What Does An Industrial Psychologist Do? (With Salary)

Updated 8 September 2023

A workplace needs to function smoothly and effectively to support success. Industrial psychologists ensure this with the scientific study of human behaviour in organisations and workplaces. Employers often engage with industrial psychologists to address issues within the workplace. In this article, we answer, "What does an industrial psychologist do?", understand their responsibilities, review the necessary skills and highlight the steps to become one.

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Related: Different Types Of Psychologists And How To Become One

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What Does An Industrial Psychologist Do?

Finding the answer to, "What does an industrial psychologist do?", can help you decide whether this career choice is right for you. Industrial psychologists apply the principles of psychology in organisations, mainly how employees behave and how business works. Industrial psychology concerns itself with matters of recruitment, workplace motivation, selection and placement, performance measurement, training and development along with reward systems. Here are some of the responsibilities:

  • Counsel and assist the human resources of the organisation

  • Create and implement training programs

  • Assess employee performance and suggest ways to improve productivity

  • Collaborate with management to hire new personnel, train employees and plan policies

  • Assess administration and various departments of the organisation in improving working conditions

  • Settle disputes and sustain good relations among employees

  • Identify how employees react to a new product introduction or new policy

Related: Steps Involved In A Successful Career Planning Process

How To Become An Industrial Psychologist?

Industrial psychology is the practice of psychology principles in workplace environments. Industrial psychologists analyse human behaviour and interaction to improve organisational efficiency. Here are the steps to become an industrial psychologist:

1. Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

Most industrial psychologists begin their careers by pursuing undergraduate degrees in general psychology. A Bachelor of Science in psychology is a three-year undergraduate degree. The course includes topics such as social psychology, the psychology of individual differences, psychology of counselling and biopsychology. The candidates that want to go to BA in psychology are required to pass all subjects in 10+2, graduating 10+2 from an acknowledged council and obtaining at least 50-55% in total in class 12 examination.

2. Complete a Master's Degree

Candidates interested in working in the private sector can consider getting a master's degree. A master's degree in organisational or industrial psychology can prepare them for working in a company and impact practices that influence productivity, hiring, safety, performance and employee health. Some of the colleges offering M.Sc or M.A. in organisational psychology in psychology, social work or counselling include:

  • MS University, Baroda

  • Fergusson College, Pune

  • Amity Institute of Psychology and Allied Sciences, Noida

  • Utkal University, Bhubaneswar

3. Pursue an internship

Working as an industrial psychologist intern under a senior industrial psychologist or an external industrial psychologist of a recognised educational establishment can help better understand mental health and real-life scenarios. A dynamic environment can be a good place for networking and career progression. The responsibility of an organisational psychology intern can include shadowing, working closely with human resource professionals and collecting data for research.

4. Consider receiving a PhD

A PhD in psychology is often an essential credential for industrial psychologists and can help candidates find suitable jobs. It is a three-year full-time doctorate degree where candidates learn a total of nine subjects. Admission to the course is subject to results in the entrance exams or merit lists. Some of these exams in the country are Research Aptitude Test (RAT) and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).

Important Skills To Become An Industrial Psychologist

Industrial-organisational psychology is of utmost importance in a workplace to ensure good mental health, strong work relations, productivity and growth. An industrial psychologist requires employing a set of qualifications to be successful in this career. Here are some of the skills for an industrial psychologist:

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to process emotional information and utilise it in cognitive activities and reasoning. Industrial psychologists often work with diverse groups of people in a wide variety of settings, so they require developing connections with employees and understanding their point of view. The ability to practise emotional management can help enhance better working conditions, draw professional boundaries and ensure good professional relationships among employees and employers.

Related: Emotional Intelligence Skills (Definition And Examples)

Data analysis

Industrial psychology involves working with people and data. These professionals select sample groups and find ways to interpret and draw conclusions from their data. The organisation associates the data with the effectiveness of training sessions, implementation of new policies, human capital retention or workplace satisfaction where industrial psychologists perform data analysis and present results of the focal research group.

Related: 10 Valuable Data Analysis Skills

Analytical skills

Psychologists need analytical skills to gain vital knowledge about human behaviours and break down complex ideas into principles that they can use to evaluate, diagnose or treat individuals. These professionals develop these skills by conducting and interpreting psychological research analyses and data. By working with and observing people in organisations, they find patterns in how humans behave and determine appropriate treatment methods.


Effective listening is one of the important skills psychologists develop during the course of their careers. It involves more than just hearing and requires paying attention, being supportive and open-minded. Psychologists ensure they listen intently and carefully to individuals in an organisation and help build strong work relations, foster empathy and resolve conflicts that may arise.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples


Psychologists need familiarity with both software and hardware while managing data tracking and training programs in an organisation. It is necessary to be able to operate the systems and equipment of an organisation. Through technical expertise, they can adapt to organisational changes, monitor performance and achieve consistent progress.

Related: Key Employability Skills To Be Successful In The Workplace

Communication skills

Communication skills are vital for every career, especially when it involves studying human behaviour. The ability to communicate with individuals in the workplace requires strong communication skills along with the ability to describe their observations, portray their findings well and talk about possible improvements. This also involves these professionals to be open-minded, consider varying perspectives and have a strong sense of ethics.

The Role Of Industrial Psychologists In An Organisation

Industrial psychologists work closely with the human resource department in an organisation, observing the behaviour of employees in the work environment, identifying areas of improvement and assessing organisational workflow. Here are some of the roles of an industrial psychologist:

Employee training and development

Organisational-industrial psychologists identify training and development needs within an organisation. They perform task analyses that identify the skills and competencies required to perform a specific job effectively. Information from these analyses is used to develop and assess employee development and training programs.

Performance management

One of the key subject domains an industrial psychologist works on includes performance management. This involves helping the organisation to measure and manage employee performance through performance assessments, recommendations and feedback alongside identifying skills gaps. The information from such assessments plays an important role in making decisions regarding promotion and compensation.


Professionals in industrial psychology help develop employee selection assessments to determine if job applicants are qualified for a specific position. They work closely with the HR department to develop such recruitment processes, such as screening tests, to select suitable personnel. This requires determining what type of skills are necessary for specific jobs and defining other qualifications.

Employee satisfaction and well-being

Industrial psychologists are involved with employee satisfaction, health, safety and motivation. These professionals work towards improving employee satisfaction and productivity and ensuring work-life balance. Sometimes they implement work-life balance programs by finding ways to make jobs more rewarding and improving the quality of life in the workplace.

Organisational development and management

This area of industrial psychology involves improving organisational structure and performance. This is often done through redesigning products and increasing profits. It also involves assisting with matters related to the corporate culture and productivity. The benefits to organisational management include increased productivity, greater workplace cooperation and a better work environment.

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Average Salary Of An Industrial Psychologist

The average salary of an industrial psychologist will differ depending on the industry they work in and their level of expertise. The national average salary for an industrial psychologist is ₹4,59,000 per year. Most industrial psychologists work full-time for organisations and may require to work overtime to meet specific outcomes.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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