Psychometrician Careers: Salary Information & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career as a psychometrician? Get real job duties, career prospects and salary information to see if becoming a psychometrician is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career as a Psychometrician

Psychometricians are involved in quantitative psychological research and evaluation in education, business, government and other fields. Learn about the pros and cons of psychometric careers to make an informed career decision.

Pros of Being a Psychometrician
Projected job growth is excellent in closely related fields, such as industrial/organizational psychology (53% from 2012-2022)*
Work is available in many different fields (market research, software development, education)**
State licensure isn't required for those who don't work with patients*
Above-average median salaries for industrial-organizational psychologists ($76,950 as of May 2014)*

Cons of Being a Psychometrician
High level of education required (master's or doctoral degree)**
Stiff competition for tenure-track positions at universities*
Experience is a necessity for most jobs in the field***
Some aspects of the job are particularly complicated and require extensive research**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **I Have a Plan Iowa, ***Multiple job postings (March 2012).

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Psychometric professionals develop evaluative testing procedures. As a psychometrician, your job duties may include consulting and advising management and educational directors, developing testing methods, evaluating and scoring tests, writing reports and identifying developmental needs of school districts and organizations. Your work may also include indirect involvement with patient care; some psychometricians assist licensed psychologists in hospitals or clinic-testing practices.

In some cases, a distinction is drawn between psychometrists and psychometricians. According to the National Association of Psychometrists (NAP), those professionals work under the guidance of clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists. Unlike psychometricians, psychometrists are primarily responsible for administering psychological tests, rather than designing them.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Employment statistics for professional psychometricians are rare. However, industrial-organizational psychologists are closely related to psychometricians; the number of professionals in that field was expected to grow 53% from 2012-2022. According to PayScale.com findings from December 2014, psychometricians earned between $34,367 and $108,797 per year. This survey was based on information from 77 respondents. The BLS notes that the median salary for industrial-organizational psychologists was $76,950 as of May 2014.

What Are the Requirements?

Most psychometricians hold master's or doctoral degrees. Relevant programs may lead to a Master of Arts in Psychometrics or a Ph.D. in Measurement and Quantitative Methods. Your courses often focus extensively on mathematics and statistics; common topics include survey design, regression analysis and equation modeling. Research is also a major component of these programs.

As a psychometrician, you need to have a good eye for detail and sharp analytic skills. Much of the job involves working with numbers, so mathematical aptitude is essential as well.

Job Postings from Real Employers

Experience in quantitative measurement and statistics is a common request among employers. In addition, you should be able to work as part of a team and communicate complicated ideas effectively. Here are a few job postings from real employers as of March 2012:

  • A private, online educational resource in Kansas looked for a psychometrician to help with test development, norming, equating and test valuation. Applicants needed to have a Ph.D. and at least two years of experience.
  • A national nursing credentialing organization in Maryland sought a psychometrician for testing development. A master's degree in psychological measurement, statistics, psychology or industrial psychology was required. Applicants needed to have at least three years of experience.
  • A professional accountant certification association in New Jersey advertised for a psychometrician to develop, score, monitor and validate licensing and certification exams. A Ph.D. in Psychology or Educational Measurement was required.

How Can I Stand Out?

Earning professional certification is one way to stand out from the crowd. The NAP offers the Certified Specialist in Psychometry credential to applicants who hold at least a bachelor's degree and have 3,000 hours of experience in the field. If you hold a master's or doctoral degree, you only need 2,000 hours of verifiable experience. While this credential is designed for psychometrists, certification can show employers that you're committed to the field.

Joining a professional organization such as the Psychometric Society can also help you stand out. Membership benefits may include access to online journals and archived publications.

Alternative Careers in Psychology

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

If you're more interested in working directly with patients, consider becoming a clinical psychologist. These professionals may specialize in drug and alcohol counseling, family therapy, health psychology or psychotherapy. As an aspiring clinical psychologist, you will need to obtain a doctoral degree and state licensure.

According to the BLS, a 22% increase in employment was expected for clinical, counseling and school psychologists from 2010-2020, which was greater than the national average for all occupations. As a group, these psychologists earned a median salary of about $68,000 as of May 2011.

Experimental Psychologist

Similar to psychometricians, experimental psychologists are involved in research that doesn't always involve direct patient care. These professionals conduct lab experiments in areas such as physiology, perception, memory and cognitive processes. Their research is often funded by universities, government agencies or private grant programs. According to PayScale.com in May 2012, annual incomes for experimental psychologists ranged from around $30,000-$92,000. Those findings were based on reports from 16 respondents.

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Grand Canyon University

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