Where Do Statisticians Work?


Key Takeaways:

  • Statisticians work in diverse fields: government, business, industry, research, education, and health, providing essential data and analysis.
  • The profession is growing rapidly, with a projected 34% increase in job opportunities by 2024, significantly above the average.
  • Statisticians support crucial decisions through data collection, modeling, and analysis in areas like policy making, quality control, and public health.

Jobs for statisticians can be found all over the United States and around the world. But what do statisticians do? Diverse career opportunities exist within the broad categories of government, business and industry, research and development, education, and health and medicine.

Moreover, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 34% growth in the number of jobs available for statisticians by 2024, much higher than the 7% growth rate they estimate as the average for all occupations.

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Opportunities in Government

Opportunities for statisticians exist in nearly every agency of the federal and state governments. Wise government decisions demand ready access to accurate data. Statisticians provide this data through well-prepared survey and census data collection techniques and proper analysis of the results. Additionally, they assist policy makers by providing statistical models for decision making and for predicting the likely outcomes of policy proposals. Modern regulatory agencies could not function without the services provided by statisticians.

Opportunities in Business and Industry

Business and industry provide many jobs for statisticians.

In product development, statistical methods provide engineers the tools needed to assure product reproducibility and uniformity.

During the manufacturing phase, nearly all products require the statistical models created by industrial statisticians for quality control and assurance.

Finally, marketing departments use statistical surveys and data mining techniques to determine the best launching strategies and then to analyze sales data and predict future trends.

Opportunities in Research and Development

The scientific advances of the last century taught us that statistics govern many of the fundamental processes of the natural world. Thus, modern scientific research requires an understanding of statistical principles. For example, the recent discovery by physicists of the Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle,” required statistical methods for verification the particle had indeed been found. This means that exciting career opportunities exist for statisticians at private and public research labs.

Opportunities in Education

Schools and colleges always need statistics teachers to educate the next generation of statisticians. Other opportunities are exemplified by the recent push for data-driven solutions to perceived weaknesses in our educational system. Providing this data requires statisticians to develop models for measuring student learning and teacher effectiveness, and for identifying “best practices.” Also, there is a growing movement to replace algebra and calculus with statistics for non-mathematical majors. The need for statistics teachers will explode if this movement gains widespread acceptance.

Opportunities in Health and Medicine

Statisticians work with health care professionals in epidemiology, nutrition, pharmacology, genetics, and in public health institutions and agencies. They provide research techniques and analysis methods ensuring the validity of study results. Their data collection and analysis skills provide the data required for public health officials to make informed and scientifically accurate decisions. Drug companies rely on statisticians to verify the effectiveness of new drugs and to support their applications with the Federal Drug Administration.

The Outlook

The examples above illustrate the breadth of opportunities available for statisticians. The excellent qualities of the profession have been noticed by independent observers; statistician ranked very high in the recent U.S. News and World Report Best Jobs Rankings. The report ranked statistician #1 as the best business job. In the overall 100 best job listings, statistician is #17 and, in best STEM job, #3. Jobs for statisticians are plentiful and growing with many exciting and interesting opportunities.