The role of a statistician involves gathering, interpreting and reporting on various types of data. The results of a statistician's research are used in decision-making, market research, and scientific research.
Statisticians work in almost every field and industry. Their knowledge and skills are put to use in finance, education, insurance, and governmental departments, among others.
IT and communication skills are combined with data and statistical analysis abilities to process and interpret information. Statisticians need to be organized and adaptable, with a keen eye for detail.
The duties of a statistician depend on the sector in which one works. There is tremendous variety to the tasks assigned a statistician, and the following are just a few examples.
- Gathering data and information
- Market research (focus groups, surveys etc.)
- Experiments to collect data
- Examining information and statistics
- Using the results of the data analysis to evaluate, forecast etc.
- Communicating the results in a readily understandable way
- Using computer software and mathematical techniques to analyse data
Statisticians need to display the following skills:
- Advanced IT skills
- Clear communication skills
- An appreciation for the importance of statistics
- Ability to analyse data
- Capable of working independently and in a team
A degree, preferably in statistics, mathematics, or economics, is normally required. For posts in the medical profession, a degree related to medicine or health care is preferred. PhD qualified applicants are also highly desirable, especially in the finance sector.
The UK’s main employer of statisticians, the Office of National Statistics, operates fast track schemes to help graduates make a start in a career as a statistician.
The Royal Statistical Society also runs a number of accreditation and qualification schemes. The RSS also has a CPD policy to encourage staff to pursue further training and advance their career.
- First year statisticians earn around £24k annually
- Salary increases with experience, normally rising to £45-60k with considerable experience
- Average salary of £35k in England statistician jobs
- In many cases, statisticians work a regular 9 to 5 schedule in an office setting
Most statisticians work in small teams. Sideways moves are common among statisticians.
Statisticians normally start out as assistants, working in a small team. This leads onto team leader, or managerial positions. Eventually, statistician posts can lead to research work or similar areas of activity.
The Royal Statistical Society operates a CPD policy. CPD activities for statisticians include training courses and workshops.
Office for National Statistics