Statisticians develop or apply mathematical or statistical theory and methods to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize numerical data to provide usable information. They may specialize in fields such as bio-statistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics, or economic statistics.


Sample of Reported Job Titles

Assistant Division Chief for Statistical Program Management, Clinical Statistics Manager, Human Resource Statistician, Private Statistical/Psychometric Consultant, Program Research Specialist, Senior Statistician, Statistical Analyst, Statistician, Statistician (Demographer), Trend Investigator



Statisticians typically do the following:

  • Determine the questions or problems to be addressed
  • Decide what data are needed to answer the questions or problems
  • Determine methods for finding or collecting data
  • Design surveys or experiments or opinion polls to collect data 
  • Collect data or train others to do so
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Report conclusions from their analyses

Statisticians design surveys, experiments, and opinion polls to collect data. Some surveys, such as the U.S. census, include data from nearly everyone. For most surveys and opinion polls, however, statisticians use sampling to collect data from some people in a particular group. Statisticians determine the type and size of the sample to be surveyed or polled.

Statisticians work in many fields, such as education, marketing, psychology, and sports: any field that requires collection and analysis of large amounts of data. In particular, government, health, and manufacturing employ many statisticians:

Government: Nearly every agency in the federal government employs statisticians. Some government statisticians develop and analyze surveys that measure unemployment, wages, and other estimates of jobs and workers. Other statisticians help to figure out the average level of pesticides in drinking water, the number of endangered species living in a particular area, or the number of people who have a certain disease, for example. At national defense agencies, statisticians use computer programs to test the likely outcomes of different defense strategies.

Health: Statisticians known as biostatisticians or biometricians work in pharmaceutical companies, public health, and medicine. They design studies that test whether drugs successfully treat diseases or conditions. They also work for hospitals and public health agencies, where they help identify the sources of outbreaks of illnesses in humans and animals.

Manufacturing: Statisticians design experiments for product testing and development. For instance, they help to design experiments to see how car engines perform when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Statisticians also contribute to the design of marketing strategies and prices for final goods. 


Educational Requirements

Most statisticians enter the occupation with a master's degree in statistics, mathematics, or survey methodology, although a bachelor's degree is sufficient for some entry-level jobs. Research and academic jobs generally require a Ph.D.


Median Salary 2012



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American Statistical Association-Statistician Employment Industries


Bureau of Labor Statistics-Statisticians


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