Organizational Consultant: Job Description and Requirements

Organizational consultants, alternately known as industrial-organizational psychologists, are essential to any company. They use their solid psychology background to assist businesses with running a smooth workplace and boosting operations and revenue.

An organizational consultant can help make a workplace healthier and more functional for employees and management. They typically gain their skills through a master's or doctoral program in industrial-organizational psychology.

Essential Information

Organizational consultants are more formally known as industrial-organizational psychologists; these professionals are specially trained to focus on both the employees' work environment and the company performance as a whole. These professionals must have either a master's degree or a doctoral degree in the field; those who earn PhDs may also be qualified to train future psychologists.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Postsecondary Psychology Instructor
Required Education Master's Degree PhD
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $77,350 $70,260
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 19% 16%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Organizational Consultant Job Description

Organizational consultants are responsible for enhancing the workplace based on research and the application of psychology principles. They often work closely with company management to solve common business-related issues through reorganization. Their services are required in employment settings when a difficult situation arises and there is no evident resolution. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these specialists screen, train, and counsel applicants for jobs, as well as perform organizational development and analysis.

Job Duties

The duties of organizational consultants are aimed at maximizing a company's efficiency and income while retaining its employees. These responsibilities include the following:

  • Interview current and potential employees
  • Analyze data, position requirements, and interview responses
  • Evaluate and assess workers
  • Create reports based on research data
  • Actively play a role in management advisement
  • Organize new testing and training developments
  • Make recommendations on how to increase productivity

Education Requirements

Industrial-organizational psychologists working as organizational consultants are required to have a master's or a doctoral degree specializing in industrial-organizational psychology. Acquiring either degree will grant graduates knowledge of sociology, research, and strategy development, preparing them to assess and improve workplace performance. Typical master's-level and doctorate course topics might include the following:

  • Principles of industrial-organizational psychology
  • Management psychology
  • Personnel and human resource psychology practices
  • Industrial-organizational workplace issues

Additional coursework concentrating in industrial-organizational psychology is often required in a Ph.D. program, including a dissertation.


Qualified candidates must possess strong oral communication and active listening skills for interacting effectively with workers and management. Career success is based on the ability to analyze, develop, research, and advise.

Job Outlook

According to the BLS, job growth for industrial-organizational psychologists is expected to be 19% from 2014-2024. Industrial-organizational psychologists earned a median annual salary of $77,350, per the BLS in May 2015.

An analytical mind and strong communication skills are essential to succeed as an organizational consultant. Their mission is to enhance a workplace to the benefit of both the company's bottom line and the employees that make it work. A master's or doctoral degree in industrial-organizational psychology is the standard academic requirement for work in this field.

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