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Summary Report for:
15-2041.01 - Biostatisticians

Develop and apply biostatistical theory and methods to the study of life sciences.

Sample of reported job titles: Associate Director of Biostatistics, Biostatistician, Biostatistics Director, Consultant/Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Principal Biostatistician, Principal Statistical Scientist, Professor of Biostatistics, Research Associate Professor, Research Scientist, Senior Biostatistician/Group Leader

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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

  • Design research studies in collaboration with physicians, life scientists, or other professionals.
  • Draw conclusions or make predictions based on data summaries or statistical analyses.
  • Provide biostatistical consultation to clients or colleagues.
  • Write detailed analysis plans and descriptions of analyses and findings for research protocols or reports.
  • Analyze clinical or survey data using statistical approaches such as longitudinal analysis, mixed effect modeling, logistic regression analyses, and model building techniques.
  • Review clinical or other medical research protocols and recommend appropriate statistical analyses.
  • Prepare statistical data for inclusion in reports to data monitoring committees, federal regulatory agencies, managers, or clients.
  • Calculate sample size requirements for clinical studies.
  • Read current literature, attend meetings or conferences, and talk with colleagues to keep abreast of methodological or conceptual developments in fields such as biostatistics, pharmacology, life sciences, and social sciences.
  • Determine project plans, timelines, or technical objectives for statistical aspects of biological research studies.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Laser printers — Computer laser printers
Mainframe computers
Notebook computers — Laptop computers
Plotter printers — Plotters
Scanners — Computer data input scanners

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — SAS software; SPSS software; StataCorp Stata; StatSoft STATISTICA software
Data base user interface and query software — Clinical trials database software; Microsoft Access; Microsoft SQL Server; Patient monitoring systems
Medical software — STAT! Systems QD Clinical
Operating system software — Microsoft Windows; UNIX
Spreadsheet software

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Knowledge

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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Skills

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.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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.
Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.

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Abilities

Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
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).
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).
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.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
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.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

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Work Activities

Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
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.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
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?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in 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, aerospace engineers, 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
52   Master's degree
32   Doctoral degree
13   Post-doctoral training

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

Life Sciences — Biometry/Biometrics; Biostatistics

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications

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Interests

Interest code: IC

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.

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Work Styles

Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
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.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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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.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Statisticians.
Employment data collected from Statisticians.
Industry data collected from Statisticians.

Median wages (2013) $38.12 hourly, $79,290 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 28,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 16,100
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.

  • Statisticians external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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