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Table of contents

Guidelines for Education and Training

In addition to a wide variety of entry-level and advanced positions in consulting firms, government agencies and academic institutions, human resource departments in public and private sectors also offer many opportunities. Job titles and levels of responsibility vary depending on levels of education and experience. Psychology is an expansive professional scientific field focusing on the study of human behavior. Psychologists and mental health professionals work in a number of specialty areas, including the following:.

Learn more about Industrial Psychology programs and degrees. According to Projections Central, employment of industrial psychologists is expected to grow by roughly 21 percent by as companies seek to improve retention rates and diversity. As with many fields, earning a degree at the doctoral level provides the most advanced positions and highest salaries. Industrial psychologists apply theories and principles honed through research to improve workplace dynamics.

They identify training and development needs in areas such as productivity, management and employee working styles, and help companies address problems by coaching employees, developing performance evaluation criteria and assessing market strategies. Professionals in this field must have knowledge of ethical considerations, administrative regulations and case law relating to workplace activities.

Technology Skills

Industrial organizational psychology may be one of the most widely diverse and inclusive variations of applied psychology. What attracted me to this field was the opportunity to utilize a variety of skills that I enjoy, including quantitative and qualitative research, understanding human behavior, people skills, innovation, and creativity. Most exciting is the opportunity to observe and diagnose what works for employees, with the goal of helping the organization thrive, fulfill its mission, and maintain a positive work environment for its employee community.

This fact might be something to consider if you have a need for predictability. My particular desire for novelty is a good match and my work as a consultant to educational and healthcare organizations is generally determined by the goals or priorities confronting leaders within an organization at a certain time. There is usually a specific challenge that has the attention of management and requires consultation.

Individual Assessment: As Practiced in Industry and Consulting (Applied Psychology Series)

Projects range from something as complex as developing a comprehensive plan to restructure an entire company to something as simple as ferreting out reasons why one division or another is lagging in productivity compared to previous years. Researchers may not possess the clinical skills needed to effectively address sticky human relations issues such as workplace aggression, bullying or grounds for handling complaints.

The design and development of training programs to address priorities with an organization is a particular pleasure for me. My greatest satisfaction in working with organizations is assisting with the overall restructuring or remodeling after a change of administration or a shift in mission. This is commonly referred to as change management and has its own protocol that is applied to the identification, unfolding and transformation of an organization with interdependent facets.

When an organization or group is undergoing a change or transition, there is uncertainty and discord, sometimes chaos. Being able to make an assessment and design clean strategies for meeting the various needs while continuing to produce the expected results is a challenge of huge proportions, as many people are affected in critical ways. A job well executed and completed with an outcome pleasing to all sides is a major achievement. Related programs include sociology, education and business management. For students electing to complete a degree outside psychology, they should undertake foundational courses in psychological principles, research methodology, statistics, and social psychology, and take part in academic research.

Coursework focuses on the psychology of leadership and organizational structuring while teaching students how to apply these frameworks to the workplace. Students also spend time honing their skills in research techniques and statistical analysis. Many programs require student to write a thesis based on original research in the field, although some mandate a comprehensive exam instead.

For students aspiring to higher-level careers in research, clinical practice or academia, a doctorate is usually necessary. Most PhD programs include two years of coursework focused on theories and principles grounded in scientific research.

Interview with a Psychologist

Students must research and write a dissertation, which can take one to three years to complete. Graduating industrial psychologists have met the standards set by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.


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The majority of industrial psychologists do not need to obtain a state license to work because they are employed in areas of organizational development, employee relations and training and development. To work in a clinical setting or to use the title of psychologist, a state license may be required. Graduate candidates for licensure must complete a minimum amount of clinical hours and pass an exam, although each state sets its own requirements.

Continuing education may be required for license renewal. Most states and provinces require individuals to be licensed in order to call themselves psychologists or to practice psychology. Although there are exceptions, very few states exempt industrial psychology.

Interviewing 1 – First Impression

In addition to increasing credibility with the public, a psychology license allows the psychologist to guarantee confidentiality under the law. Forensic psychologists may be called on to provide sentencing recommendations , treatment recommendations, or any other information the judge requests, such as information regarding mitigating factors , assessment of future risk, and evaluation of witness credibility.

Forensic psychology also involves training and evaluating police or other law enforcement personnel, providing law enforcement with criminal profiles, and in other ways working with police departments. Forensic psychologists may work with any party and in criminal or family law. In the United States, they may also help with jury selection. Forensic psychologists may hold a Ph.

In order for a psychologist to practice as a forensic psychologist in the United States , it is preferred, but not necessarily required, that the individual be a state licensed psychologist and receive certification as a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology by the American Board of Forensic Psychology although the latter is less important to judges. Ideally, the psychologist would have some years of postdoctoral experience in forensic psychology and have training and supervision in forensic psychology.

However, practices vary from state to state and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In the United States legal system, the ultimate authority is the judge, and the judge may select whomever he or she sees fit to qualify as an expert. In other countries, training and practitioner requirements may vary.

In the United Kingdom, for example, a person must obtain the Graduate Basis for Registration with the British Psychological Society—normally through an undergraduate degree. This would be followed by Stages 1 academic and 2 supervised practice of the Diploma in Forensic Psychology which would normally take 3 years full-time and 4 years part-time. Assessment occurs via examination, research, supervised practice, and the submission of a portfolio showing expertise across a range of criminological and legal applications of psychology.

Academic forensic psychologists engage in teaching, researching, training, and supervision of students, and other education-related activities. While their main focus is research, it is not unusual for them to take on any of the other positions of forensic psychologists. These professionals may be employed at various settings, which include colleges and universities, research institutes, government or private agencies, and mental health agencies. She has provided expert witness testimony for many cases. Forensic psychologists also assist with law enforcement.

They work in collaboration with the police force or other law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement psychologists are responsible for assisting law enforcement personnel. They are frequently trained to help with crisis intervention, including post-trauma and suicide. Other duties of law enforcement psychologists include development of police training programs, stress management, personnel management, and referral of departmental personnel as well as their families for specialized treatment and counseling.


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Correctional psychologists work with inmates and offenders in correctional settings. They serve both the role of an evaluator and a treatment provider to those who have been imprisoned or on parole or probation. Correctional psychologists may also take on the role of researcher or expert witness and frequently perform a wide range of psychological testing.

Industrial/Organization Psychology - Description of the Field of I/O Psychology

These forensic psychologists take on the role of evaluating parties in criminal or civil cases on mental health issues related to their case. For criminal cases, they may be called on to evaluate issues including, but not limited to, defendants' competence to stand trial, their mental state at the time of the offense insanity , and their risk for future violent acts. It is the obligation of the evaluator to inform the parties that everything in the session will be open to scrutiny in a forensic report or expert testimony.

They have a variety of employment settings, such as forensic and state psychiatric hospitals, mental health centers, and private practice.

Outside Resources

Evaluators usually have had training as clinical psychologists. Unlike fact witnesses, who are limited to testifying about what they know or have observed, expert witnesses have the ability to express opinion because, as their name suggests, they are presumed to be "experts" in a certain topic. They possess specialized knowledge about the topic.