Personnel psychology is a subspecialty of psychology that studies people at work. There are a number of factors that can influence an employee in the workforce, and more companies are acknowledging the vital help that this psychological discipline can bring to profitability and retention.
Many professionals who work in personnel psychology can be found in consulting work, human resources and behind employee benefit programs. It’s important to understand corporate culture and be able to accurately analyze employee behaviors and motivations to improve the performance of the company as a whole and the employee as an individual. If you are attracted to the business world and psychology, this career path is the perfect marriage of the two.
What Does a Personnel Psychologist Do?
Industries and organizations use personnel psychologists for everything from recruitment and performance appraisal to determining what full compensation packages and benefits will be in greatest demand from employees. The workplace is a constantly changing environment and personnel psychologists must be constantly in tune with those changes. It’s as important for the personnel psychologists to know how to adjust as it is for the employees or the executive leadership of the company.
Careers in Personnel Psychology
Personnel psychology is often grouped under the larger industrial-organizational psychology umbrella. As such, it can be a very lucrative field of practice where it’s possible to earn $100,000 or more annually depending on size of company, experience and geographic location. As businesses are constantly looking for new ways to expand, the outlook for personnel psychologists continues to be strong.
Many entering this profession have an entrepreneurial mindset, so it is not uncommon to see private consultancy within the field. If you desire more stable employment many companies utilize a personnel psychology professional in their human resources department.
Obtaining a Personnel Psychology Degree
To become a personnel psychologist you should attain a doctorate degree with heavy coursework in industrial-organizational psychology. Business and marketing classes are also recommended. As for licensing, states set the standards and widely differ in what they prefer to see from these professionals. Check with the licensing board in your area for full information.