Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Salary Information

Though the number of Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists in the U.S. is small (currently just over 1,000), I-O is one of the fastest growing and highest paying fields in the nation.

Annual Salaries of Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

The I-O Psyhcologist national mean salary is $104,570, which is 110% higher than the avg mean wage for All Occupations listed in the BLS and 10-33% higher than average mean wages for all other Psychology careers listed in the BLS.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016 data), the median wage for industrial-organizational psychologists is $39.79 per hour and $82,760 per year. The lower 10th percentile median annual wage is $52,950 annually and upper 90th percentile is $184,380.

As is the case with most jobs, salary figures will vary depending on what part of the country you live in, your level of education, and years of work experience.

Highest-paying Locations

In an infographic published by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) it showed that many of its members working in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN ($132K); Los Angeles/Orange Co., CA ($127K); and San Francisco/San Jose, CA ($123K) are among the top-earning industrial-organizational psychologists in the industry. This is closely followed by New York Metro ($122K), Seattle, WA ($120K), Detroit, MI Metro Area ($114.K), and Dallas, TX ($113K).

Top 5 Industries

According to this same study by SIOP, I-O psychologists working in consulting organizations ($120K) and the private sector organizations ($115K) are some of the highest paid in the country. Next come university or college professionals ($101K), government employees ($100K), and not-for-profit organization professionals ($94K).

Salaries by Popular Job Title

The following are annual median salaries for industrial-organizational psychologists by BLS job title.

OccupationAnnual Median Wage
Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities$118,760
Scientific Research and Development Services$117,880
Management of Companies and Enterprises$111,180
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services$102,090
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services$94,240
Cross-industry, Private Ownership Only$87,060
Cross-industry, Private, Federal, State, and Local Government$82,760
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services$78,590
Health Care and Social Assistance$77,850
Federal, State, and Local Government$77,680
State Government, including schools and hospitals$76,460
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals$75,950
Federal, State, and Local Government, including government owned schools and hospitals$71,680
Educational Services – Privately owned$63,640
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools$61,920
Colleges, universities, and professional schools – Privately owned$61,640
Educational Services$60,690
Elementary and Secondary Schools$55,940
Educational Services – Local government owned$55,620

Salaries by Education Attainment

The SIOP report shows that starting incomes for Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists vary quite dramatically by education qualifications. The following are typical average mean salaries for I-O specialists based on education attainment.

  • Entry-level for Master's graduate – $78,134
  • Entry-level for PhD graduate – $95,658

Salary Increases by Years of Experience

Annaul salaries tend to increase with each year of added work experience – $2,900 each year for master’s degree holders and $3,000 each year for doctorate.

Salary by Gender

The salaries for industrial-organizational psychologists vary by gender in 2015 as shown below. Median income levels have increased at an average yearly rate of 2.98% for men and 3.29% for women.

  • Women – $104,750
  • Men – $116,779

An interesting side-note is that the ratio of female to male I-O psychologists grew between 1982 to 2015 from 81.4% to 89.7%.


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Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,,

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