Information asymmetry in the business world is reducing as consumers become more aware of their buying decisions. It has made corporations accountable for their actions before their stakeholders, and transparency has become one of the most important organizational values. And hence, they are investing more effort in CSR activities to improve their public image. Among many other things, equity and equality in the organization are also integral factors contributing to the company’s good reputation. 

Unrecognizable professional female psychologist writing on clipboard while sitting against client on blurred background during psychotherapy session in light office

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Understanding the needs and wants of employees also helps businesses become more productive. Experts have integrated Industrial-Organizational Psychology, a branch of psychology, into business activities to improve the process. It applies psychological notions, principles, and theories to organizational operations and focuses on increasing workplace efficiency. If I-O psychology sparks your interest, and you want to learn more about it, then here’s everything you should know:

  1. What Is I-O Psychology?

Industrial-Organizational Psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses on improving workplace productivity by focusing on two significant aspects of a company – the employees and the organization. For the first part, the industrial side of the field integrates psychological principles in assessing employees for their characteristics and performance. These psychologists develop practical ways to create programs that focus on employees’ personal growth, training, and development. For the other segment, the organizational part of I-O psychology, they analyze how the organization contributes towards the individual behavior of employees. They strategize different organizational structures, management, and leadership styles to influence how their people act positively. 

  1. How To Become an I-O Psychologist?

Individuals interested in becoming I-O psychologists have to be more qualified than a bachelor’s in psychology. A MAPP degree helps them become more proficient in understanding human behavior and integrate principles of applied psychology with organizational activities. Such education helps them understand the basics of psychology and work towards bringing crucial improvements to an organization. A master’s degree also enables I-O psychologists to take up teaching jobs at the two-year psychology college. But to teach a university course for four-year programs, candidates should have a Ph.D. Graduates who want to pursue their career as I-O counselors have to fulfill the requirement of obtaining licensure. Suppose you want to become an organizational and business consulting psychologist. In that case, there are some certifications that you might want to complete after your master’s degree. 

  1. What Do I-O Psychologists Do?

I-O psychologists are professionals who use psychological theories to study the behavior of employees in their organization. They mainly work with the HR team to consult, educate, manage, and research employees and their feelings or attitude towards work. They help in employee recruitment by closely following up the hiring process and analyzing individuals who can fulfill the required job description. They also research interviews and questionnaires to analyze and manage the performance of employees and help determine promotions. These individuals also have good leadership, teamwork, and stress management skills. They assist the organization in establishing motivational policies, regulating ethical practices, focusing on employees’ mental health, and providing training and development programs. They apply their scientific research and knowledge in workplace settings such as commercial enterprises, labor facilities, healthcare centers, and manufacturing companies. Their focus is mainly on employees; they assess them and check-up on them. Sometimes, organizations call them independent consultants to help them with their employee management. 

  1. Earnings of I-O Psychologists

There are several different options and career choices for those who have a degree in I-O Psychology. Their salary depends on their experience in the field, the nature of their employer, and their job. According to a survey in 2012, researchers determined that the starting salary of I-O psychologists with a master’s degree was nearly $65000 annually, while those with Ph.D. earned approximately $81,000 a year with their jobs. University teachers made $70,000 annually, and independent I-O psychologists made $100,000 a year approximately. Individuals who work as I-O psychologists can expect to earn an average of $80,000 per year. At the same time, the top positions offer around $250,000 a year.  

  1. Roles of I-O Psychologists

There are many roles of I-O psychologists as this is a very vast field with numerous possibilities. For instance, an I-O psychology degree could become an organizational development professional who has a similar job description as an HR professional. You will have to improve your company’s talents and identify critical policies to make the workplace more efficient and effective. You will look after the well-being of your employees and ensure that they feel satisfied with their jobs and have a positive work attitude. Or, you can become a people analytics specialist. You’ll be working closely with the HR department and keeping track of data with numbers, making it presentable to executives and stakeholders. This information will be used to benchmark performances, design new organizational policies, and improve employee engagement. One could also become an organizational psychologist consultant, which organizations hire independently to examine and enhance employee development processes. It will probably be a large organization employing you and asking for your help in several projects. You will have to build connections and relationships with workers across the firm. 


In conclusion, I-O psychology is the perfect field for individuals interested in understanding human behavior and working with firms to stay connected to the modern world. Suppose you want to get a high-level executive position in a firm as an I-O psychologist or become a course teacher. In that case, it is necessary to get a degree in applied psychology. And, with a master’s or Ph.D. degree, you are indeed on your way towards high-income jobs. However, you must understand an I-O psychologist’s diversified roles and responsibilities entirely before you opt for this career.