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When people are referred by their doctors, schools or other institutions for psychological testing, they might not always receive testing from a psychologist. Instead, they may be tested by a psychometrist. Psychometrists are qualified to administer and score psychological and neuropsychological tests, says the National Association for Psychometrists. Unlike psychometricians, who can practice independently, a psychometrist usually works under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist.
A Psychometrist's Education
To become a psychometrist, you should have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field, according to the National Association of Psychometrists. But many psychometrists have master's or doctoral degrees in fields like statistics, quantitative psychology or general psychology. Some psychometrists may have earned graduate certificates in psychometry. Graduate certificate programs in psychometry are usually intended for candidates who already have a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees in psychology or related fields but want to receive specific training in psychometrics. Psychometrists may choose to obtain voluntary certification by the Board of Certified Psychometrists, but psychometrists are not required to become licensed or certified.
Where They Work
Psychometrists work in a wide range of employment settings. Becoming a psychometrist can mean that you aren't stuck to one setting for the rest of your life -- psychometrists often change roles and jobs based on their personal and professional interests. They may work in medical or clinical settings, like private practices, hospitals or mental health clinics. Many psychometrists work in business settings, such as human resources departments, or career development agencies. But some psychometrists are employed in other settings, such as research institutes or by agencies that study and develop computer artificial intelligence, reports the College Foundation of North Carolina.
What a Psychometrist Does
Administering and scoring psychological tests are often the main responsibilities of a psychometrist. They also observe the behavior and responses of the exam taker and report their observations to their supervising psychologists to assist in test interpretations. Psychometrists might also help psychologists decide on the type of test to be administered, write progress notes, consult with other involved health professionals and perform other duties than can vary based on the specific employment setting.
The Skills a Psychometrist Needs
Successful psychometrists should have excellent observation and communication skills. They need to be able to help patients understand the procedures and outcomes of specific tests and help other health professionals understand testing results. They should have a keen eye for detail and be able to pick up on subtle behavioral cues that might not be measured on written or computerized tests. Since they often work with other professionals, psychometrists should work well with others and be solid team players.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.