Salary Outlook for PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Getting your Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology may be a great educational and career choice. An industrial-organizational psychologist helps companies with research design, assessment exercises, interviews and survey work for organizations. These specialist psychologists work in small teams to improve testing programs, HR policies, and other HR issues so that companies can work at a higher and more efficient level.

Industrial-organizational psychologists with a Ph.D. often need to communicate with both high and low level employees, so it is imperative to be able to explain work and findings to professionals who are not in the psychology field. (Payscale.com).

Salary Outlook for Psychologists

Generally, the median salary for all psychologists is high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median salary for all psychologists in 2017 was $77,000. (BLS.gov).

BLS also provides the following salary information for other psychologists:

  • All other psychologists: $97,400
  • Industrial and organizational psychologists: $87,100
  • Clinical, counseling and school psychologists: $75,000

In 2017, median salaries for all psychologists in all the following industries were:

  • Government: $94,900
  • Hospitals: $83,900
  • Ambulatory healthcare services: $77,000
  • Elementary and secondary schools: $74,400

Salaries for Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

It is reported that the median salary for industrial-organizational psychologists was $87,100 in 2017. The top paid 25% earned $132,500, and the lowest paid earned $62,280. (USNews.com).

Payscale.com reports the average industrial-organizational psychologist salary is $72,200, with a range between $40,000 and $121,000. (Payscale.com).

Salary.com reports a salary range for industrial-organizational psychologists between $99,300 and $137,890. (Salary.com). The average base salary according to this site is $121,127, and average total compensation is $128,085.

More information about salaries in this field with a Ph.D. is found at the APA website. The APA states that the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s 2012 income and employment survey found the starting salary for an I/O psychologist with a master’s was $65,000, but with a Ph.D. was $81,000.

University professors in this speciality make $70,000 per year, and those in the private sector make around $100,000. The APA states the median salary overall for industrial-organizational psychologists is $80,000, but the highest earners can make $250,000 or more each year. (APA.org).

Salaries Increase with Experience

One of the interesting aspects of this field of psychology with a Ph.D. is how your salary rises with more experience in industrial-organizational psychology. According to Payscale.com, we see the following salaries:

  • Less than five years of experience – $61,000 salary
  • Five to 10 years of experience – $94,000 salary
  • 10 to 20 years of experience – $112,000 salary
  • More than 20 years of experience – $131,000 salary

Also, some parts of the country pay a higher wage than others. Payscale states the average wage in the country is $72,998. But in Washington state, the salary for these professionals is 32% higher. This could be because of the many large tech companies that are located in the state, such as Microsoft and Amazon, among many others.

Dallas also pays well in this field, with a 41% boost in salary over the national average. Los Angeles salaries are 11% higher, and New York has salaries that are 12% below the national average. (Payscale.com).

Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology Outlook

Whether your speciality is Industrial Organizational Psychology or another speciality in the field, you will see plenty of job demand in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employment for psychologists will rise by 14% through 2026. This rate is faster than average compared to all other occupations.

Further, employment of clinical, school and counseling psychologists will also rise by 14% in the same period of time. It is expected that higher demand for psychological services in schools, companies, mental health centers and social service agencies will boost demand generally for psychologists. (BLS.gov).

Regarding the industrial-organizational psychology field specifically, the job is ranked #2 in Best Science Jobs. (USNews.com). USNews.com also reports there will be an 8.5% rise in job demand for I/O psychologists through 2026, which is faster than average. In that period of time, it is estimated there will be 100 new jobs available. This indicates that while the field is growing, the number of jobs is still quite small. So, you should be prepared for intense competition for the limited number of positions.

Increase in Demand for I/O Psychologists Reflects Increasing Health Occupation Demand

The increasing need for all psychologists, including industrial-organizational psychologists with a Ph.D., is occurring simultaneously as an increasing demand for overall healthcare services. It is believed there will be a boost in healthcare jobs through 2026 by 18%, which is much faster than all other US occupations. It is expected there will be nearly 2.5 million new jobs added.

Healthcare jobs, including industrial-organizational psychologists with Ph.D.s, will be adding more jobs than all other job groups. The increase in job demand is largely because as the US population ages, they will want more access to many health care services. Companies also realize that using psychological principles can lead to a rise in productivity in their organizations, which can increase profits and efficiency. (BLS.gov).

Conclusion

The field of industrial-organizational psychology with a Ph.D. is a field that is growing and salaries are rising. Professionals with a Ph.D. and the most experience can command salaries above $100,000 and even $200,000. However, it is worth noting that this is still a relatively small field, with only approximately 2,000 professionals working in the field in the United States. Only a few hundred jobs open up each year, so the competition for those jobs is expected to be intense.

References

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Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Ann Steele, Ph.D.

Editor-In-Chief

Ann Steele, Ph.D., is Editor-In-Chief of PsydPrograms.org. Ann has training as a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has worked with adults, couples, adolescents, and preteens throughout San Diego county.