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Become A Principal Biostatistician

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Working As A Principal Biostatistician

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $124,267

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal 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 Principal 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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Principal Biostatistician Jobs

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Principal Biostatistician Typical Career Paths

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Principal Biostatistician Demographics

Gender

Male

70.6%

Female

17.6%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

39.5%

Asian

30.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

6.8%

Unknown

5.4%
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Principal Biostatistician Education

Schools

University of Texas at Austin

7.1%

Grace College and Seminary

7.1%

University of Memphis

7.1%

University of California - Berkeley

7.1%

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans

7.1%

Kansas State University

7.1%

North Carolina State University

7.1%

University of Oklahoma

7.1%

Richmond VA Medical Center

7.1%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

7.1%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

7.1%

Loyola University of Chicago

7.1%

Duke University

7.1%

Case Western Reserve University

7.1%
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Majors

Biostatistics

37.5%

Mathematics And Computer Science

12.5%

Statistics

12.5%

Marketing

6.3%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

6.3%

Public Health

6.3%

Pharmacy

6.3%

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, And Research

6.3%

Mathematics

6.3%
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Degrees

Doctorate

62.5%

Masters

37.5%

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Real Principal Biostatistician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Biostatistician Biomarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. Brisbane, CA Mar 04, 2015 $150,000 -
$168,000
Principal Biostatistician Parexel International Billerica, MA Feb 10, 2016 $146,545
Principal Biostatistician Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Boston, MA Apr 07, 2014 $145,000 -
$155,000
Principal Biostatistician Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. Novato, CA Jun 24, 2013 $137,000 -
$168,000
Principal Biostatistician Parexel International Billerica, MA Oct 01, 2015 $136,723
Principal Biostatistician Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Cambridge, MA Jul 23, 2012 $136,000
SR. Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Jan 10, 2016 $131,919
Principal Biostatistician Parexel International Billerica, MA Mar 14, 2014 $130,835
Principal Biostatistician Janssen Research & Development, LLC Raritan, NJ Oct 11, 2014 $130,600
Senior Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Nov 19, 2014 $130,087
SR. Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Jun 09, 2016 $127,000
Senior Principal Biostatistician, Oncology Global DEV Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Nov 19, 2014 $124,484
Senior Principal Biostatistician, Oncology Global Development Biostatistics Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Feb 12, 2015 $124,484
Senior Principal Biostatistician, OGD Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ May 04, 2015 $124,351
SR. Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Oct 01, 2014 $124,000
Principal Biostatistician, Global Biometric Scienc Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Wallingford, CT Mar 10, 2014 $123,885
Principal Biostatistician, Global Biometric Scienc Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Wallingford, CT Sep 25, 2013 $123,885
Principal Biostatistician Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Pennington, NJ Sep 17, 2010 $123,776
Senior Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Aug 28, 2016 $123,041
SR. Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Florham Park, NJ Sep 15, 2012 $114,632
SR Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Nov 25, 2016 $114,000
Senior Principal Biostatistician, Neuroscience Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Jun 17, 2011 $113,344
SR Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $113,152
SR Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Florham Park, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $113,152
SR. Principal Biostatistician Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Aug 05, 2013 $113,000
SR. Principal Biostatistician, Clinical Pharmacology, Novartis Oncology Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Oct 02, 2014 $113,000

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Top Skills for A Principal Biostatistician

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  1. Statistical Analysis Plans
  2. Develop Statistical Analysis Solutions
  3. Regulatory Documents
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and reviewed Statistical Analysis Plans (SAP) with the team.
  • Write statistical sections of protocols and create statistical analysis plans for all relevant studies.
  • Partnered with FDA statisticians during protocol design, analysis and submission phases of submissions.
  • Create utility macros to automate processes for departmental use.
  • Provided statistical support for analyses associated with publications and presentations.

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