Are you interested in how the human mind works? Do you have an interest in finding out what makes individuals perform in their occupation and what can help them to improve? If you have strong observation skills and research skills as well as excellent communication skills, you have some of the main qualities needed in this role.
Take a look below to find out if this area is the right path for you as you search for the right postgraduate course.
What is occupational psychology?
Occupational psychology is an area that focuses on the world of work and looks at job satisfaction of employees, their productivity and the effect of a good organisation in the workplace. It is quite a unique area of psychology to work in.
As an occupational psychologist, you will be very interested in observing and learning about how people work, what makes them work and the factors in a workplace that make them perform to their best. You will look at different areas from interaction in the organisation to the overall set up in the workplace.
The nature of being an occupational psychologist offers itself as quite a broad job title. You may work with employees within an organisation to help them get the best results out of themselves both work-wise and personally such as helping to improve their communication skills, their interpersonal skills, their organisation skills or whatever else is needed. This field requires you to make your mark by yourself as there is no real path of how to do things laid out for you.
In this role you will most likely work a Monday-Friday, 9-5 pattern and work alongside many different people in your own field of psychology, in other fields of psychology and people in other roles completely.
There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. Courses available include:
A postgraduate course in occupational psychology will give you the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in the area. You will gain the relevant experience needed to apply psychology in the workplace while carrying out your research as well as gaining specialist knowledge in doing so. Modules include Learning, Training and Development, Statistics for Industrial & Work Psychology, Wellbeing and Work, Leadership, Engagement and Motivation and more.
Occupational and Business Psychology
Postgraduate courses in this area will allow us to see how people behave at work and gain an understanding into the everyday actions of workers, business decisions preparing for career advancement. You will consider how different disciplines such as HR management inform business and occupational psychology. You will learn and apply different psychological principles to your questions and findings in the workplace while critically evaluating your findings. You will also learn about your role and importance in different workplaces.
There is also another course available in the area called Management and Organisation Dynamics.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in psychology, cognitive science or a related field.
Your salary in this area may be influenced by a number of key factors. These include your experience in the area, your location can sometimes play a role and also your employment type. Salaries of occupational psychologists can range from £32,000-£75,000. Starting out your salary will be lower and closer to the £18,000 mark but with time and experience it will usually increase. In senior roles, you could earn up to or more than £75,000. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only.
- Occupational Psychologist
- Employee relations officer
- Occupational Hygienist
- HR Manager
- Behavioural Psychologist
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements helpful in this area include:
- Excellent communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- The ability to work well with others
- A clinical mind
- Pay attention to detail
- Strong research skills
- Interest in how people think and behave
- A good listening
- Questioning skills