How to Become a Statistician

How to Become a Statistician: Career Guide

To become a statistician, the first thing you need to do is determine if a career in this field is right for you.


If you are interested in a lucrative career in which you get to use mathematics and work with other professionals from a variety of industries to solve problems, then a career as a statistician may be well suited for you.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as a statistician.


We've also included helpful information for a statistician career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Statistician

To become a statistician in an entry-level job, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics or a closely related field. Having a master’s degree in one of these fields may give you access to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility.


You’ll need to develop a background in mathematics, science, and computers, as well as gain knowledge in a specific field that you’re interested in.


For example, a statistician who works in medicine must have a basic understanding of medicine, and a statistician who works in market research must have a basic understanding of marketing.


Internships and fellowships are ideal ways to gain practical experience in a particular field while you’re still a student.


There are many government agencies, businesses, and industries that offer graduate students internships and fellowships that often cover tuition, research expenses, and financial compensation.






Statistician Job Description

Statisticians are responsible for planning, organizing and analyzing studies in order to provide usable information for a wide variety of activities. They apply statistical theories and methods to areas such as environmental problems, forecasting future economic conditions, evaluating government programs, improving business processes and others. 



Statistician Job Duties

• Develop and implement statistical methodology

• Perform research related to the mathematical basis of statistics

• Design projects, experiments and studies

• Confer with scientists from various disciplines

• Collect data using various methods

• Analyze, summarize, make inferences and interpret the information collected

• Write reports based on findings of analysis



Who Hires Statisticians?

Those who require the use of expert level data collection planning and analysis employ statisticians. Some examples of the types of organizations who can utilize the skills, knowledge and competencies of statisticians include:


• Financial institutions

• Statistics Canada and other government departments

• Medical research agencies

• Engineering consulting firms

• Environmental consulting firms

• Environmental conservation agencies

• Market research companies

• Pharmaceutical companies

• Companies requiring process improvement

• Colleges and universities


Success Tip: Statisticians who have many years of experience and a graduate level education may move on to careers in private consulting




Statistician Career Fields

Being a statistician means that you can combine your interest with almost any other field in science, technology, or business. Below are some examples of how statistics can be applied to solve problems in a variety of areas.


Medicine: Statisticians in medicine work with medical teams to design experiments and analyze the complex data they produce, for the purpose of searching for improved medical treatments.


Environment: Statisticians involved in environmental work typically help environmental scientists uncover the meaning of various sets of environmental data, such as the location of plants and animals, as well as how they are affected by changes in human activity.


Industry: Statisticians utilize data collected by private organizations to help them improve the quality of the goods and services they offer, and the efficiency by which they are produced and delivered.


Government Statistical Surveying: Statisticians help government at all levels determine social policy by providing them with data and related analysis on issues such as employment, crime, GDP and many others.


Market Research: Statisticians involved in market research design surveys to gather data both for public and commercial use. The data they help collect is utilized in many different ways, such as to determine the best location for a new mall, or the changes in people’s eating habits.



Skills and Attributes Needed to Become a Statistician

Becoming successful in a career as a statistician takes more than a good education; statisticians must posses a certain skill set and personality traits in order to do their jobs effectively.


• Need to be able to work alone and in a team setting

• Must have excellent communication skills

• Able to use specialized computer software to organize and analyze data

• Must have an aptitude for and interest in mathematics

• Must have an interest in the application of scientific principles to the solution of practical problems

• Must be able to organize projects and carry them out

• Must be able to write clear, concise reports in language appropriate for intended audience


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Statistician Salary

The salary level of statisticians can vary greatly depending on many factors, such as where they work, their level of experience and education, the budget for the project they are working on and many others.


Statistician Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, Canadian employees in the occupational group Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries earn an average annual income of $77,867.


Statistician Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for statisticians is $72,830 per year (2010 data).



Careers Related to Statistician

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to Statistician, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.




Data Analyst


Statistical Assistant



Statistician Career Information: References

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a statistician.


Occupations in Alberta:Statistician.” (January 1, 2012). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 14, 2020.

Math:Mathematicians and Statisticians.” (September 4, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 14, 2020.

Accreditation:Your Career.” (n.d.). American Statistical Association website. Retrieved January 14, 2020.



Scholarships for Becoming a Statistician

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Statistician can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Statistician: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a statistician. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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