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Industrial-Organizational Psychologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Industrial Organizational Psychologists Career Video



Applies principles of psychology to human resources, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee testing and selection, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to organize the work setting to improve worker productivity.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Counseling and Mental Health Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Formulates and implements training programs, applying principles of learning and individual differences.
  • Conducts research studies of physical work environments, organizational structures, communication systems, group interactions, morale, and motivation to assess organizational functioning.
  • Conducts presentations on research findings for clients and at research meetings.
  • Provides expert testimony in employment lawsuits.
  • Studies consumers' reactions to new products and package designs, and to advertising efforts, using surveys and tests.
  • Reviews research literature to remain current on psychological science issues.
  • Develops interview techniques, rating scales, and psychological tests used to assess skills, abilities, and interests for the purpose of employee selection, placement, and promotion.
  • Conducts individual assessments, including interpreting measures and providing feedback for selection, placement, and promotion.
  • Writes articles, white papers, and reports to share research findings and educate others.
  • Develops new business by contacting potential clients, making sales presentations, and writing proposals.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Engineering Psychologist -- Focuses on enhancing human capabilities by improving work environments, technology, and equipment.