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Statistical Genetic Analyst: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a statistical genetic analyst. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

Statistical genetic analysts study genetic diseases. They require a graduate degree in a related field. Statisticians have a mean annual salary of about $84,000.

Essential Information

Statistical genetic analysts review health records that relate to genetic diseases and disorders in order to identify patterns. Analysts use these patterns to show common traits among patients. Generally, these professionals have a graduate degree in biostatistics, bioinformatics, or statistical genetics, and they are methodical and detail-oriented. Most analysts work at genetic research centers, although some travel to various sites to conduct research.

Required Education Graduate degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 34%, including all statisticians
Mean Salary (2015)* $84,440, including all statisticians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

The majority of these professionals spend their time analyzing and interpreting statistical data. Like statisticians and survey researchers, analysts obtain and review large amounts of data concerning patients' genetics. Genetic analysts often use software programs to locate specific patient files, such as those for patients with cystic fibrosis. After entering and compiling data, analysts might make charts and graphs to help visually interpret statistical genetic data results.

Analysts also compare their statistical findings with those from other research projects. Usually this involves reading scholarly articles on statistical genetic analysis. Some analysts could even communicate with other laboratories to compare statistical findings. While comparing information, analysts verify similarities in sample testing groups to make sure the results can be compared fairly. Differences in results could lead to retesting samples or potential answers to genetic disorders.

Requirements

Careers related to statistical genetic analysis include statics, bioinformatics, and survey research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these careers usually require a graduate degree for entry-level work (www.bls.gov). Potential graduate degree programs for this career include those that focus on biostatistics, bioinformatics, and statistical genetics. Related coursework emphasizes genetic epidemiology, statistical modeling, health law, and advanced statistical theory. During their studies, aspiring statistical genetic analysts should develop a familiarity with computer statistics software and other technologies used in the field.

Analysts must also be highly detail-oriented. In order to make accurate statistical predictions, they must carefully consider all the variables in each sampling test group. Analysts are required to record details clearly so that other analysts can re-create their experiments to confirm results and further understanding in the field.

Collecting and sorting through data alone would take far too much time, so analysts must work effectively with fellow researchers. Strong communication skills are required since analysts must clearly explain the goals and results of their research to others.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The BLS groups statistical genetic analysts among statisticians. The BLS predicts that the employment of statisticians will likely grow by about 34% between 2014 and 2024, much faster than average. Statisticians earned an average salary of $84,440, according to May 2015 data from the BLS.

Statistical genetic analysts must complete a graduate degree in a related field. They must also be proficient in statistics as well as statistical software. The job growth outlook from 2014-2024 for statisticians is much faster than all jobs.


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