7 Facts About Industrial-Organizational Psychology Schools and Careers


Organizational psychology is as diverse a field as you could imagine, with all the different kinds of companies that might employ I/O psychologists either as staff members or as consultants.

But before even getting that far, there are many questions that potential students might have about the education needed.

Keep reading to learn about online school options, educational requirements, psychology licensing, and more.

Can I go to school online?

Yes. There are quite a few nonprofit and for-profit traditional schools that offer online industrial-organizational psychology degree programs. If you’re planning to apply for federal financial aid, be sure the online program is accredited.

What careers can I pursue with an organizational psychology degree?

Industrial-organizational psychologists have a variety of career options open to them. Most seek careers in human resources and personnel psychology, but avenues are open in other areas such as consulting psychology, consumer psychology and engineering psychology.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Financial aid is available from a variety of sources, including the government. The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and ensure your school is accredited. Other types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, private loans and PLUS loans.

What type of accreditation should I look for in a psychology school?

The American Psychological Association (APA) doesn’t accredit industrial-organizational programs because they consider a client of an I/O psychologist to be an organization and not a person. However, you can find psychology schools with institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The organization is divided into six regional associations based on where they operate.

What steps do I need to take to become licensed?

It all depends on the state you plan to practice in. If your state deems I/O practitioners as psychologists, then licensing is usually required. However, not all states have made this decision. To know exactly what steps to take, consult with your state regulatory board.

What continuing education requirements should I expect throughout my career?

License renewal usually hinges on the completion of continuing education. However, since I/O practitioners are not considered licensed psychologists in all states, CE may not be required. Check with your state board of psychology for details. If you’re interested in taking courses for your own professional development, the American Psychological Association offers programs.

Is it better to work for myself or an institution within the industrial-organizational psychology field?

I/O psychologists can work as consultants or on staff at an organization. Private practice can offer flexibility, but if you’re new to the field with few clients, you’ll have to work hard at marketing yourself and getting referrals. Being employed at a school, workplace or other organization can offer employer-paid benefits and the chance to learn from experienced colleagues.


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