Duties and responsibilities
A school psychometrist is mental health professional who is an expert in administering psychological tests. In some cases, school psychometrists may be called ‘educational diagnosticians’. They administer these tests to identify learning disabilities, mental illness and other problems in school children. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Visiting educational settings to administer tests to school children
- Ensuring that these tests are administered in a standardized manner (so that they are consistent and accurate)
- Answering any questions the children may have
- Scoring the psychometric tests
- Providing detailed behavioral observations to help other professionals (such as psychologists) complete their evaluation
- Identifying and assigning students to special education or gifted programs (if there is not the requirement for further assessment from other professionals)
As an absolute minimum, school psychometrists will need a bachelors degree in a related field, such as psychology, special education or psychometrics. Ideally, school psychometrists will also have achieved a masters degree in psychometry. Or, will have taken further courses specifically in administrating and scoring psychometric tests. This further training and education will give them the knowledge of psychometrics and statistics that is needed.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as an in depth understanding of autism, autism consultants will need:
- Verbal and written communication skills as they will need to communicate with children, their parents and a range of other professionals. They must also maintain records and files to the highest standard and make clear and concise notes
- Teamwork skills, as school psychometrists will need to work in a team with other professionals, such as teachers, psychologists or social workers
- Numerical skills, as school psychometrists will have to score the psychometric tests
- Analytical skills, as school psychometrists will need to score the psychometric tests, understand statistical data and make suggestions based on this
- Observation skills, as a key part of a school psychometrists job is to observe the child’s behaviour during the test
- Self-motivation, as school psychometrists will spend a lot of time working alone and directing their own work
Most school psychometrists will work full-time. They may set up their own private practice where children come to them for assessment. Or, they may become independent consultants. In either of these options, school psychometrists will set their own hours. They may have to work evenings or weekends to accommodate clients. Alternatively, school psychometrists may be employed by schools. These psychometrists are likely to work regular business hours.
According to salaryexpert.com, the average annual salary for a school psychometrist in the United States is $61,308 per year. On one end of the spectrum, entry level psychometrists can expect to earn around $44,470 per year. Whereas, senior level psychometrists can expect to earn around $75,343 per year.
Overall, psychology professions are expected to have excellent employment opportunities over the coming years. There will be no exception for school psychometrists, as it will always be important to diagnose and treat mental and developmental problems in children. School psychometrists can progress further by taking additional training (e.g., special degrees). This will give them the further knowledge and skills to open their own practice.