Career Definition for an Organizational Behavior Consultant
Organizational behavior consultants can be found in any number of industries and may be employed on staff or as independent consultants who are hired to address particular workplace issues. Their responsibilities typically include observing, analyzing and suggesting workplace improvements, which can help corporations enhance employee productivity and overall performance. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that specialists, like organizational behavior consultants, tend to be older because they come to the field with previous work experience and are more likely to work in urban areas (www.bls.gov).
|Education||Master's degree in psychology required; Ph.D. programs and professional certification available|
|Job Skills||Analytical, communication, observational, patience|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$87,100 (all industrial-organizational psychologists)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||8% (all industrial-organizational psychologists)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Organizational behavior consultants usually have a master's degree in psychology with a concentration in organizational psychology. In general, their studies include the theory and application of psychology principles to individuals in groups and organizations as a whole. Organizational behavior consultants with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology and extensive work experience can pursue a professional certification through the American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology (www.abpp.org).
Organizational behavior consultants must be able to work under pressure and firm deadlines. They should also have outstanding interpersonal skills and be diplomatic and unflappable. Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, and a willingness to travel if necessary are also important.
Career and Salary Outlook
The BLS reports that industrial-organizational psychologists, including organizational behavior consultants, earned median annual wages of $87,100 in May 2017. According to the BLS, employment prospects for industrial-organizational psychologists are projected to increase by an average rate of 8% nationwide, or approximately 100 new openings between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov).
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Alternate Career Options
Those interested in organizational behavior consulting may want to consider related occupations, including market research analysis and sociology.
Market Research Analysts
Market research analysts examine commercial trends to find out what types of products and services will sell and how much particular groups of people are willing to pay for them. In addition to a bachelor's degree in market research, aspiring analysts who have majored in computer or social science, business administration, communications and statistics may also qualify for entry-level work. Analytical and mathematical skills are key; candidates interested in doing high-level research typically need a master's degree in a relevant field of study.
The BLS reports that employment opportunities nationwide are expected to increase by 23%, or much faster than average from 2016-2026 for market research analysts, who earned median annual salaries of $63,230 in May 2017 (www.bls.gov).
Sociologists are typically employed by consulting or research firms, government entities or postsecondary schools, where they examine the social behaviors of cultural groups, institutions or organizations. A graduate degree is usually required in order to obtain a position as a sociologist; related opportunities in academics, social assistance or public policy may be open to candidates with a bachelor's degree.
According to the BLS, sociologists who were employed in May 2017 earned median annual wages of $79,650. The BLS has also projected a 1% increase in employment nationwide for sociologists between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov).