What Can You Do with a Master’s of IO Psychology?

Written by Grad School Center Team We are a passionate team of experienced educators and advisors at GradSchoolCenter.com, dedicated to guiding students through their graduate education journey. Our experts, with advanced degrees across various disciplines, offer personalized advice, up-to-date program information, and practical insights into application processes.

Reviewed by David Krug David Krug is a seasoned expert with 20 years in educational technology (EdTech). His career spans the pivotal years of technology integration in education, where he has played a key role in advancing student-centric learning solutions. David's expertise lies in marrying technological innovation with pedagogical effectiveness, making him a valuable asset in transforming educational experiences. As an advisor for enrollment startups, David provides strategic guidance, helping these companies navigate the complexities of the education sector. His insights are crucial in developing impactful and sustainable enrollment strategies.

Updated: March 6, 2024, Reading time: 6 minutes

IO Psychologist

Find your perfect college degree

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Adapt or die. That’s the mandate of many high-end organizations. As an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, your job is to act as an agent of such change. However, change is a complicated thing. The role one plays in introducing change to an organization might appear complicated as well.

In this article, we explore the essential role of Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the industry today, as well as the popular jobs and professional roles that are in play.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology: An Overview

The field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology represents a unique opportunity for those seeking a career in psychology. It involves the study and application of psychological theories and methods to a workforce and an organization.

Put practically, IO psychologists improve recruiting and promotion practices, employee incentive initiatives, and training and development plans to help businesses maximize their productivity.

Studying for a degree in IO Psychology will train graduates to perform the following roles:

IO psychologist roles hinge on the principles of Organizational Leadership and Industrial Psychology, which are distinct disciplines on their own. However, the specific duties vary depending on the employer or company.

Benefits of Earning a Master’s in IO Psychology

Before enrolling in a Master’s in IO Psychology, it’s essential to learn the many benefits that it offers:

What is the Master’s in IO Psychology Curriculum?

Master’s in IO Psychology are designed with employment in corporations and other organizations in mind. While Psychology-related, it does not involve the diagnosis or treatment of patients in a clinical context. Instead, IO psychologists work in business environments.

Introducing students to the fundamentals of the field, the master’s degree focuses on business practices and industry standards. The courses are:

Master’s in IO Psychology students can choose from these specializations that determine the direction of their careers:

Can I Earn a Master’s of IO Psychology Online?

Today, IO graduate students can take advantage of online education to begin building professional connections and putting down roots in their job market of choice. Many IO master’s programs are affordable and offered online, which qualify for the IO psychologist job in many organizations.

Another thing to consider is to make sure that there are internships available in order to maximize actual learning. 

Gaining Admission to a Master’s of IO Psychology Program

If you’re ready to enroll in a master’s degree in IO Psychology? Check out the preparations required for the admission process, as recommended by the American Psychological Association:

A Bachelor of Psychology is typically required for application to a Master of IO Psychology program. By building experience in business-related topics, undergraduates interested in IO Psychology can make themselves more desirable for admission. 

While a Bachelor’s in Psychology is your ticket to an IO master’s program, some schools do not set this requirement. As long as these prerequisite courses are completed, you can get admitted to the master’s degree program:

Elevate your chances of admission to an IO master’s program through independent research. Ideally, taking a research project to the point of publishing in a respected journal or presentation at a respected conference will set you far ahead of the pack in terms of earning admission.

Graduate IO Psychology Programs typically provide an opportunity for students to begin building specialization in a particular subject matter or area of the field.

Before choosing a specialization, students will want to explore the rising trends in the job market and the wider IO Psychology industry. Doing so helps students to identify the needs and opportunities of future markets. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most promising trends in this context:

Data Science and Quantitative MethodsThrough proficiency in data science techniques, students get a more profound comprehension of the underlying issues. Additionally, it enables students to present their research in an impartial way—a style that big businesses value.
Software and Information TechnologyInformation technology is important to the work of an IO psychologist. Data science in IO Psychology is being used more quickly thanks to information technology and related tools. 

5 Lucrative Jobs and Industries for IO Psychologists

There are many reasons to pursue a career, but salary and earnings are one of them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most lucrative positions in the IO Psychology job market.

Job PositionRoles and Responsibilities
Human Resources Managers* Collaborate with other HR managers in larger companies.
* Perform full HR administration work in small businesses.
Business Development Consultants* Help businesses expand their operations and achieve targets.
* Employ the resources to satisfy consulting firms’ demands. 
Executive Performance Coaches* Assist executives in achieving objectives and raising their level of performance
* Only the most skilled information operations specialists qualify
Team Development Managers * Plan business retreats and team-building activities to strengthen professional relationships in the workplace 
Staffing and Recruiting Managers* Build the company’s organizational structure
* Hires the best candidates for organizational roles

According to the BLS, the mean wage for IO Psychologists is $144,610 annually. Furthermore, here are some industries that IO psychologists can work in, along with their respective average wages:

IndustryAverage Pay
Local Government $156,940
Scientific Research and Development Services $122,100
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $111,050
Elementary and Secondary Schools$89,940

Top-Paying States for IO Psychologists

Selecting where you wish to work is the next important step after deciding on your preferred industry. It’s important to remember to consider these factors when looking for an IO psychology job:

It will be up to you to weigh the pros and cons, but with this in mind, let’s take a look at the best cities to work in for IO Psychologists, along with their average yearly salary:

The availability and salary of IO occupations are significantly influenced by location. A greater need for these professionals exists in larger cities. This is due to the fact that industrial-organizational psychologists’ brand of growth often piques the interest of larger organizations. Consequently, employers in larger cities pay IO professionals more than small towns.

Keep abreast of the latest books and apps that Psychology students should check out:

Additional Resources:

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.