Industrial Psychologists

Last updated December 31, 2014

Industrial psychologists have studied how to match the personalities of workers with various jobs. One theory argues that peoples' personalities can be described in terms of five traits, or qualities: outgoing, easygoing, responsible, stable, and open. Research shows that responsible, stable employees are valuable in any job. To succeed in jobs dealing with the public, workers must also be outgoing and easygoing.

Industrial psychologists have researched many other employment issues, from ensuring workplace justice to balancing roles at work and at home.

Industrial psychologists work for businesses, helping to improve the working conditions and productivity of employees. They help companies hire, train, and manage employees. They also advise companies on ways of getting consumers interested in products and services.

Did You Know?

Industrial psychologists often work as consultants. They are brought in by companies to help solve particular problems, such as employee stress.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Advise managers
  • Study workplace conditions such as noise level
  • Train employees
  • Counsel employees
  • Create job-application guidelines
  • Teach managers how to interview applicants
  • Give psychological tests
  • Conduct market surveys
  • Interpret statistics

It Helps To Be...

Someone who can see the many sides of a complicated issue. You'll also need to use abstract ideas to solve practical problems.

Make High School Count

  • Take psychology to learn about human emotions, behavior, and communication.
  • Sign up for health science and family and consumer science to learn about issues facing workers.
  • Make the most of your math classes and consider getting a head start by taking a statistics class.
  • Volunteer as a peer counselor at your school.
  • Keep a diary to explore your own thoughts and feelings.

Did You Know?

As an industrial psychologist, you might conduct research into such areas as sexual harassment or workplace culture.