Statistician Career Guide 2024

Table of Contents

Statistician Salary in United States for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $98,920 Hourly Rate: $47.56

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Best College Majors for Statisticians in 2023

Projected Job Employment for Statistician:

Estimated YearProjected YearEstimated EmploymentProjected Employment% ChangeProjected Annual Job Opening
2021203134,20045,30033%3900

Statistician Career Path Overview

The role of a statistician is undoubtedly crucial in our data-driven world. A statistician's primary responsibility is to collect, analyze, and interpret data to help organizations make informed decisions. They apply statistical theories, methods, and techniques to solve complex problems in various sectors such as healthcare, business, engineering, and public policy.

Education and Training

A strong foundation in mathematics is a prerequisite for a career as a statistician. Most statisticians hold at least a Master's degree in statistics, mathematics, or related fields. However, certain entry-level jobs may only require a Bachelor’s degree. Courses in computer science are also beneficial as statisticians often use specialized statistical software. Internships or project-based courses that provide practical experience in data analysis are highly recommended. For those interested in academic or research roles, a PhD in statistics or a related field is usually required. This higher level of education allows for deeper understanding and knowledge in specialized areas of statistics.

Career Progression

A career as a statistician often starts with an entry-level role such as a statistical analyst or assistant. In this capacity, you'll be responsible for gathering data, performing basic analysis, and creating reports under the supervision of senior statisticians. As you gain experience and demonstrate proficiency in your work, you can move into roles with more responsibility such as project lead or senior statistician. These positions often involve managing teams, designing research studies, and developing new statistical methodologies. Further progression can lead to roles such as chief statistician or director of statistics. In these high-level positions, you'll be responsible for overseeing all statistical activities within an organization and making strategic decisions based on data analysis.

Specializations

There are several specializations within the field of statistics. Biostatisticians, for example, work specifically with data in the field of biology and medicine. They help design studies, analyze medical data, and contribute to scientific research. Another specialization is business statistics, where statisticians help companies make data-driven decisions. They analyze market trends, consumer behavior, and other business-related data. Environmental statisticians focus on environmental data and issues. They may work on projects related to climate change, pollution, or conservation.

Skills Required

Statisticians need a strong mathematical foundation, including knowledge of calculus and linear algebra. Proficiency in statistical software such as R or SAS is also crucial. Other important skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, and attention to detail. Statisticians must be able to identify trends and patterns in complex data sets. Communication skills are also vital as statisticians need to present their findings to non-technical audiences.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for statisticians is very positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of statisticians is projected to grow 33 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Businesses across all industries are increasingly relying on data analysis to make strategic decisions, which is driving demand for skilled statisticians.

Salary Expectations

The median annual wage for statisticians was $91,160 in May 2019 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can vary widely depending on the industry, location, and level of experience. For example, statisticians working in the federal government tend to earn higher salaries than those working in state or local government.

Statistician Career Path Education and Training

To pursue a career as a Statistician, a solid educational foundation and appropriate training are crucial. It's worth noting that this career path requires a blend of skills, including statistical knowledge, analytical ability, problem-solving, and effective communication.

Undergraduate Degree

A Bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement to enter the field of statistics. While some positions may only require a Bachelor's degree, most prefer candidates with advanced education. The most common fields of study for aspiring statisticians include Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, or Computer Science. These programs often offer coursework in probability theory, statistical analysis, calculus, and linear algebra. Additionally, they may include training in specialized software and programming languages like R or Python that are frequently used in statistical analysis.

Master’s Degree or Ph.D.

For more advanced positions and for those who aspire to conduct research or teach at the university level, a Master's degree or Ph.D. is often required. These advanced degrees typically focus on complex statistical methods and theories. The coursework usually includes multivariate analysis, biostatistics, predictive modeling, and experimental design. Completing a Master's or Ph.D. program often involves conducting original research and presenting a thesis or dissertation.

Specialized Training

Aside from formal education, statisticians often need specialized training depending on their chosen area of work. For instance, statisticians working in healthcare may need to understand medical terminology and practices, while those in finance may require knowledge of economic indicators and financial market trends. This specialized training can often be obtained through on-the-job experience or continuing education programs.

Certifications

While not always required, professional certifications can enhance a statistician's career prospects. The American Statistical Association, for example, offers the Accredited Professional Statistician (PStat) certification. This certification demonstrates a high level of professional competence in applied statistics. To qualify, applicants must have an advanced degree in statistics or a related field and at least five years of work experience.

Skills and Competencies

In addition to education and training, statisticians need to develop a range of skills and competencies. These include analytical skills for interpreting complex datasets, problem-solving skills to make sense of complicated problems, mathematical skills for understanding statistical theories and methods, and communication skills to effectively present findings to non-statisticians. The path to becoming a statistician is rigorous but rewarding, offering a career that is both intellectually stimulating and practically valuable across many industries. By investing in the right education and training, you can equip yourself with the tools necessary to succeed in this dynamic field.

Statistician Career Path Progression

The career path of a Statistician is broad and offers numerous opportunities for professional growth and advancement. This career journey involves different stages, each with its own unique tasks, skills, and responsibilities. From entry-level positions to senior roles, the progression can be quite exciting and rewarding.

Entry-Level Statistician

Starting out as an entry-level Statistician, individuals often work on data collection and basic analysis. They may be responsible for developing surveys or experiments to collect data, utilizing statistical software to analyze data, and presenting their findings in clear, understandable formats. Entry-level Statisticians often work under the guidance of more experienced professionals to develop their skills and knowledge base.

Mid-Level Statistician

As Statisticians gain more experience and expertise, they can advance to mid-level positions. These roles involve more complex data analysis tasks and may also include managing junior Statisticians. Mid-level Statisticians often work on larger projects, design and implement their own experiments or studies, and are expected to handle more complex statistical modeling.

Senior Statistician

Senior Statisticians are highly experienced professionals who oversee major projects and make strategic decisions based on their statistical analyses. They are often involved in planning the direction of research, developing new statistical methodologies, and consulting with other professionals about statistical issues. Senior Statisticians are expected to have strong leadership skills and a deep understanding of statistical theories and principles.

Lead Statistician/Statistician Manager

The highest level in the Statistician career path is usually a managerial position such as a Lead Statistician or Statistician Manager. These professionals are responsible for overseeing a team of Statisticians, setting project goals, ensuring quality control of statistical analysis, and making strategic decisions based on complex statistical data. At this level, individuals need to possess strong management skills, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of statistical principles.

Specialization Opportunities

Alongside vertical progression, Statisticians also have opportunities for lateral movement into specialized roles. These might include becoming a Biostatistician, working specifically with medical and health-related data, or a Financial Statistician, focusing on economic data. Alternatively, they might choose to specialize in a specific statistical software or type of data analysis. In conclusion, the career path progression of a Statistician is quite versatile, offering opportunities for both vertical advancement and lateral specialization. The journey from an entry-level Statistician to a managerial role offers vast learning opportunities, challenging tasks, and the chance to make significant contributions to various fields through informed data analysis.

Statistician Career Path Specializations and Subfields

There are numerous specializations and subfields that a Statistician can choose to focus on in their career. Each of these specializations requires a unique set of skills, knowledge, and experience, and offers its own benefits and challenges.

Biostatistics

Biostatistics is a branch of statistics that applies statistical procedures to medical and health-related issues. Biostatisticians often work in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, or public health agencies. They use statistical techniques to design medical studies, analyze data from clinical trials, and evaluate health outcomes.

Econometrics

Econometrics combines economic theory with statistics to analyze and test economic relationships. Econometricians use statistical methods to evaluate economic policies, forecast economic trends, and study the effects of economic events. They often work for financial institutions, government agencies, or research institutions.

Psychometrics

Psychometrics involves applying statistical methods to psychological testing and measurement. Psychometricians create and validate psychological tests, measure human characteristics, and study behavioral patterns. They often work in educational institutions, research organizations, or consulting firms.

Industrial Statistics

Industrial statisticians apply statistical methods to improve quality and productivity in industrial settings. They use statistical quality control techniques, design experiments, and analyze production data. Many industrial statisticians work for manufacturing companies, engineering firms, or consulting services.

Data Science

Data science is a multidisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data. Data scientists are often statisticians with skills in computer science and they use their expertise to interpret complex digital data.

Environmental Statistics

Environmental statisticians apply statistical techniques to environmental science and engineering. They design and analyze environmental monitoring programs, assess environmental risks, and study the effects of environmental policies.

Survey Statistics

Survey statisticians specialize in designing surveys and analyzing survey data. They work in areas such as market research, government statistics, and social science research. Each of these specializations offers a different way to apply statistical skills and knowledge, providing a wide range of career options for statisticians. Choosing a specialization can help shape a statistician's career path and open up new opportunities for growth and advancement.

Statistician Career Path Job Market and Outlook

As a statistician, you are stepping into a rapidly growing field with a promising job market and outlook. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 33% growth rate for statistician jobs from 2019 to 2029, significantly faster than the average for all occupations. This robust growth is fueled by the increasing need for statistical analysis in various industries, including healthcare, business, government, and research.

One key reason for this surge in demand is the rise of data-driven decision-making in nearly every sector of the economy. Businesses and organizations are investing heavily in big data and analytics to drive strategic initiatives, making statisticians more valuable than ever. By providing critical insights from complex data sets, statisticians can help these entities make informed decisions that can improve efficiency and profitability.

Job Opportunities in Various Industries

As a statistician, you have the opportunity to work in diverse industries. In the healthcare sector, statisticians may conduct clinical trials or study disease patterns. In finance, they could work on risk assessment and financial modeling. Statisticians in government roles may analyze census data, environmental statistics, or health trends. In the business sector, statisticians can contribute to market research, product development, and quality control.

Diverse Job Titles

Depending on the industry and specific role, statisticians may hold various job titles such as Data Scientist, Quantitative Analyst, Biostatistician, Operations Research Analyst, or Econometrician. Each of these roles utilizes statistical skills but may have different areas of focus. For example, a Quantitative Analyst typically works in finance or business to predict market trends while a Biostatistician might work in pharmaceuticals to design and analyze clinical trials.

Advancement Opportunities

With experience and further education, statisticians can progress to more senior roles or managerial positions. For instance, a statistician may become a Statistical Manager or Director of Analytics, overseeing a team of statisticians. In academia, statisticians can aspire to become professors or heads of research departments.

Skills for Success

To succeed as a statistician, you need strong mathematical skills and the ability to interpret complex data. You also need to be proficient in statistical software like R or SAS. Soft skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication are equally important. These enable you to understand the problems at hand, develop appropriate statistical models, and effectively communicate your findings to non-technical audiences.

Education and Training

The typical entry-level education for a statistician is a Master’s degree in statistics, mathematics, or a related field. However, some positions may accept candidates with a Bachelor's degree provided they have significant statistical training. Additionally, many statisticians choose to earn a Ph.D., especially those interested in academic or research roles.

Continuous learning is vital in this field due to the rapidly evolving nature of statistical methodologies and software tools. Thus, pursuing additional certifications and attending workshops or seminars can help statisticians stay up-to-date and enhance their career prospects.

Statistician Career Path Salary and Compensation

One of the key aspects to consider when contemplating a career as a statistician is the potential salary and compensation package. This profession can offer a lucrative income, with the compensation being influenced by factors such as your level of education, experience, location, and the sector in which you work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for statisticians was $91,160 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,700, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $146,770. These figures demonstrate the significant earning potential within this field.

Entry-Level Statistician Salary

For those starting out in their statistician career, an entry-level role generally requires at least a bachelor's degree in statistics or a related field. According to Payscale.com, as of 2021, the average salary for an entry-level statistician in the United States was approximately $59,000 per annum. However, this can vary greatly based on location and industry.

Mid-Level Statistician Salary

As a statistician gains experience and possibly further education, such as a master’s degree or Ph.D., their earning potential increases. For mid-level statisticians with several years of experience, the average salary reported by Payscale.com as of 2021 was approximately $79,000 per annum.

Senior-Level Statistician Salary

Senior-level statisticians typically have substantial experience and often hold advanced degrees. They are often responsible for complex data analysis and may supervise teams of statisticians. The BLS reports that the highest 10% of earners in this field, which likely includes many senior-level statisticians, earned over $146,770 per year in 2019.

Industry Variations

The industry you work in can also significantly influence your salary as a statistician. For example, those working in the federal government tend to earn higher salaries, with the BLS reporting a median annual wage of $111,510 in May 2019. On the other hand, statisticians working in healthcare and social assistance earned a lower median annual wage of $71,660.

Geographical Variations

Geographic location can also impact a statistician's salary. In the United States, states with higher costs of living such as New Jersey and California tend to offer higher average salaries for statisticians.

Benefits and Other Compensation

In addition to salary, statisticians often receive other forms of compensation. These may include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and sometimes performance-based bonuses. Some employers may also offer tuition reimbursement for further education in statistics or a related field. As you progress along your statistician career path, your earning potential can increase significantly. With the right combination of education, experience, and perhaps specialization within a specific industry, you could find yourself earning at the top end of the pay scale.

Statistician Career Path Tips for Success

As a statistician, your career success is largely dependent on your skills, knowledge, and experiences. However, there are also many other factors that can contribute to your career advancement. Here are some tips that can guide you on your journey to becoming a successful statistician.

Earn a Strong Educational Foundation

The cornerstone of a successful career in statistics is a strong educational background. Most statistician positions require at least a master's degree in statistics or a related field like mathematics or economics. It's also important to have a solid understanding of statistical software and programming languages such as R, SAS, and Python. Taking courses in machine learning and data science can also provide valuable skills.

Gain Relevant Experience

Hands-on experience is crucial for success in any career, including statistics. Seek out internships, part-time jobs, or research opportunities that allow you to apply your statistical knowledge in real-world situations. This can help you gain practical skills, build your professional network, and make your resume stand out to potential employers.

Stay Current with Industry Trends

The field of statistics is constantly evolving, so it's important to stay updated with the latest trends and advancements. Participate in professional organizations, attend industry conferences, and subscribe to relevant publications. This can help you stay informed about new statistical methods and technologies, which can give you an edge over other candidates.

Develop Soft Skills

While technical skills are essential for statisticians, soft skills are also important. These include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork. As a statistician, you will often need to explain complex statistical concepts to non-technical audiences, so being able to communicate clearly and effectively is crucial.

Pursue Certification

Certification can be a great way to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field. The American Statistical Association, for example, offers the Certified Statistician designation. Earning this certification requires passing an exam and meeting certain educational and experience requirements.

Network

Building a strong professional network can open up new opportunities and help you learn from others in your field. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with colleagues on social media. Networking can also lead to mentorship opportunities, which can provide valuable advice and guidance as you navigate your career. By following these tips, you can set yourself up for a successful career in statistics. Remember, success doesn't happen overnight. It requires hard work, dedication, and continuous learning. So keep striving, keep learning, and never stop improving your skills and knowledge.

What is a Statistician?

A statistician is a professional who uses mathematical and statistical theories to collect, analyze, interpret, and present data. These experts design surveys, experiments, or opinion polls to collect data, develop statistical models to analyze the data, and interpret the data to make decisions or predictions. They work in various fields such as health care, government, education, sports, marketing, and finance.

What Does a Statistician Do?

Statisticians use their expertise in math and statistical theory to solve real-world problems. Their work involves designing surveys or experiments to collect data, using statistical software to analyze the data, interpreting the results, and presenting the findings in a comprehensible manner. They may also advise policymakers or businesses on their findings to aid in decision-making processes.

What are the Key Skills Needed to be a Statistician?

Successful statisticians typically possess strong mathematical skills, critical thinking abilities, and problem-solving capabilities. They should also have excellent communication skills to explain complex statistical concepts and results to non-statisticians. Proficiency in statistical analysis software and databases is also crucial for this role. Additionally, they should have good organizational skills and attention to detail.

What Qualifications Do You Need to be a Statistician?

Most statistician jobs require at least a master's degree in statistics or a related field. However, some entry-level positions may accept candidates with a bachelor's degree. Relevant subjects include mathematics, economics, computer science, and physics. In addition to formal education, statisticians often need experience using statistical analysis software. Professional certifications can also enhance job prospects.

How Do I Start a Career as a Statistician?

Starting a career as a statistician typically involves earning a bachelor's degree in statistics or a related field. Following this, gaining work experience through internships or entry-level positions can be beneficial. Pursuing a master's degree or Ph.D. in statistics can enhance job opportunities and career advancement. Additionally, obtaining professional certifications can demonstrate competence and professionalism in the field.

What is the Job Outlook for Statisticians?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for statisticians is projected to grow 33% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by the increasing availability of data and the need for skilled professionals to analyze it. Industries such as healthcare, government, and research and development are particularly likely to seek statisticians.

What is the Average Salary of a Statistician?

The average salary of a statistician varies depending on factors such as location, industry, experience, and education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for statisticians was $91,160 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,700, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $146,770.