Organizational Behavior Consultant: Job Outlook & Career Information

Organizational behavior consultants study how individual and groups of employees act in the workplace and help companies improve in-house relationships and productivity. To learn more about degree requirements, skill sets, employment growth and salary potential for organizational behavior consultants, read on!

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Career Definition

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).

How to Become an Organizational Behavior Consultant

Required Education

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).

Skills Required

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 $83,580 in May 2012. According to the BLS, employment prospects for industrial-organizational psychologists are projected to increase by a much-faster-than-average rate of 53% nationwide, or approximately 900 new openings between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

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 32%, or much faster than average from 2012-2022 for market research analysts, who earned median annual salaries of $60,300 in May 2012 (www.bls.gov).

Sociologists

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 2012 earned median annual wages of $74,960. The BLS has also projected a 15%, or faster than the average, growth in employment nationwide for sociologists between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov).

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