Specialists who help corporations evolve and grow while maintaining efficiency are called organizational management consultants, organizational development consultants or management analysts. They apply principles of psychology to a broad array of workplace issues, such as personnel, sales and marketing. An organizational management consultant career can begin with enrolling in an applied psychology bachelor’s degree program.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for management analysts, including organizational management consultants, is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations in coming years. Job growth will occur as industry and government increasingly rely on outside consultants to provide guidance on regulatory changes, wages, healthcare and litigation. Organizational management consultants with experience and advanced education will enjoy the best career opportunities.
Consultants often tailor their work to each client’s needs. Job duties for organizational management consultants can range from coaching C-level officers to conducting training for board members and employees. Some organizational management consultants assist with strategic planning. They may collect, review and analyze information to make recommendations. In addition, they might examine a business’s productivity, turnover and employee morale – then use their findings to devise action plans and advise the organization on recommended changes.
It’s important that organizational management consultants clearly define goals and each staff member’s role in achieving them. Communicating effectively with management and staff across departments is a big part of the job.
Organizational management consultants may work independently or for private consulting firms, large private companies or government agencies. They often specialize in certain industries, such as healthcare or manufacturing, or in specific areas such as human resources.
Most consultants split their time between their own offices and their clients’ sites. Travel is often a big part of the job. A 40-hour work week is customary, but overtime may be required to fulfill client demands and meet tight deadlines.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for management analysts, including organizational management consultants, was $75,250 in May 2009. The middle 50% earned between $55,820 and $101,410. Salaries for the lowest 10% were around $42,550, while the highest 10% brought in roughly $134,820. Recent bachelor’s degree program graduates will typically start out at the lower end of the scale and move up in salary with experience and advanced education.
Many organizational management consultants start their own firms after gaining work experience. Employer requirements vary, but most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree. Some employers prefer applicants with previous experience, which can be obtained through summer employment or internships while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
The first step to an organizational management consultant position can be a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology with a concentration in organizational psychology. Coursework typically includes an introduction to psychology, research methods in applied psychology, organizational psychology and behavior, and program development and evaluation.
An applied psychology education prepares graduates to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level job with a bachelor’s degree and use an employer’s tuition assistance program to pay for a master’s degree.
Successful organizational management consultants are self-motivated, responsible and disciplined. They must possess analytical, communication and time-management skills, too. Creativity and critical thinking are also helpful attributes to launch an organizational management consultant career.