Career Choice: Statisticians

Written by  //  01/30/2014  //  Career Planning  //  1 Comment

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If you enjoy parsing data, then pursuing a career as a statistician might be to your liking. Your strong interest in math or statistical theory can lead to a position where you collect, organize, and interpret numerical data, summarizing your findings into information that people find usable as well as useful. Statisticians may be generalists or work in a specific field such as economics, agricultural, or marketing. Similar job titles include program research specialist, clinical statistics manager, demographer, and trend investigator.

Duties

Statisticians work to identify trends and relationships in data, looking for factors that might impact research and the subsequent results. These professionals analyze and interpret statistical data, report their results, and include related information via charts, graphs, and tables. They’re also deeply involved in problem solving, checking their findings for inaccuracies, and making adjustments to their data as needed. Statisticians plan their data collection methods, process that information, and evaluate their findings.

Statisticians must be very comfortable with technology, using various tools of the trade such as data mining software, spreadsheets, and computers to perform their work. These professionals are adept at mathematics, with keen understanding of algebra, calculus, statistics as well as computers and common language to convey their findings.

Education

Approximately half of statisticians have a master’s degree with the remaining professionals evenly divided between people with a bachelor’s degree and those with a doctoral degree. Statisticians are categorized under the broad STEM discipline: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Statisticians may take classes in applied mathematics, biostatistics, business statistics, and probability. These professionals are strong analytical thinkers who pay attention to detail and show much initiative, persistence, and innovation. For people that value independence, achievement, and recognition, the field meets these requirements according to the US Bureau for Labor Statistics.

Salaries

The average salary for statisticians was $75,560 per year as of 2012 according to the BLS. Approximately 28,000 people were employed in the field.

Those in the 10th pay percentile earned $42,200 per year in 2012. Statisticians in the 25th percentile made $55,300 per year on average. Salaries for the 50th percentile came in at $75,600 per year. Statisticians in the 75th percentile earned $99,300 per year to $121,900 per year for those in the 90th percentile.

Extreme variation in salary levels exists for statisticians across the nation. In New Jersey, these professionals made $100,300 per year on average in 2012, while in Arkansas the average salary was $43,200 per year. Alaska, Delaware, Georgia and Maryland were among the states where statisticians could expect to earn salaries much greater than the national average. Nebraska, Mississippi, Indiana, and Florida were among the states with the lowest salary averages.

Job Outlook

The BLS projects strong growth for statisticians through 2022. Specifically it has forecast a 27 percent increase from 2012 to 2022, or about double the rate for all job fields. Notes the BLS, “Growth is expected to result from more widespread use of statistical analysis to make informed business, healthcare, and policy decisions.”

References

O*Net Online: Summary Report for: 15-2041.00 – Statisticians

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Statisticians


See Also10 In-Demand College Majors

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