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Summary Report for:
15-2031.00 - Operations Research Analysts

Formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions. May collect and analyze data and develop decision support software, service, or products. May develop and supply optimal time, cost, or logistics networks for program evaluation, review, or implementation.

Sample of reported job titles: Operations Research Analyst, Operations Research Manager, Scientist, Analytical Strategist, Business Analytics Director, Business Insight and Analytics Manager, Decision Analyst, Operations Research Group Manager

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives, and their numerical parameters.
  • Collaborate with senior managers and decision makers to identify and solve a variety of problems and to clarify management objectives.
  • Collaborate with others in the organization to ensure successful implementation of chosen problem solutions.
  • Prepare management reports defining and evaluating problems and recommending solutions.
  • Study and analyze information about alternative courses of action to determine which plan will offer the best outcomes.
  • Specify manipulative or computational methods to be applied to models.
  • Perform validation and testing of models to ensure adequacy and reformulate models as necessary.
  • Define data requirements and gather and validate information, applying judgment and statistical tests.
  • Analyze information obtained from management to conceptualize and define operational problems.
  • Observe the current system in operation and gather and analyze information about each of the parts of component problems, using a variety of sources.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Desktop computers
Mainframe computers
Notebook computers — Laptop computers
Personal computers

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — ILOG OPL-CPLEX Development System; LINDO Systems LINGO; Stanford Business Software SNOPT; Telelogic System Architect
Computer aided design CAD software — Dassault Systemes CATIA software; Mathsoft Mathcad
Data base reporting software — SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports; Strategic Reporting Systems ReportSmith
Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access; Oracle software; Structured query language SQL
Development environment software — C; Microsoft Visual Basic
Object or component oriented development software — C++; R *; Sun Microsystems Java; Sybase PowerBuilder

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Skills

Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

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Abilities

Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

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Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
56   Master's degree
30   Bachelor's degree
11   Doctoral degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Computer Science — Management Science, General
Mathematics — Operations Research

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications

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Interests

Interest code: ICE

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Styles

Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $35.88 hourly, $74,630 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 73,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 36,000
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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