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Working As A Biostatistician

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $112,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Biostatistician Do

Statisticians use statistical methods to collect and analyze data and to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.

Duties

Statisticians typically do the following:

  • Decide what data are needed to answer specific questions or problems
  • Determine methods for finding or collecting data
  • Design surveys, 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, questionnaires, experiments, and opinion polls to collect the data they need. Surveys may be mailed, conducted over the phone, collected online, or gathered through some other means.

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 use specialized statistical software to analyze data. In their analyses, statisticians identify trends and relationships within the data. They also conduct tests to find out the data’s validity and to account for high survey nonresponse rates or sampling error. Some statisticians may help create new software to analyze data more accurately and efficiently.

Statisticians present the findings from their analyses and discuss the data’s limitations to prevent inaccurate conclusions from being drawn. They may present written reports, tables, charts, and graphs to other team members and to clients. Statisticians also recommend how to improve the design of future surveys or experiments.

Statisticians work in many fields, such as education, marketing, psychology, sports, or any other field that requires the collection and analysis of data. In particular, government, healthcare, and research and development companies employ many statisticians.

Government. Statisticians working in government develop and analyze surveys that collect a variety of data, including unemployment rates, wages, and other estimates pertaining to 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.

Some statisticians employed by the federal government are known as mathematical statisticians.

HealthcareStatisticians known as biostatisticians or biometricians work in pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies, or hospitals. They may design studies to test whether drugs successfully treat diseases or medical conditions. They may also help identify the sources of outbreaks of illnesses in humans and animals.

Research and development. Statisticians design experiments for product testing and development. For instance, they may help design experiments to see how car engines perform when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Statisticians may also help develop marketing strategies and prices for consumer goods. 

Statisticians often collaborate with other occupations in the design and conduct of the research.

Some people with a degree in statistics or who collect and analyze statistical data may not be formally known as statisticians. Instead, they may work in related fields and professions. In some industries, for example, they may be known as quantitative analysts, market research analysts, data analysts, or data scientists.

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How To Become A Biostatistician

Statisticians typically need at least a master’s degree in statistics, mathematics, or another quantitative field. However, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for some entry-level jobs. Research and academic jobs generally require a Ph.D.

Education

Statisticians typically need at least a master’s degree, although some entry-level jobs are available for those with a bachelor’s degree. Most statisticians have degrees in mathematics, economics, computer science, or another quantitative field. A bachelor’s degree in statistics typically includes courses in linear algebra, calculus, experimental design, survey methodology, probability, and statistical theory.

Many colleges and universities advise students to take courses in a related field, such as computer science, engineering, physics, or mathematics. These courses can help prepare students to work in a variety of industries. Coursework in engineering or physical science, for example, may be useful for statisticians working in manufacturing on quality or productivity improvement. A background in biology, chemistry, or health sciences is useful for work testing pharmaceutical or agricultural products.

Because statisticians often work with data analysis software, computer programming courses may be particularly beneficial for students.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Statisticians use statistical techniques and models to analyze large amounts of data. They must determine the appropriate software packages and understand computer programming languages to design and develop new techniques and models. They must also be precise and accurate in their analyses.

Communication skills. Statisticians often work with, and propose solutions to, people who do not have extensive knowledge of mathematics or statistics. They must be able to present statistical information and ideas so that others will understand.

Math skills. Statisticians use statistics, calculus, and linear algebra to develop their models and analyses.

Problem-solving skills. Statisticians must develop techniques to overcome problems in data collection and analysis, such as high nonresponse rates, so that they can draw meaningful conclusions.

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Average Yearly Salary
$112,000
Show Salaries
$67,000
Min 10%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$112,000
Median 50%
$188,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Marshfield Clinic
Highest Paying City
Billerica, MA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Biostatistician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Biostatistician in the United States is $113,016 per year or $54 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $67,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $188,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Biostatistician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Biostatistician The Lotus Group, LLC. Sep 14, 2016 $146,090
Lead Biostatistician Biogen, Inc. Sep 23, 2016 $140,000
Senior Biostatistician Nektar Therapeutics Jul 03, 2016 $139,818 -
$150,000
Lead Biostatistician Biogen, Inc. Aug 09, 2016 $138,815
Biostatistician Gilead Sciences, Inc. Sep 01, 2015 $135,000
Biostatistician Gilead Sciences, Inc. Jul 30, 2015 $135,000
Senior Biostatistician Natera, Inc. Jul 20, 2016 $130,000
Senior Biostatistician Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation Jul 01, 2015 $130,000
SR. Biostatistician Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Aug 15, 2015 $130,000
Biostatistician The Fountain Group LLC Jul 12, 2015 $125,220
Biostatistician Aerotek Scientific, LLC Aug 31, 2016 $125,220
SR. Biostatistician Gilead Sciences, Inc. Jul 30, 2015 $125,000
Senior Biostatistician Biogen, Inc. Mar 29, 2016 $124,000 -
$127,000
Senior Biostatistician Sanofi Us Services Inc. Sep 11, 2015 $97,280 -
$145,920
Senior Biostatistician Renal Research Institute LLC, A Fresenius Medical Care N.A. Company Oct 08, 2016 $97,007
Senior Biostatistician Quintiles, Inc. Oct 01, 2015 $96,870
Biostatistician II Inc. Research LLC May 26, 2015 $96,529
Senior Biostatistician Inc. Research LLC May 26, 2015 $96,529
Senior Biostatistician Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Aug 15, 2016 $95,930 -
$125,000
Senior Biostatistician Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Aug 10, 2015 $95,826 -
$121,100
Biostatistician Affymetrix, Inc. Aug 09, 2016 $95,386 -
$119,232
Clinical Biostatistician MMS Holdings, Inc. Aug 24, 2015 $74,500
Biostatistician The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Oct 01, 2016 $74,460
Biostatistician PPD Development, L.P. Jul 09, 2016 $74,443 -
$87,550
Biostatistician I Covance Inc. Aug 23, 2016 $74,443
Biostatistician (Statistical Scientist) AXIO Research, LLC Sep 16, 2015 $74,426 -
$108,662
Biostatistician (Project Manager) AXIO Research, LLC Sep 16, 2015 $74,426 -
$108,662
Biostatistician III Duke University and Medical Center Jan 01, 2015 $74,358
Biostatistician H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Jun 20, 2015 $74,298

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Top Skills for A Biostatistician

  1. Data Analysis
  2. Sas/Base
  3. Study Protocol
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assumed paid investigator roles on grant proposals and projects for statistical programming and data analysis.
  • Used SAS/BASE, SAS/STAT, SAS/IML and SAS Macro.
  • Perform quality assurance on statistical output and review study protocols.
  • Participate protocol development, propose appropriate statistical methods and calculate sample size.
  • Provide efficacy and safety endpoint measurements and sample size calculations for clinical studies.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Biostatisticians

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Maine
  3. Texas
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Connecticut
  8. New Mexico
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Vermont
  • (70 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (57 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (46 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Biostatistician Demographics

Gender

Male

40.3%

Female

31.6%

Unknown

28.1%
Ethnicity

Asian

39.4%

White

39.3%

Hispanic or Latino

10.1%

Black or African American

7.6%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

21.9%

French

18.8%

Spanish

18.8%

Arabic

9.4%

German

6.3%

Mandarin

6.3%

Russian

6.3%

Korean

6.3%

Cantonese

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%
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Biostatistician Education

Schools

University of California - Los Angeles

7.8%

University of Utah

7.0%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

7.0%

University of Florida

6.2%

University of Washington

6.2%

Virginia Commonwealth University

6.2%

Grand Valley State University

6.2%

University of Southern California

6.2%

University of Kentucky

5.4%

Ohio State University

4.7%

Drexel University

4.7%

George Washington University

4.7%

University of South Florida

3.9%

Georgetown University

3.9%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.9%

University of Pennsylvania

3.9%

University of Louisville

3.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.1%

Texas A&M University

3.1%

University of Texas School of Health Professions

3.1%
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Majors

Biostatistics

41.0%

Statistics

31.8%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

6.5%

Mathematics

4.6%

Public Health

3.8%

Computer Science

1.4%

Psychology

1.1%

Biology

1.1%

Chemistry

1.1%

Biomedical Engineering

1.1%

Finance

0.8%

Clinical Psychology

0.8%

Experimental Psychology

0.8%

Chemical Engineering

0.8%

Industrial Technology

0.5%

Business

0.5%

Environmental Science

0.5%

Economics

0.5%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

0.5%

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, And Research

0.5%
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Degrees

Masters

62.3%

Doctorate

30.8%

Bachelors

5.5%

Certificate

1.0%

Associate

0.3%

Diploma

0.3%
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Updated May 18, 2020