When people are not confusing occupational psychology with occupational therapy they are often associating it with the world of big business: suits, large scale change management programmes and assessment centres. Whilst it true many graduates will go into areas such as selection and assessment and some work does involve looking at efficiencies most occupational psychologists work on programmes which improve peoples’ working lives and/or help to make society more equitable.
Occupational Psychologists work as self-employed consultants, for consultancies or within organisations of all types (public, private and third sector). But how do they make society better?
- They make people happier: projects focus on improving motivation, morale, engagement and general contentment of staff. Occupational Psychologists use theory to guide the research they would do within a specific organisation to find out what problems staff have before providing recommendations for removing those difficulties.
- They also make the world safer: applying design principles to equipment, environment s and procedures to make them more suitable for workers and the general public. For example occupational psychologists have been critical in redesigning aircraft controls to minimise the possibility of pilot error as well as creating safety cultures in the building and construction industries.
- They also work to make society more equitable. For example selection and assessment work employs large numbers of psychologists. Individuals working in this area look at all steps involved in employing someone to ensure that from start to finish their systems are fair. Psychological research gives the principles that ensure businesses advertise appropriately, use the most valid (fair) methods for assessing applications as well as ensuring new staff get the support which is appropriate for them.
These are just three of the ways in which occupational psychology helps society. If you’d like to know more about occupational psychology as a career http://www.prospects.ac.uk/occupational_psychologist_job_description.htm provides information on salary, entry requirements as well as case studies of people working in the role.
If you want to find out more about studying Occupational Psychology then contact the team on email@example.com or +44 (0) 116 223 1486.