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What Is a PhD in I-O Psychology Degree Online and How Will It Enhance My Career Options?

Industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology is the scientific study of the workplace. Psychologists apply science-based principles and methods of psychology to identify issues and solve problems in business. As an I-O psychologist with an online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, you’ll be able to address important issues in a range of settings, including organizations, colleges and universities, as well as working as an independent consultant. You’ll have the ability to apply principles of psychology to problems in diverse work areas while becoming a catalyst for organizational change.

With your I-O psychology degree, your areas of influence may include policy planning, employee testing and selection, employee training and development, organizational development and analysis, and assessment and improvement of worker productivity.

What Is a PhD in I-O Psychology Degree Online and How Will It Enhance My Career Options?

Career opportunities abound for applicants with a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Doctoral job applicants qualify for challenging positions in school systems developing tools to assess student achievement and teacher performance. Universities and colleges provide opportunities to conduct research and teach undergraduate and graduate students. One of the most challenging and rewarding career opportunities for professionals with a PhD in I-O psychology is to strike out on their own as an independent I-O consultant, such as an employee development consultant/trainer, an organizational consultant, or a human resources manager/consultant. I-O consultants are often in the highest income brackets.

Explosive Job Growth for Professionals With PhDs in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

An online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology empowers you with high-level knowledge and skills that prepare you to excel in a dynamic profession experiencing unprecedented growth.

“With demand for I-O psychologists expected to grow by 8% by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our graduates will have exciting career options,” says Lori LaCivita, PhD, Walden University program director and I-O Psychology Candidate for the Executive Board of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).1

Survey Reveals Detailed Salary Data for I-O Psychologists With PhDs

In February 2017, SIOP released a comprehensive survey of their members with master’s degrees and doctorates. Results were based on 1,199 respondents who work full-time as industrial and organizational psychologists. The SIOP 2016 Income and Employment Report2 revealed important income data for I-O psychologists with all levels of education from BS in Psychology degrees to PhDs.

For members with a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, mean salary incomes for responders were shown for seven time periods after acquiring their doctorate as follows:

Salary Years After Acquiring Degree
$103,715 2 years after PhD
$96,828 2–4 years after PhD
$116,329 5–9 years after PhD
$134,277 10–14 years after PhD
$166,295 15–19 years after PhD
$169,849 20–24 years after PhD
$184,950 25+ years after PhD

For respondents with doctorates, the two largest employers were universities or colleges (36%) and private-sector consulting firms (23.2%).*

Highlights of Walden’s Unique Online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program

Offering one of the first I-O psychology PhD degree programs online, Walden University is responding to the growing demand for qualified I-O psychologists with doctorates. Program highlights include:

  • Flexible formats–This comprehensive doctoral degree program can be completed in two flexible formats: the 100% online format or the blended course format, which blends online courses with up to two core courses that combine both online and in-person learning experiences.
  • Six specializations–You can focus your learning on a specific area of I-O psychology: Consulting Psychology, Forensic Psychology, General Practice, Leadership Development and Coaching, Organizational Diversity and Social Change, or Research and Evaluation.

Walden University, an accredited institution, has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners for 45 years. Today, students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or certificates online.

Explore Walden University's PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program online and specialized certification programs that fit your career goals. Earn your degree at a pace that fits your life and schedule.


*Khanna, Charu, Medsker, Gina J., and Ginter, Ryan. Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO). (2013). “SIOP 2012 Income and Employment Survey (Prepared for Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists),” on the Internet at