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Industrial Psychologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Insider Info

dotIndustrial-organizational psychologists -- or I-O psychologists -- help organizations and businesses run smoothly. Specializing in human behavior in the workplace, they help managers respond to issues and problems involving people at work. This includes issues that could lead to a company-wide meltdown.

dotAn industrial psychologist can enter a workplace or organization and study how it operates. They then make suggestions on how to improve productivity and employee morale. Their work may include researching communication, motivation, social interaction and leadership.

dotAn I-O psychologist looks at how employers select, place and promote employees. They look at individuals to make sure they're doing the job that best suits them. They also help employers find which workers have management abilities and develop training programs.

I-O psychologists can also help businesses communicate better with their consumers. By creating studies, they can measure consumers' reactions to new products, and help businesses develop new marketing strategies.

dotThis is a desk job -- these psychologists generally work in an office using a computer. They can work in business, industry, universities, government, research organizations, consulting firms and other organizations.

"They have to be able to use a computer," says Lee Hackel of the Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychologists (SIOP). "It's cognitively intense work, but that's all the physical requirements involved."

At a Glance

Help large organizations solve problems and function smoothly

  • This is a desk job
  • Work may include research, communication, motivation and leadership
  • You'll have to do graduate work in I-O psychology