10 Potential Careers for Business Psychology Professionals

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 21, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Business psychology, also known as industrial-organizational psychology, is a branch of psychology that focuses on how to improve employee productivity and morale. Regardless of a professional's experience and background in psychology, studying industrial-organizational psychology can improve their skill set and potentially open up new career opportunities. Knowing some careers you can pursue after studying industrial-organizational psychology can be valuable for your professional advancement. In this article, we discuss what business psychology is, mention some benefits it can bring to the workplace, and list some careers in industrial-organizational psychology.

What is business psychology?

Business psychology is the study of how human behaviour relates to the workplace. Industrial-organizational psychology professionals generally combine human behaviour knowledge and advanced business practices to find new ways of improving workplace productivity and culture. The premise behind the study of industrial-organizational psychology is the concept that achieving success in a company depends on the efficiency of human interactions and the understanding of what motivates individuals to be productive.

Industrial-organizational psychology professionals can work in a variety of jobs within an organization. Although their exact responsibilities depend on their particular role, their duties usually have these competencies:

  • Lead and motivate employees toward achieving their goals

  • Improve overall employee productivity and organizational efficiency

  • Perform objective employee performance evaluations

  • Create effective training and development programs for their organization's employees

  • Enhance organizational culture in a way that makes it more likely to achieve business goals

  • Develop new ways of improving overall employee safety and well-being

What are the benefits of industrial-organizational psychology in the workplace?

Using industrial-organizational psychology in the workplace can lead to improvements in multiple aspects of a business. For example, HR managers may identify easier what educational needs they can address within the organization. Some ways it can have a positive influence on an organization are:

  • It can improve recruitment and human resources operations. HR professionals who use industrial-organizational psychology in their practices are usually more effective when determining a job applicant's suitability for a particular role. They can also use various motivational coaching approaches to improve the performance of existing employees.

  • It can help business leaders make better decisions regarding the organization. Management executives can use industrial-organizational psychology to improve the organization's business intelligence operations, which can help them make business decisions that are more likely to improve productivity.

  • It can be a useful tool for marketing professionals. Using industrial-organizational psychology when working on new ways to market an organization's products or services can improve its overall effectiveness. Marketing professionals can use it to better understand and predict consumer behaviour, which can help them develop campaigns that attract larger numbers of potential customers.

  • It can improve a company's entire organizational culture. Business professionals can use psychology to define an organization's culture and use that information to find new ways of developing it and promoting it to all employees.

Related: 9 Highest Paying Psychology Jobs (With Salary and Duties)

10 jobs for industrial-organizational psychology professionals

These are some jobs that use industrial-organizational psychology concepts:

1. Employment counsellor

National average salary: $25.34 per hour

Primary duties: Employment counsellors apply industrial-organizational psychology principles when offering professional advice to managers regarding the employee working environment and overall business performance of their hiring organization. They also assist HR professionals in developing recruitment tools and techniques that improve the chances of hiring appropriately qualified professionals for each open position. Having a background in industrial-organizational psychology helps employment counsellors assess various workplace issues that affect employee productivity and develop effective strategies for conflict resolution and prevention.

Related: What Does an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Do?

2. Customer service manager

National average salary: $50,026 per year

Primary duties: Customer service managers are professionals who manage customer service staff. Their main responsibility is to help the customer service department achieve its objectives. They do this by recruiting appropriate personnel, providing adequate training and coaching, making employee schedules, properly communicating job expectations, reviewing employee performance, and enforcing company procedures and policies. Besides having the industrial-organizational psychology skills to communicate effectively with employees, customer service managers also usually require strong decision-making, planning, and budgeting skills.

3. Marketing manager

National average salary: $64,104 per year

Primary duties: A marketing manager's main responsibility is to promote the hiring organization and the products or services they sell to the public. They do that by making sure that the company uses effective communication methods and techniques that improve its chances of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Their responsibilities usually depend on their hiring organization's size and industry, but they typically perform a wide range of marketing activities, such as working with the marketing team to organize product launches, email campaigns, advertising, and social media posts.

Related: Top 10 Skills of a Marketing Manager

4. Management analyst

National average salary: $67,732 per year

Primary duties: Management analysts are consultants who work with multiple organizations. Their objective is to improve overall business efficiency and find new ways of resolving organizational challenges. They're usually either independent or employees in a consultancy firm. Organizations in need of management analysis usually hire them to bring an objective external perspective on how effective the management team is in achieving the organization's business goals. Besides having the industrial-organizational psychology skills to assess employee performance and satisfaction, management analysts also usually require strong interpersonal and communication skills and adaptability to work in new environments.

Related: How to Become a Business Analyst in 3 Easy Steps

5. Training manager

National average salary: $67,811 per year

Primary duties: Training and development managers are responsible for creating and implementing various types of employee training programs that aim to develop job-specific skills and help employees develop their careers. They can also evaluate employees' response to their training and development methods by creating specific performance metrics to assess their productivity. These professionals can work with employees to help them develop a long-term plan for their career within the organization.

6. Executive

National average salary: $71,542 per year

Primary duties: An executive is a management professional in charge of running an organization. Their exact role and responsibilities depend on the organization they work for, with their overall task being to create strategic goals and follow their execution. They communicate with company stakeholders, consultants, and lower-level managers to get progress reports, assess business performance, and develop new procedures to improve the organization's market share and profits.

7. Human resources manager

National average salary: $73,639 per year

Primary duties: Human resources managers handle all personnel-related activities for an organization, including hiring employees for each role, managing employee relations and communication, reviewing employee performance statistics, and managing payroll operations. They sometimes mediate various kinds of employee disputes and recommend disciplinary measures to managers. HR managers may also have a wide variety of administrative roles, depending on the size of their hiring organization.

Related: How to Begin Your Career in Human Resources

8. Change manager

National average salary: $84,840 per year

Primary duties: Change managers ensure that any departmental or company-wide changes within an organization happen within the planned budget and timeframe. They usually focus on the personnel management aspect of organizational change, creating and implementing strategies that improve employee adoption and minimize the chances of resistance. Although change managers don't always have decision-making and supervisory responsibilities, they typically act as coaches for all managers, senior company leaders, executives to lower-level managers, and supervisors.

9. College teacher

National average salary: $44.00 per hour

Primary duties: College teachers are educators who use their skills to provide students with undergraduate and graduate education in their chosen fields. They can also help them develop themselves intellectually and learn some common soft skills that may help them later in their careers. Their usual tasks include creating a course curriculum, presenting it to students as lectures, and evaluating their understanding of the respective curriculum. College professors who specialize in industrial-organizational psychology can teach a variety of related courses, such as consumer psychology, engineering psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, organizational management, and industrial relations.

Related: 10 Top Bachelor's in Psychology Jobs (With Definition)

10. Industrial psychologist

National average salary: $44.29 per hour

Primary duties: Industrial and organizational psychologists apply industrial-organizational psychology and general psychological methods and principles to improve an organization's work environment, which can lead to improved employee satisfaction, performance, communication, and safety. They usually work for large companies in a wide variety of fields and analyze each aspect of an employee's relationship with their hiring organization. These can include instructing managers on leadership techniques and working with staff to understand their concerns. It can also involve selecting work teams based on the psychological characteristics of employees and finding new ways to improve employee safety and work-life balance.

Related: What to Do With an Organizational Psychology Master's Degree

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries and the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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