A psychometrician measures and analyzes personality characteristics, intelligence, aptitude and opinions. He also studies the viability of testing procedures, analyzes results, and develops new and improved testing techniques and approaches. Psychometricians are sometimes psychologists as well, but are also often employed in the fields of educational development or human resources.
The earliest psychometric tests focused on measuring human intelligence and were commonly known as IQ tests. Since then, psychometricians have expanded the testing area to gauge academic achievement levels, personality traits, and opinions. As technology advances, many of the tests are administered and evaluated online. Psychometricians may use established tests in their evaluations or develop customized evaluations for companies seeking to assess specific characteristics or discover particular character types.
A psychometrician may directly administer tests, analyze the results and confer with clients on the implications of the data. The job may entail reviewing test materials and procedures and recommending improvements and revisions. Psychometricians regularly exchange experiences and ideas to improve assessment techniques and analysis procedures.
A master’s or doctorate degree is generally required for this position; the degree focus can be psychometrics, but acceptable degrees also include statistics, educational psychology, education measurement or psychological measurement, preferably with a concentration in quantitative analysis or statistical modeling. Additional training or experience may be required for specific industries that evaluate and certify employees for specialized jobs requiring highly-developed personality traits, such as endurance, adaptability, or fortitude.
In addition to formal education, a successful psychometrician must have exceptional communication skills. Building trust with test subjects with a wide range of personalities and backgrounds is imperative to accurate testing and analysis. A good rapport with industry colleagues and associates is desirable, as an open exchange of ideas on advances and changes in the science is beneficial. Psychometricians also commonly work in teams in testing environments and collaborate on social science and research projects.
Since psychometrics is a constantly evolving field, a psychometrician’s research skills must be acute and accurate. In addition, project planning and implementation abilities are necessary for success, and acumen in math and statistical reporting is a plus. Detailed reports on subjects, methodologies and test results are regularly required, which necessitate a good command of written communications.
Psychometricians play a major role in studying and analyzing human behavior. Their findings help companies hire people who are best suited for certain positions. Potential employees can benefit from tests that reveal what environments best showcase their skills. As more companies and industries incorporate psychometrics into their human resources operations, the potential for increased productivity and happier employers and employees grows.