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Become An Operations Research Analyst

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Working As An Operations Research Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Operations Research Analyst Do

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations solve problems and make better decisions.

Duties

Operations research analysts typically do the following:

  • Identify and solve real-world problems in areas such as business, logistics, healthcare, or other fields
  • Collect and organize information from a variety of sources, such as computer databases, sales histories, and customer feedback
  • Gather input from workers involved in all aspects of a problem or from others who have specialized knowledge, so that they can help solve the problem
  • Examine information to figure out what is relevant to a problem and what methods might be used to analyze it
  • Use statistical analysis, simulations, predictive modeling, or other methods to analyze information and develop practical solutions to business problems
  • Advise managers and other decision makers on the impacts of various courses of action to take in order to address a problem
  • Write memos, reports, and other documents explaining their findings and recommendations for managers, executives, and other officials

Operations research analysts are involved in all aspects of an organization. They help managers decide how to allocate resources, develop production schedules, manage the supply chain, and set prices. For example, they may help decide how to organize products in supermarkets or help companies figure out the most effective way to ship and distribute products.

Analysts must first identify and understand the problem to be solved or the processes to be improved. Analysts typically collect relevant data from the field and interview clients or managers involved in the business processes being examined. Analysts show the implications of pursuing different actions and may assist in achieving a consensus on how to proceed.

Operations research analysts use sophisticated computer software, such as databases and statistical programs, and modeling packages, to analyze and solve problems. Analysts use these mathematical programs to simulate current and future events and evaluate alternative courses of action. Analysts break down problems into their various parts and analyze the effect that different changes and circumstances would have on each of these parts. For example, to help an airline schedule flights and decide what to charge for tickets, analysts may take into account the cities that have to be connected, the amount of fuel required to fly those routes, the expected number of passengers, pilots’ schedules, maintenance costs, and fuel prices.

There is no one way to solve a problem, and analysts must weigh the costs and benefits of alternative solutions or approaches in their recommendations to managers.

Because problems are complex and often require expertise from many disciplines, most analysts work on teams. Once a manager reaches a final decision, these teams may work with others in the organization to ensure that the plan arrived at is successful.

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How To Become An Operations Research Analyst

Although applicants may need a master’s degree for most operations research positions, a bachelor’s degree is enough for some entry-level positions. Because few schools offer bachelor’s and advanced degree programs in operations research, analysts typically have degrees in other, related fields.

Education

Although some employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s degree, many entry-level positions are available for those with a bachelor’s degree. Although some schools offer bachelor’s and advanced degree programs in operations research, some analysts have degrees in other technical or quantitative fields, such as engineering, computer science, analytics, or mathematics.

Because operations research is based on quantitative analysis, students need extensive coursework in mathematics. Courses include statistics, calculus, and linear algebra. Coursework in computer science is important because analysts rely on advanced statistical and database software to analyze and model data. Courses in other areas, such as engineering, economics, and political science, are useful because operations research is a multidisciplinary field with a wide variety of applications.

Continuing education is important for operations research analysts. Keeping up with advances in technology, software tools, and improved analytical methods is vital.

Other Experience

Many operations research analysts who work with the military are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Some positions may require applicants to undergo a background check in order to attain a security clearance. 

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Operations research analysts use a wide range of methods, such as forecasting, data mining, and statistical analysis, to examine and interpret data. They must determine the appropriate software packages and understand computer programming languages to design and develop new techniques and models.

Communication skills. Operations research analysts often present their data and conclusions to managers and other executives. They also need to communicate technical information to people without a technical background.

Critical-thinking skills. Operations research analysts must be able to figure out what information is relevant to their work. They also must be able to evaluate the costs and benefits of alternative solutions before making a recommendation.

Interpersonal skills. Operations research analysts typically work on teams. They also need to be able to convince managers and top executives to accept their recommendations.

Math skills. The models and methods used by operations research analysts are rooted in statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and other advanced mathematical disciplines.

Problem-solving skills. Operations research analysts need to be able to diagnose problems on the basis of information given to them by others. They then analyze relevant information to solve the problems.

Writing skills. Operations research analysts write memos, reports, and other documents explaining their findings and recommendations.

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Operations Research Analyst Jobs

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Operations Research Analyst Career Paths

Operations Research Analyst
Business Analyst Manager Finance Manager
Senior Finance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Finance Analyst Senior Accountant
Reporting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Chemist Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Manager Vice President
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Accountant Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Finance Analyst Planning Manager
Planning Director
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Analytics
12 Yearsyrs
Program Analyst Team Leader Platoon Sergeant
Operations Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Program Analyst Systems Analyst Senior Analyst
Analytical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Analyst Senior Analyst
Manager, Strategy
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Operations Manager Client Services Manager
Client Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Manager Quality Manager
Process Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Research Analyst Intelligence Analyst Operations Officer
Division Chief
9 Yearsyrs
Research Analyst Senior Consultant Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Research Analyst Underwriter Asset Manager
Vending Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Specialist Technical Support Specialist Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Company Commander Planner
Strategic Planner
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Operations Research Analyst?

Operations Research Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

61.4%

Female

29.1%

Unknown

9.5%
Ethnicity

White

56.7%

Asian

14.2%

Black or African American

12.7%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.2%

Japanese

7.7%

French

7.7%

Mandarin

7.7%

Korean

6.4%

German

5.1%

Portuguese

3.8%

Russian

3.8%

Chinese

2.6%

Georgian

2.6%

Arabic

2.6%

Italian

2.6%

Urdu

1.3%

Dutch

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Uzbek

1.3%
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Operations Research Analyst Education

Schools

Northeastern University

13.1%

Naval Postgraduate School

8.2%

George Washington University

7.1%

George Mason University

6.9%

Drexel University

6.2%

University of Cincinnati

5.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.9%

Johns Hopkins University

4.9%

University of Phoenix

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

Air Force Institute of Technology

4.1%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.9%

University of Southern California

3.2%

Webster University

3.0%

American University

3.0%

New York University

2.6%

Northwestern University

2.6%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

2.6%
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Majors

Business

18.2%

Operations Research

10.4%

Mathematics

8.5%

Industrial Engineering

7.8%

Mechanical Engineering

6.5%

Finance

6.0%

Chemical Engineering

5.3%

Management

5.1%

Computer Science

4.2%

Biomedical Engineering

4.0%

Economics

3.7%

Computer Information Systems

3.0%

Chemistry

2.6%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Statistics

2.5%

Systems Engineering

2.1%

Physics

2.1%

Project Management

2.0%

Engineering

1.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%
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Degrees

Masters

43.3%

Bachelors

36.0%

Doctorate

8.7%

Other

7.3%

Certificate

2.3%

Associate

1.9%

Diploma

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$81,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$53,000
Min 10%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$123,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does an Operations Research Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Operations Research Analyst in the United States is $81,084 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $53,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $123,000.

Real Operations Research Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Operations Research Analyst Xavier Sun Santa Monica, CA Aug 26, 2016 $265,000
Operations Research Analyst Hylink (USA) Digital Solutions Co., Ltd. Santa Monica, CA Aug 26, 2016 $265,000
Operations Research Analyst Cathy Jean, Inc. Irvine, CA Nov 30, 2016 $250,000
Operations Research Analyst Cathy Jean, Inc. Irvine, CA Jan 06, 2015 $250,000
Operations Research Analyst-Product Director Zappos Ip, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Apr 09, 2016 $241,000
Operations Research Analyst Pace Harmon, LLC Vienna, VA Sep 04, 2016 $209,900
Operations Research Analyst Renaissance Technologies LLC Setauket-East Setauket, NY Jan 31, 2015 $175,470 -
$177,713
Senior Operations Research Analyst Adi Strategies, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Jul 27, 2016 $175,000
Operation Research Analyst for Corporate Finance United Pos Solutions Inc. Hackensack, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $170,571
Operation Research Analyst for Corporate Finance United Merchant Services Inc. Hackensack, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $170,571
Operations Research Analyst Carolina Herrera, Ltd. New York, NY Jun 02, 2016 $160,000
Operations Research Analyst Zeytinia LLC Atlantic City, NJ Dec 13, 2016 $154,627
Operations Research Analyst Laird International Corp Pompano Beach, FL Jan 14, 2016 $153,000
Operations Research Analyst Dane ELEC Corp. USA Irvine, CA Jul 28, 2016 $78,478
Pharmaceutical Operations Research Analyst Swarn, Inc. Bothell, WA Aug 18, 2015 $78,458
Operations Research Analyst ZT Wealth, Inc. Pearland, TX Oct 22, 2015 $78,270
Operations Research Analyst Llamasoft, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Dec 24, 2015 $78,000
Sales Operations Research Analyst Heat Software USA Inc. Milpitas, CA May 10, 2016 $78,000
Operations Research Analyst Innovative Scheduling, LLC Gainesville, FL Mar 03, 2015 $78,000
Operations Research Analyst Amekor Industries Inc. Conshohocken, PA Oct 29, 2015 $77,688
Operations Research Analyst Amekor Industries Inc. Conshohocken, PA Dec 23, 2015 $77,688
Business Operations Research Analyst Recas Palisades Park Inc. Palisades Park, NJ Sep 16, 2015 $63,007
Operations Research Analysts Brightline Partners LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $63,007
Business Operations Research Analyst Grand Bk Corp. NY Sep 02, 2015 $63,007
Operations Research Analyst Lake 5 Media, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $63,007
Operations Research Analyst Lin & J International, Inc. New York, NY Aug 25, 2015 $63,007
Business Operations Research Analyst Har Ridgefield Corp. Ridgefield, NJ Sep 09, 2015 $63,007

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Top Skills for An Operations Research Analyst

  1. Operations Research
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ensured the technical validity of and effective use of operations research/systems analysis techniques in weapons systems tests.
  • Design and implement the data analysis processors for all simulation-based studies in air & missile and chemical-biological defense analyses.
  • Analyzed user requirements and procedures to automate processing or enhance functionality of proprietary trading information system.
  • Field manager and/or field director of 5-30 data collectors and supervised 8-12 on-site data entry staff.
  • Have extensive financial experience using SAP and Business Objects for preparing Army Financial Statements as required by the US Congress.

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Top 10 Best States for Operations Research Analysts

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Delaware
  3. Illinois
  4. North Carolina
  5. Minnesota
  6. Michigan
  7. New Jersey
  8. Connecticut
  9. Virginia
  10. New York
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