Statisticians fall into the Conventional Theme Code Category of the Strong Interest Inventory®. The Strong Interest Inventory® and its associated assessment have been widely recognized as an effective career search tool since their release in the early 1900’s. This system categorizes careers into six Theme Code categories based on the preferences of professionals who are currently in those careers and are highly satisfied. It helps job seekers by comparing their responses to assessment questions to those of established professionals and then directs them to their relevant career categories. For instance, Conventional careers typically involve accounting, organizing, analyzing, and processing data, and they attract detail-oriented individuals who thrive in structured environments.
Statisticians develop or apply statistical theory and methods to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize numerical data. The goal of these analyses is to identify significant differences between different groups, often one or more treatment groups and a control group, as well as the specific causes of these differences. For example, when new medicines are being tested, statisticians want to be certain that any differences between a treatment and control group are caused by the medicine rather than any other factors.
In the business world, Statisticians may analyze customer purchase data to determine how to manage inventory or decide where to open a new store or location. Once they have their data, Statisticians use the results of the analyses to draw conclusions or make recommendations in a variety of fields, including agriculture, business and economics, medicine, and more.
There are a number of additional considerations to ensure that the conclusions Statisticians draw are accurate. For example, Statisticians may need to design the experiments themselves using relevant scientific techniques, and then determine which statistical methods are appropriate. After the data is gathered, they must examine the data for inaccuracies or inconsistencies, and more. Once their analysis is complete, they may need to provide visuals, such as charts, bullets, graphs, or even dashboards, to convey their conclusions to audiences with different specializations. To ensure their skills are always current, Statisticians may need to read peer-reviewed papers and/or technical manuals or publish their own findings in white papers and scholarly journals. Attending or presenting at relevant conferences may also be necessary.
Statisticians’ primary tools are their computers, augmented by many different kinds of software. The precise software used may vary by their field and place of employment. However, they may use analytical or scientific software (e.g., SAS, MATLAB), business intelligence and data analysis software (e.g., Tableau), database management system software (e.g., Apache Pig, Teradata Database), data mining software (e.g., Angoss Knowledge SEEKER), component-oriented development software (e.g., C++, Python, R), and, of course, professional staples such as Microsoft Office Suite, email, and web browser software.
In addition to these technical skills, Statisticians also need to have strong mathematical reasoning, number facility, and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to understand large amounts of complex information and use it to draw credible conclusions. They also benefit from the ability to program, since many software applications have the ability to process custom commands. The ability to communicate complex information in written or spoken English is also important, especially if they need to deliver their findings to internal or external teams. Most Statisticians develop these skills in graduate programs in statistics, economics, or related fields—65% hold a master’s degree and 20% hold a doctoral degree. The remaining 15% hold a bachelor’s degree.
While the total number of Statisticians in the United States is relatively low, employment rates are expected to grow rapidly—by nearly 14,000 jobs in the next decade. The technically oriented states of California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania lead the country, with these states alone projected to add over 1,000 jobs per year. Of these, Massachusetts has the highest median salary. Other states in which Statistician Salary is over $100,000 include Idaho, the Mid-Atlantic states of Maryland, and New Jersey. At the other end of the spectrum, Statisticians’ earning potential is much lower in sparsely populated southern states, such as Oklahoma and Alabama.
Below are some employment trends for Statisticians:
- Statistician Salary: $42.20/hour; $87,780 annually
- Employment: 44,000 employees
- Projected growth (2018-2028): Much faster than average (11% or higher)
- Projected job openings (2018-2028): 5,300
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections Onetonline.org