Industrial-Organizational Psychologists


Employment Prospects


The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology has approximately 8,000 members. Industrial-organizational psychologists are employed directly by corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations, as well as consulting firms that provide services to these organizations. Others work as professors or researchers at colleges and universities.

Starting Out

Many people break into the field of I-O psychology after participating in an internship during college. “Completing an internship increases your chances of getting a job that you’ll enjoy,” according to an article on internships in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Quarterly. “Not only do you discover your job likes and dislikes, but you enter the job market with experience that is related to your career goals…And later, when it’s time to get a job, internships attract employers.” The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) offers detailed information about the various types of internships (e.g., internal, external, government, research-oriented, and international) for I-O psychology students at its Web site,

Other job-search strategies include using the career centers of professional associations (such as the American Psychological Association and SIOP), working with recruiters, networking at in-person events and online at LinkedIn and related Web sites, attending job fairs, and utilizing the resources of one’s college career center. 

Advancement Prospects

An experienced I-O psychologist may advance to become a manager, supervising the work of other psychologists. Some choose to open their own consulting firms, while others pursue careers in academia.

Tips for Entry

Read Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice and The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist to learn more about the field. See for more information.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings: 



Attend the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology’s annual conference ( to network and participate in continuing education opportunities.

For tips on applying to graduate school, visit