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What is Organizational Psychology?

By Edited Jul 14, 2016 1 0

Helping People Grow

As an undergraduate, I studied Psychology because I loved learning about how people work, what inspires them, how they experience emotions, and how the environment influences their personality and worldview. I also majored in Business because I thought it was the only way I could get a decent job. It wasn't until I studied abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong where I discovered there was a niche field of Industrial Organizational Psychology which combined both of these fields. I took a course called Applied Psychology in the workplace and learned that there was an industry of people who worked in organizations helping improve job satisfaction and building positive work environments. 

Industrial Organizational Psychology Topics

That was when I decided I would pursue a career in Industrial Organizational Psychology. It's all about helping people learn, grow, and be the best versions of themselves in the workplace, where we spend 75% of our lives. Some of the most exciting topics I learned about included:

  • how to set and achieve SMART goals
  • how to build high performance teams
  • how to design effective surveys
  • how to work with difficult people
  • how to motivate people to give you their best work
  • how to increase work engagement and job satisfaction
  • how to decrease turnover
  • how to hire the right people
  • how to develop outstanding training programs

Jobs in Organizational Psychology

Since graduating with a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology, I've gained a lot of experience through internships and jobs that I've had in the field. I've worked in the insurance industry researching the qualities and characteristics that made the best insurance agent. I've worked in the public sector developing selection procedures to identify the best candidates to fill job positions. I've also developed training programs for new managers to get oriented to their new role leading teams. Other potential jobs in this field include:

  • life/career coach
  • human resources manager
  • leadership and management trainer
  • organizational development consultant
  • test validation and selection analyst
  • people/talent manager
  • applied psychology researcher
  • professor of industrial organizational psychology

Career Outlook

Since organizational psychologists can work in any company regardless of industry, there is a plethora of career opportunities in the field. Every company has people to manage and require a human resources team to help attract, hire, develop, and retain high performance employees. In today's economy, there is also a great need to develop more efficient stream-lined procedures that reduce the bottom line in which organizational psychologists have extensive training in.

Salary

Depending on the city you live in, your education, and your experience, your salary can range from 40,000 to well over 200,000. According to the Society of Organizational Psychologists, national averages in the US are as follows:

  • Master's Degree: $39,000
  • Doctorate Degree: $55,000
  • Median Salary: $80,000
  • University Professors: $70,000
  • Private Sector: $100,000+

Is it right for me?

If you love working with people, helping them grow, and making a difference in the workplace, you may consider a job in organizational psychology. It's all about professional development and achieving individual and organizational goals.

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