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

Tasks

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

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — Insightful S-PLUS; SAS Hot technology ; STATISTICA; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology (see all 8 examples)
  • Data base management system software — MySQL Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — Clinical trials database software; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Microsoft SQL Server Hot technology ; Patient monitoring systems (see all 6 examples)
  • Data mining software
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Graphics software
  • Medical software — STAT! Systems QD Clinical
  • Object or component oriented development software — C++ Hot technology ; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl Hot technology ; Python Hot technology ; R Hot technology (see all 5 examples)
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software — Linux Hot technology ; Microsoft Windows; UNIX Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Web platform development software — PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

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

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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.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • 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.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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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).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • 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.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • 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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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.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside 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.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • 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.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • 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.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
  • Design research studies to obtain scientific information.
  • Analyze health-related data.
  • Prepare analytical reports.
  • Present research results to others.
  • Determine appropriate methods for data analysis.
  • Monitor operational activities to ensure compliance with regulations or standard operating procedures.
  • Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
  • Develop scientific or mathematical models.
  • Write computer programming code.
  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
  • Assign duties or work schedules to employees.
  • Train others in computer interface or software use.
  • Develop detailed project plans.
  • Apply mathematical principles or statistical approaches to solve problems in scientific or applied fields.
  • Create databases to store electronic data.
  • Design computer modeling or simulation programs.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 84% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 84% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Telephone — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Contact With Others — 36% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Important results.”
  • Time Pressure — 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 36% responded “Moderately competitive.”

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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, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
44   Master's degree
40   Doctoral degree
8   Post-doctoral training

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Credentials

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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.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • 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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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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Related Occupations

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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 (2016) $38.70 hourly, $80,500 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 30,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Much faster than average (14% or higher) Much faster than average (14% or higher)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 15,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "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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