Are you a pre-PA or pre-med student looking for entry-level clinical experience? This is one in a series of posts describing an entry-level clinical position that would “count” as paid patient care experience.
Job Description for a Psychometrist:
According to the National Association of Psychometrists, a psychometrist is responsible for the administration and scoring of psychological and neuropsychological tests, under the supervision of a clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist.
In general, you would be responsible for collecting demographic and behavioral observations of the examinee to aid the psychologist in interpreting the tests. Depending on the clinical setting you may be responsible for patient scheduling, billing and coding, and other office management.
Types of tests you might administer and score include cognitive, academic, neuropsychological, and behavioral tests. A list of common psychometric tests is listed here. Evaluations range from 1-2 hour tests to full-day evaluations. Typically, you are not responsible for the interpretation of the test results.
Your patient population might include patients with brain injury, neurologic diseases, or psychological health issues like learning disabilities.
Patients and Practice Settings: Psychometrists work with all ages. You might work in a clinical or a research setting, hospital-based or clinic-based, or academic or private practice. You will be supervised by a Ph.D. psychologist.
The average salary is $25,000-$58,000. Salary will range based on practice and job requirements and length of time in the position.
The minimum education level is a Bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field from an accredited college or university. Most psychometrists learn on the job.
Board certification may earn you a higher salary but is not required for all jobs. A few states (KY and WY) require that a psychometrist hold a credential. However, most states have not addressed minimum qualifications and do not have a requirement other than Ph.D. supervision. Always check with your state scope of practice laws. Several states require that psychometrists be registered with the state and be assigned a title such as Licensed Psychological Assistant (LPA), which typically requires holding a graduate degree.
The Board of Certified Psychometrists provides Board level certification. In order to be certified you must have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a minimum of 3,000 hours of testing, scoring, and associated administrative experience earned under the supervision of a licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist or the equivalent.
The Certified Specialist in Psychometry exam (CSP) is the certification exam offered by the Board of Certified Psychometrists. The CSP exam consists of 120 multiple-choice items. Each examinee has 150 minutes to complete the exam with a minimum passing score of 71%. You can find the exam handbook here. The exam fee is $450 and can be taken in person or remotely.
Pros/cons for pre-PA and pre-med students:
If you were a psychology major this job would be right up your alley! You will be able to put some of your coursework into practice. If you have a future interest in working with patient populations with cognitive disorders you will learn more about that particular patient population. You will definitely have patient contact and may even spend up to several hours with a single patient. A con to this position might be that depending on the setting you may not be around PAs or MD/DO clinicians since it is typically supervised by a psychologist. You may be in a setting where you are working mostly on your own and not in a team setting on a daily basis so make sure to ask questions about who you will be working with every day. If you need shadowing hours to learn more about the experience of a PA or a physician you may need to do that separately.