Psychometrists administer and score neuropsychological, psychological, personality and academic tests for patients with mild to severe traumatic brain injury, neurological diseases, psychological health issues or learning disabilities, or for psychological or neuropsychological research. The psychometrist is skilled in the administration and scoring of objective neuropsychological and psychological test batteries and management of the care, storage and inventory of neuropsychological and psychological test materials, as well as patient test data.
The psychometrist may only perform duties under the general supervision of licensed neuropsychologists and psychologists. The supervising neuropsychologist/ psychologist provides technical and clinical guidance and uses the assessments and reports that the psychometrist performs and prepares to assist in diagnosing and preparing treatment plans for patients or to recommend treatment to patients’ referring doctors. Psychometrists’ assessments and records are also used to further the advancement of the psychological or neuropsychological field by using the test data for research. The psychometrist must remain current on advances in the field to prepare the reports and to remain skilled in administering tests.
The psychometrist works closely for extended periods of time with patients for the purpose of testing issues of a behavioral, psychological and/or neurocognitive nature and may at times work with patients’ family members as well.
A senior or lead psychometrist may also function as a mentor, manager and evaluator of other psychometrists assigned to the facility.
Psychometrists typically work a standard 37-to-40 hour work week, although overtime and weekend work may be required, depending on the location. For example, in a hospital, one can expect the typical week (with overtime during hectic periods), but in a private practice, weekends may be required. Psychometrists rarely have to take work home. Work is completed in the office, unless the psychometrist is taking home test booklets to read about and learn new tests.
The work is fast paced and can be stressful, shuffling different tests and testing sessions between patients with different problems or situations or even multiple conditions. Typically, a psychometrist will test one patient for at least two hours, but testing may take up to four to six hours. If there are several patients to test, time for breaks can be hard to find. Other days, patients will cancel or only one patient is scheduled to be tested. That’s a good time to work on reports on tested patients, which must be turned around quickly.
Psychometrists work for local, state and federal government agencies; schools, hospitals, private practices and nonprofit organizations.
Salary Range and Outlook
Salaries for psychometrists vary according to the type of practice and job requirements. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports salary ranges for psychometrists between $25,000 and $58,000 annually. The length of time in a position and experience are key determinants of salary.
To work as a psychometrist, you must have one of the following:
- A bachelor’s degree in psychology or another health science field along with specialized training and experience in the areas of psychometrics and assessment procedures
- A master’s degree in psychology or another health science field
- A bachelor’s degree and certification as a psychometrist
At minimum, a psychometrist must have a bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many psychometrists earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology, mathematics, statistics or a related field. These majors provide instruction in the psychological, measurement, analysis and mathematical skills needed to work in the field.
When you go on to get your master’s degree, you can choose to get a Master of Arts (M.A.) in psychometrics, a Master of Science (M.S.) in psychology with a concentration in psychometrics or a Master of Science in psychometrics:
- An M.A. in psychometrics will require about 80 credit hours of study. Classes may include psychometric theory, analysis of variance, factor analysis and regression analysis. Some courses in these programs may also require working in a lab.
- An M.S. in psychology may include classes in the theories of learning, psychopathology, intelligence testing and research methods. These programs may require students to write a thesis prior to graduation.
- An M.S. in psychometrics may include classes in topics such as measurement and research, applied statistics and psychological foundations.
These programs may also allow students to complete an internship or require them to write a thesis to graduate.
In order to be certified, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a minimum of 3,000 hours of testing, scoring and associated administrative experience earned under the supervision of licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist or the equivalent.
Those with a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university with documented course work in a related field are required to have a minimum of 2,000 hours of testing, scoring and associated administrative experience earned under the supervision of licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist or the equivalent. The Board of Certified Psychometrists provides more information about certification.