A psychometrist specializes in administering psychological tests and scoring them, often as an assistant to a psychologist or psychiatrist. His or her focus is on the accurate administration of such tests and accurate scoring to help ensure a proper diagnosis of a patient's condition. Though some may be licensed to do so, psychometrists typically do not interpret test scores but leave that up to the person for whom they work. Aside from working for a psychologist or psychiatrist, a psychometrist may work for a private company, a school or university, or for the government. He or she also may work with children or adults.
Psychometrists measure what makes a person act the way he does. They measure a person's personality traits, attitudes, abilities, knowledge and education. Various kinds of tests are used for measurements, including psychological tests, personality assessments and questionnaires. The test results likely depend on why the tests were done and for what reason. Results may be used by psychologists, psychiatrists, human resources managers, school staff or medical staff.
Tests can reveal many things about people. In the medical field, the psychological testing done by a psychometrist can sometimes show where a lesion is located in the brain. Mental health problems also can be revealed, because special attention is paid to any emotional or behavioral changes during the testing.
In the education field, such testing can identify whether a student has a learning disability and, if so, what kind. The tests also can be used to decide whether a person is ready to go back to school after an event such as a long illness. Another way these tests can be used is to ensure that all students are placed properly academically.
Psychologists and psychiatrists often hire a psychometrist as an office assistant. In this role, psychometrists are often in charge of patient scheduling, filing and billing. They fulfill other office duties as well when needed. Psychometrists often do testing on patients to help a psychologist, neuropsychologist or psychiatrist know what steps need to be taken for further treatment. Things that can influence a person's behavior are measured by the tests, which can help in treatment.
A psychometrist can work with private companies, either on staff or as a consultant. He or she is mainly in charge of personnel testing, such as giving tests to job candidates to choose the best candidate for a job. The psychometrist evaluates a candidate's personality, interest, abilities and aptitudes to decide whether the candidate is right for the job. Some companies have psychometrists write reports for human resources under the direction of a registered psychologist. Very large companies may have a department for psychometrists consisting of various levels of seniority.