their own job satisfaction.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.
National Center for O*NET Development. 19-3032.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is Public Domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.