If you think it would be interesting to develop, administer and interpret psychological tests, consider a career as a psychometric psychologist. These professionals generally have an aptitude for statistics, psychology and research, and work in a variety of settings including schools, offices, the military, treatment centers and prisons. This profession suits people who love direct face-to-face contact with others as well as those who prefer to work by themselves.
Even if you're unaware of it, you have some basic familiarity with psychometric tests. From those achievement and intelligence tests you took in high school to work placement examinations, most people have had to take at least one psychometric test at some point in their lives. According to AllPsychologyCareers.com, "Psychometricians are concerned with the design and development of the tests, the procedures of testing, instruments for measuring data, and the methodology for understanding the results."
If you want to be a psychometric psychologist, you must complete at least six years of college. Because there are relatively few schools that offer graduate training in this field, competition is fierce, so you need to make top grades during your undergraduate studies and obtain strong scores on graduate school admission tests. Once accepted into graduate school, you will study topic areas including quantitative research methods, psychometric test properties and research techniques.
What Psychometrists Do
There are three traditional areas in which a psychometric psychologist works, including intelligence testing, personality testing and vocational testing, according to Fordham University. Within these three subject areas, a psychometric psychologist works to develop, administer and interpret tests. Those with a strong statistical aptitude frequently chose to work in test development, while those with strong clinical skills administer and interpret tests for individuals or groups. Psychometric psychologists don't just work with tests, however, since many also collaborate with statisticians to organize and analyze data.
Many psychometric psychologists hold research positions in both academic and private sector environments. Those with a degree in psychometric psychology help treatment centers develop and evaluate therapeutic programs. They frequently work directly for companies that develop standardized tests for schools and industry. Quality improvement departments of private companies frequently employ psychometric psychologists to ensure they meet performance standards, offer consistent delivery of services, and educate and train employees to produce products of consistent quality.
Brenda Scottsdale is a licensed psychologist, a six sigma master black belt and a certified aerobics instructor. She has been writing professionally for more than 15 years in scientific journals, including the "Journal of Criminal Justice and Behavior" and various websites.