How Do You Become a Business Psychologist?

Are you interested in learning about how to become a business psychologist? If you’re driven by a desire to improve work life for other people, business psychology is a science you’re likely to excel at. It might even turn out to be the ideal career path for you. The following overview provides insights about the characteristics, qualifications and educational credentials you’re likely to need for launching a new career as a business psychologist.

Educational and Credentials

Business psychology is a relatively new discipline. In the USA, there is no universal description of required qualifications for becoming a business psychologist. Since each business has different needs, each business psychology job description could be expected to vary depending on the unique requirements of the hiring organization. Some business psychologists work in the human resources departments of large businesses or organizations. Others work in management. Some work as freelance consultants.

A master’s degree is the minimum requirement for becoming a business psychologist. A more advanced graduate degree is required for some relevant positions. Options for advanced degrees include a PhD degree in psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). Degree programs do exist in business psychology, but they are not available at every college and university.

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A license or certificate may be required depending on your state of residence, job title and intended job description. There are laws governing which credentials are necessary for individuals who present themselves as psychologists. You can visit the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards for more specific information regarding the requirements in various states.

Business Psychologist Personal Characteristics

If you think a fulfilling workday would consist of team building plus helping others improve their performance and efficiency at work, business psychology might be the right career choice for you.

  • Both people skills and business skills are essential for success with this role.
  • A capacity to learn quickly is helpful.
  • Flexibility and adaptability are beneficial characteristics.
  • Problem-solving ability is crucial.
  • Marketing skills are helpful for business psychologists who freelance or consult.

Job Locations

London is an excellent location for finding employment as a business psychologist. There are also opportunities available in other locations in Europe and the Middle East.

In the U.S., conclusive relevant data is not readily available about which location is best. The field of business psychology is poised for future growth, but no one can predict exactly where the growth will occur. The best locations for the closely related field of industrial-organizational psychology are Washington, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California.

Many business psychologists are independent contractors and consultants. If you’re willing to travel, you can set up a consulting business with headquarters in your location of choice.

Becoming a Business Psychologist

In the UK, the Association of Business Psychology is a helpful resource for learning more about this discipline.  In the USA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains an informative guide on the topic of becoming a psychologist. The BLS also offers occupational employment statistics on industrial-organizational psychologists.

Related Resource: What is a Counseling Psychologist?

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Now that you know more about the science of business psychology, you’re better equipped to plan out a career path and prepare to become a business psychologist if that is your ultimate goal.