Become a Biostatistics Manager: Education and Career Roadmap

Aug 20, 2018

Find out how to become a biostatistics manager. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in biostatistics management. View article »

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Video Transcript

Could I Be a Biostatistics Manager?

Biostatisticians collect large amounts of health-related data through polls, surveys, and experiments using a variety of methods. Biostatistics managers are responsible for the direction and leadership of projects and staff recruitment. Biostaticians, like other types of statisticians, work in teams to collect information and analyze data. Some travel may be required in order to compile materials for a particular study. Statisticians of all kinds usually work on a full-time basis.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree at minimum; Ph.D. preferred
Degree Field Computer science, statistics, or related field
Experience 5-10 years of experience
Key Skills Leadership, project management, critical thinking, problem-solving, and speaking and writing skills; ability to pay close attention to detail and meet deadlines consistently; proficiency with sample size calculation software, SAS and S-Plus/R programming, eCTD module 5 case report tabulations, and Clinical Data Management (CDM) programs; familiarity with premarket approval (PMA) submissions and the FDA review processes
Salary $77,860 per year (median salary as of 2016 for all biostatisticians); senior statisticians (which include biostatistics managers) earned a median of $107,795 in 2016


Steps for a Biostatistics Manager

What steps do I need to take to be a biostatistics manager?

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree in biostatistics or computer science can provide the basic skills needed to become a biostatistics manager. These programs are strongly based in math and science, and aspiring biostatisticians can benefit from their courses in biology, chemistry, or health sciences. A computer science degree program typically includes courses in calculus, data structures and algorithms, computer programming, computer science, and software engineering. A statistics degree program might include coursework in statistical methods, mathematical statistics, statistical programming, and calculus.

Step 2: Earn a Ph.D.

A Ph.D. program in biostatistics or computer science is usually required for a biostatistics manager position. In addition to advanced coursework, a Ph.D. program in computer science or statistics may include research, exams, and a written dissertation. Most schools require applicants to have a bachelor's degree and sufficient GPA before enrolling in a Ph.D. program.

Step 3: Obtain Work Experience

Employers often require biostatistics managers to have at least 5 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Graduates of a Ph.D. program may seek employment as biostatisticians to gain the necessary experience in the field.

The job duties of a biostatistician might include supporting clinical trials, creating and applying statistical techniques to experimental data, and analyzing and reporting results. Once biostatisticians gain experience, they can advance their careers and apply for managerial positions.

Success Tip:

  • Gain additional knowledge through online training programs in clinical data management (CDM). Some organizations, such as the Drug Information Association (DIA), offer training programs that expand a biostatistician's knowledge of CDM processes and software.

Biostatistics managers lead and manage projects and staff in the collection of health-related data. They have college degrees, experience, high-level critical-thinking skills, and proficiency with software tools of the industry, and they earn a median annual salary of $107,795.

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