Biostatisticians

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

Sample of reported job titles: Biometrician, Biostatistical Consultant, Biostatistician, Research Scientist, Statistical Scientist

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Draw conclusions or make predictions, based on data summaries or statistical analyses.
  • Analyze clinical or survey data, using statistical approaches such as longitudinal analysis, mixed-effect modeling, logistic regression analyses, and model-building techniques.
  • Write detailed analysis plans and descriptions of analyses and findings for research protocols or reports.
  • 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.
  • Design research studies in collaboration with physicians, life scientists, or other professionals.
  • Prepare tables and graphs to present clinical data or results.
  • Write program code to analyze data with statistical analysis software.
  • Provide biostatistical consultation to clients or colleagues.
  • Review clinical or other medical research protocols and recommend appropriate statistical analyses.
  • Develop or implement data analysis algorithms.
  • Determine project plans, timelines, or technical objectives for statistical aspects of biological research studies.
  • Prepare statistical data for inclusion in reports to data monitoring committees, federal regulatory agencies, managers, or clients.
  • Plan or direct research studies related to life sciences.
  • Prepare articles for publication or presentation at professional conferences.
  • Monitor clinical trials or experiments to ensure adherence to established procedures or to verify the quality of data collected.
  • Write research proposals or grant applications for submission to external bodies.
  • Design or maintain databases of biological data.
  • Collect data through surveys or experimentation.
  • Apply research or simulation results to extend biological theory or recommend new research projects.
  • Develop or use mathematical models to track changes in biological phenomena, such as the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Assign work to biostatistical assistants or programmers.
  • Analyze archival data, such as birth, death, and disease records.
  • Design surveys to assess health issues.
  • Teach graduate or continuing education courses or seminars in biostatistics.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 92% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 54% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 79% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Telephone — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 46% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 67% responded “40 hours.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 50% responded “Important.”
  • Time Pressure — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 43% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 46% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 54% responded “Important results.”
  • Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Experience Requirements

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 pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.
SVP Range
Over 4 years of preparation (8.0 and above)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • 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.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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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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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 58%
     
    responded: Master’s degree requiredmore info
  • 29%
     
    responded: Doctoral degree requiredmore info
  • 13%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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).
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Interests

Interest code: IC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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 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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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Statisticians.
Employment data for Statisticians.
Industry data for Statisticians.
Median wages (2021)
$45.95 hourly, $95,570 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
42,000 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Much faster than average (15% or higher)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
5,000
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

Related Occupations

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Sources of Additional Information

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