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Organizational Psychiatrist: Education and Career Information

If you are interested in the inner workings of an organization and how it works in conjunction with its employees, you may want to consider organizational psychiatry. This position is a sub-specialty that focuses on the mental health of individuals as they function day-to-day in the workplace. This is a highly specialized and growing field that can be very financially rewarding.

What does an organizational psychiatrist do?

An organizational psychiatrist studies people in their work environment to enhance workplace dynamics and organizational structures to improve the health of the organization. This position evaluates data and science-based research based on empirical information. An organizational psychiatrist identifies the moral, attitudes and behaviors of the workplace and implements recommendations and solutions to improve the work environment, ensures that morale remains high during a crisis or change, assists in developing training programs and monitors their impact and success, and helps the human resources team develop initiatives and successful hiring programs and policies. You will find an organizational psychiatrist working with the human resources department of an organization or in academics. When there are crises and a number of initiatives taking place to improve the workplace, an organizational psychiatrist is usually behind this. This position also works with the management team in assessing the leadership to make sure there are effective people in place to get the job done and move the company forward.

How much does an organizational psychiatrist earn?

On average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary in 2012 was $98,000, with top salaries at approximately $177,000. The amount of earnings is largely based on educational, experience, and location. Urban areas command higher wages than that of a rural area.

What skills are needed to become an organizational psychiatrist?

Since this is a workplace-centered profession, there are a number of skills needed to be successful. These include:

Communication: Being able to communicate with different levels of management, human resources and the employees is essential in being successful in this position.

Research: Being able to research information and gather data from employees is important. This position uses that data to make informed decisions on the viability of certain programs, to gauge how well a program is working, to develop new programs and improve employee morale.

Collaboration: An organizational psychiatrist works with a number of departments to achieve goals. They work with all levels of human resources and collaborates with outside organizations when developing employee assistance programs.

Goal-setting: Setting achievable and reasonable goals when developing programs for the organization is important. Being able to turn those goals into results is essential.

Ability to focus: An organizational psychiatrist must be able to focus on a number of projects at one time to keep morale high and concentrate on the internal workings of the organization.

Motivational and persuasion skills: To reach certain goals, there must be a certain amount of motivation in place. An organizational psychiatrist must be able to persuade management and employees on the value of certain programs, changes and projects, and their usefulness to the organization as a whole.

Management: Being able to effective manage a number of people and projects is crucial in being successful in this position. There are a lot of variables involved when improving the health of an organization. Providing structural guidance is key.

Administrative skills: Administrative skills are needed to put together programs, organize data, take notes and keep things running smoothly. The use of a computer and other software and tools that will be needed can make a huge difference in productivity.

Coordination: An organizational psychiatrist must be able to organize large groups of people when conducting research or surveys, having group meetings and coordinating new processes. The coordination of programs and processes takes specialization. An organizational psychiatrist must be able to assess all the elements of an issue or program in development to properly coordinate the components needed to be successful.

Organization: An organizational psychiatrist must be very organized and detailed in order to develop and implement a number of programs that will benefit the organization. When dealing with outside agencies, being able to organize needs from wants can assist in putting the right programs in place.

Internship Requirements

There is a certain amount of supervised work experience needed to complete the program. How many hours of supervision you will need will be determined by the program and the requirements of the state. Most states also require two years of supervised experience after receiving a doctoral degree.

Educational Requirements

The first step in becoming an organizational psychiatrist is to obtain an undergraduate degree in psychology. Understanding the mind, processes and how they work is crucial. Once the bachelor’s degree is obtained, the individual must be prepared to pursue a master’s degree in organizational psychology. Coursework for this program includes industrial psychology, training and compensation, statistical inference, organizational psychology, research methods, performance appraisals and correlation and experimental design.

Although a doctoral degree may not be required to excel in this field, it may be beneficial to go ahead and obtain it. This will give you more credibility within the field, and will significantly increase the earning potential. There is a certain amount of supervised work experience needed prior to becoming licensed that will count towards that credit.

Once you have completed the program and supervised work experience, you will have to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. The final step will be to apply for licensure in your specific state to practice. Once you have obtained this license, you will be able to practice organizational psychiatry in an academic setting or within a large corporation, where most organizational psychiatrists can be found.

If you have an innate ability to formulate programs that will make a difference in the workplace and enjoy working with the human resources team, a career as an organizational psychiatrist may be the career path for you.

Psychiatry Scholarships

American Psychological Foundation Scholarships Association of Black Psychologists Epilepsy Foundation
Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship Future Counselors of America Scholarship Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship
Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award NIH Undergraduate Scholarship NAJA Graduate Scholarship
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Psi Chi Awards and Grants Wayne F. Placek Grants

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