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Types Of Jobs In Industrial-Organizational Psychology

It takes a lot to keep a company fully operational and running smoothly. Think about how magnificent it is to have a fully integrated system, comprised of people from multiple different cultures, all working together as a single unit.

This has been done successfully, but it can be almost guaranteed that having many people, from different walks of life, working together, can lead to friction in the workplace.

To minimize friction, to keep things integrated, and to ensure a consistently smooth flow of operations, companies and organizations have people in designated roles to ensure homeostasis is maintained. In so doing, outside of operational management, people are managed in a way that unifies any generational, personality, or cultural differences.

Within the field of industrial-organizational psychology, there are multiple roles that one can pursue. These jobs include human resource managers, recruitment managers, behavioral analysts, policy officers, and talent management specialists to name a few.

The role and skill set that an industrial-organizational psychologist possesses is paramount to the successful operation of a company. Let us take a closer look at these career paths and how these roles contribute to companies and organizations.

About Industrial-Organizational Psychology

When you enter the workforce and start a job within a company, it's not as easy as just showing up for your first day. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to prepare a new employee to become well integrated into an already existing system.

Whether it is internally or externally, there are people that will oversee a company's recruitment, placement, training, and ongoing success within a company. These people need to know and understand that each person has needs and concerns that differ from each other, and they are trained in addressing these differences.

And then, once an employee has started working at the organization, these same people would need to make sure that the new employee experiences extended successes and satisfaction to maintain employee retention rates.

To meet and address the needs of recruitment and employee retention, knowledge of the human psyche is needed. This is where the roles of industrial-organizational psychologists come in.

Industrial-organizational psychologists play a big role in knowing what keeps people in an organization or in a specific role through extensive assessment and analysis of the workforce in that organization.

Over and above determining the company climate, industrial-organizational psychologists study the behavior and communication of both management and staff, productivity, as well as overall attitudes in the workplace, and they devise plans and processes for leadership and employee training.

While working hand-in-hand with the human resource division, industrial-organizational psychologists determine the job satisfaction and performance of employees. They make sure that outstanding performance is awarded, and that disciplinary action is taken when needed.

Let us look at some of the jobs you can fulfill once you have received a qualification as an industrial-organizational psychologist.

Types Of Careers In Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Human Resources Manager

When we think of human resources, we usually think of people that are there to handle complaints and stressors that are faced in the workplace. And while this is true, their role goes so far beyond sexual harassment complaints.

Human resource managers play a large role in recruiting employees during company expansion. They create a safe environment for employees to raise their concerns and they play the role of linking the company or the organization with its employees.

From screening, hiring, and training new employees to mediating internal disputes, optimizing internal communication, and enforcing company policy, human resource managers hold a unique role, to say the least.

Their roles are entirely internal, and they often serve as a sounding board for management as the first point of contact to make sure that any internal and external changes are received well by employees.

To assume the role of a human resource manager, you would need to have at the very least, a bachelor's degree in psychology, with field-related coursework that will be beneficial in your job pursuits.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resource managers earn a median annual salary of $126,230. The job outlook for this role expects to see a 9% projected growth.

Recruitment Manager

Whether you are successful or unsuccessful in a job application, more often than not, these are the people you can thank.

Recruitment managers are tasked with the extremely important role of hiring new individuals. The entire process lies in their hands, and while often considered as a part of human resources, the recruitment manager may be seen as an independent role.

Recruitment managers not only need to hire new employees, but they need to conduct successful training and ensure a low employee turnover rate and high employee retention rates.

Fulfilling the role of a recruitment manager will require you to not only have the experience and skills needed to train new employees in their actual role (knowing the work they will be required to fulfill), but also the psychological expertise to objectively assess occurrences in the workplace. This will allow you to identify areas that need optimization and that will translate to greater employee retention.

Depending on the seniority of the role and whether you will be assuming a management role or not, you may be required to have a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in industrial-organizational psychology or human resources.

Also, depending on the seniority of the role, you may be required to have at least five years of related experience if you are assuming a management role.

As the role of a recruitment manager is grouped under the field of human resources, the BLS states that human resource managers earn a median annual salary of $126,230.

Behavioral Analyst

Behavioral analysts serve the role of psychology in practice in a corporate or work environment. Behavioral analysts execute research-heavy duties. It is their responsibility to assess the behavior and social actions of employees to determine what motivates productivity and what negatively impacts productivity.

By assessing the behavior of employees, behavioral analysts can report to management what strategies work to boost productivity and they can work with management in devising and executing effective incentive programs.

For example, behavioral analysts may conduct research within an office to test if the lighting or air conditioning system is hindering employees' productivity. They may assess at what times of the day employees seem to be most productive and they may work internally in devising plans to complete more work during productive hours.

If behavioral analysts identify any unwanted behavior among employees, they will work with management to mitigate and minimize this behavior. However, over and above assessing internal behavior, behavioral analysts may also work closely with a company's marketing division to assess consumer trends and behavior to determine what motivates customers in purchasing certain goods.

This is then used in a company's marketing approach to enhance sales.

According to the BLS, behavioral analysts fall under the role of psychologists and the BLS states that psychologists earn a median annual salary of $81,040.

Additionally, the BLS states that market research analysts earn a median annual salary of $63,920. They would also require a bachelor's degree, and the job outlook estimates a projected career growth of a whopping 22%.

Policy Officer

Within every organization, there are built-in rules and regulations that all employees are required to fulfill. While slightly different from organization to organization, there are generally accepted best practices that companies employ which ensure that humanity and dignity are maintained throughout operations.

However, as and when policies are developed within different sectors, policy officers who have a background in industrial-organizational psychology provide advice and guidance in policy development that usually allows for the best outcome for all involved stakeholders.

But developing and designing policies are not the only facet of a policy officer's role. Once policies have been adopted and enforced, policy officers will then make sure that the policy implementation is effective and realistic, and they will monitor the overall performance of the policies that have been implemented.

Talent Management Specialist

Finding the right members to join a team is not as easy as casting a line and taking the first fish to bite. First, a talent management specialist will work closely in molding internal management in a way that suits productivity within an organization. This takes place through training and team building to allow for streamlined internal integration.

Talent management specialists also need to have the foresight to know and assess when and what kind of talent they may have to search for to fulfill future available roles. Companies don't usually prepare for existing employees to leave; however, this is sometimes a reality. In such instances, talent management specialists come in to find replacements for those who have left.

Additionally, with the natural lifecycle of employment, there will be individuals leaving owing to retirement and those who are naturally exiting the workforce, where, once again, talent management specialists will need to replace these individuals.

According to the BLS, training and development managers earn a median annual salary of $120,130. They would need, at the very least, a bachelor's degree in industrial-organizational psychology or a related field.


Pursuing a career in industrial-organizational psychology allows you the possibility of using your psychological skills in a corporate space. It bridges the gap between helping people and the environment in which you are providing help.

Industrial-organizational psychologists serve a unique role in showing that psychological and mental well-being is not excluded from the workplace but rather needs to be greatly included and integrated into your workspace.

Pursuing a career in industrial-organizational psychology allows you to provide help to people in a setting where mental health is often neglected.

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