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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Psychologists in Charleston, West Virginia

Industrial psychologists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for industrial psychologists sees this job pool growing by about 26.3% over the next eight years. Industrial psychologists generally apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems.

The average wage in the general category of Social Sciences jobs is $22 per hour or $45,430 per year in West Virginia, and an average of $33 per hour or $68,239 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: psychology professor, occupational psychologist, and organizational consultant.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including two within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as an industrial psychologist. Industrial psychologists usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be an industrial psychologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Industrial Psychologist

In general, industrial psychologists apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems. They also activities may include policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis.

Industrial psychologists write reports on research findings and implications to contribute to general knowledge and to suggest potential changes in organizational functioning. They also analyze data, using statistical methods and applications, to review the outcomes and effectiveness of workplace programs. Equally important, industrial psychologists have to identify training and development needs. They are often called upon to observe and interview staff to obtain data related to the physical and educational requirements of jobs as well as data related to aspects such as job satisfaction. They are expected to facilitate organizational development and change. Finally, industrial psychologists formulate and implement training programs, applying principles of learning and individual differences.

Every day, industrial psychologists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for industrial psychologists to assess employee performance. They are often called upon to conduct research studies of physical work environments, organizational structures, communication systems and motivation to gauge organizational functioning. They also advise management concerning personnel and marketing policies and practices and their potential effects on organizational effectiveness and efficiency. They are sometimes expected to design interview techniques and psychological tests used to gauge skills and interests for the purpose of employee selection and promotion. Somewhat less frequently, industrial psychologists are also expected to participate in mediation and dispute resolution.

They also have to be able to design and implement employee selection and placement programs and formulate and implement training programs, applying principles of learning and individual differences. And finally, they sometimes have to facilitate organizational development and change.

Like many other jobs, industrial psychologists must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Economist. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services. May collect and process economic and statistical data using econometric and sampling techniques.
  • Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
  • Market Research Analyst. Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to determine potential sales of a product or service. May gather information on competitors, prices, and methods of marketing and distribution. May use survey results to create a marketing campaign based on regional preferences and buying habits.
  • Market Survey Representative. Design or conduct surveys. May supervise interviewers who conduct the survey in person or over the telephone. May present survey results to client.
  • School Psychologist. Investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Industrial Psychologist Training

University of Charleston - Charleston, WV

University of Charleston, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, WV 25304. University of Charleston is a small university located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,431 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Charleston has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated four students in 2008.

West Virginia State University - Institute, WV

West Virginia State University, Rte 25, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State University is a small university located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,347 students and an admission rate of 57%. West Virginia State University has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional Ergonomist: The BCPE was established to provide a formal process for recognizing practitioners of human factors/ergonomics.

For more information, see the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.