Psychometrician Degree Programs & Schools

The National Organization for Competency Assurance guide, Understanding Credentialing Concepts describes a psychometrician (or quantitative psychologist) as a practitioner of psychometrics who can describe, apply and understand the science and technology of mental measurement. Psychometricians work in a variety of sectors, such as education, statistics, information technology, behavioral science, and psychology.

Bachelor’s Degree in Psychometrics

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Some graduates with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, statistics, mathematics or a related field such as computer science, will find employment as a psychometrician. Earning a degree in one of these fields will increase opportunities for acceptance into graduate school, as most employers seek master’s and doctoral degree graduates in the field of psychometrics.

Students can earn either a Bachelor’s of Science, or a Bachelor’s of Arts. Since a psychometrician designs, analyzes and scores tests/exams that measure psychological characteristics, coursework will be science-based, and typically includes:

  • Foundations of psychological research
  • Neuroscience
  • Methods and mathematics
  • Learning theories
  • Statistics and statistical programming
  • Discrete methods and scientific sampling
  • Computational statistics
  • Multivariate calculus
  • Numerical analysis
  • Linear algebra

At the bachelor’s level, it is also recommended that students pursue internships, engage in research opportunities often offered within the psychology department, and join math and science-related student associations related to the field of psychometrics.

Master’s Degree in Psychometrics

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Most employers prefer individuals who have earned at least a master’s degree in psychology, educational research, statistics, or psychometrics. Proficiency in communication, research, statistics, and problem-solving are also mandatory for success in this field. At the master’s level, many courses are lab-based, and include a research component.

Typical advanced coursework at the master’s level, includes:

  • Assessment
  • Ethics
  • Testing
  • Statistics
  • Intelligence testing
  • Regression analysis
  • Psychometric theory

Most programs also require students to write a thesis, complete an internship in this field of study or a closely-related field such as educational measurement, and complete a specific number of hours of research.

Doctoral Degree in Psychometrics (PhD)

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Although not required for a successful career in psychometrics, some employers prefer individuals with a doctoral degree, often in fields such as statistics, education, or psychology, with an emphasis on analysis and measurement. For example, a doctoral degree student studying quantitative psychology or educational measurement will be well prepared for a career in this field.

In conjunction with advanced coursework in psychology, measurement, statistics, research and analysis, and psychometric theory, a doctoral student must also typically complete a dissertation. A post-doc internship or mentoring relationship with a professional psychometrician is also critical at the PhD level. Successful Doctoral graduates can expect many career options and a higher wage.

Psychometrician Job Outlook and Salary Estimates

The field of psychometrics in growing. This may be because of an increased use of psychological assessment in the workplace and in education. In business, a psychometrician will provide tests, instructions for administration of the tests, and communicate the analysis and results to clients.

The average wage for a professional psychometrician is $75,000 per year; although salary will vary depending on location, education and sector.

A psychometrician will also find employment opportunities in a variety of other areas, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Universities and Colleges
  • Research Companies
  • Local or Federal Government Agencies
  • Science or Business Corporations
  • Testing Companies

Psychometrician Licensing and Certification

In that psychometricians focus on testing, they differ from general psychologists, who provide diagnoses and offer treatment. For this reason, psychometricians do not need to be licensed or obtain certification to practice. However, the National Association of Psychometrists (NAP) recommends obtaining the Certified Specialist in Psychometry status to increase employment opportunities. A bachelor’s degree graduate would need a minimum of 3,000 supervised hours to take the exam. A graduate with a master’s or doctoral degree would need 2,000 hours of experience to take the exam.

In addition to the NAP, associations that provide networking opportunities for psychometricians, include:

Online and On-Campus Programs

There are only a limited number of online options available for an aspiring psychometrician. However, many accredited online programs offered in the related field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology will help prepare a graduate for employment as a psychometrician. There are also a number of online certificate programs in school psychometry.

Students are correct to strive for the best education possible to ensure employment, as requirements for professionals in this area will transform and modify as this field expands and grows.

There are a number of pros and cons to online learning:

Pros

  • Flexibility for students with other commitments, such as a job or family
  • Assessable to long-distance learners
  • Practical for students with disabilities that keep them from attending classes
  • Online programs are gaining respect, but are limited in the field of psychometrics and industrial/organizational psychology. However, as this field continues to gain popularity, accredited online programs will continue to emerge.

Cons

  • Not all online programs are accredited, nor do all credits always transfer to a college or university program
  • Some programs are more expensive than programs offered on-campus (however, as online learning is gaining popularity, many schools are now offering tuition costs comparable to on-campus learning)
  • The timeline to earning a degree may be longer – this is true because many long-distance and online learners attend classes part-time
  • Less face-to-face interaction with faculty and advisors, except in hybrid or blended learning environments

On-Campus Programs

Campus-based and hybrid or blended programs offer the opportunity to study face-to-face with leaders in the field of psychometric psychology. For many students, on-campus learning, at least on a part-time basis, is necessary for disciplined study and interaction with other students and professors.

  • Although uncommon, there are more on-campus programs are offered in this field
  • Professors are often more accessible
  • Students have access to tutors, on-campus clubs and associations
  • On-campus learning can sometimes offer greater potential for internships and employment
  • On-campus programs often carry more weight when people are competing for the same jobs
  • Professionals in the field of psychology may recognize on-campus degrees as more credible than online degrees