Statistical Analyst: Job Description, Qualifications & Salary

Mar 24, 2020

A statistical analyst is a statistician who calculates data in order to figure out trends. Statistical analysts work in many different fields to help producers understand how to make their organization work more efficiently.

What is a Statistical Analyst?

A statistical analyst (statistician) uses mathematics and probability to understand trends and patterns. Statisticians can find work in a variety of fields. For example, a sports statistical analyst compares numbers on players, plays, and different moves that could help a team be more successful. An insurance statistician goes through numbers to see what demographic will need certain kinds of insurance, or what age range of car drivers is more likely to have an accident.

Statisticians work in offices. Depending on the person's specialty, level of education, and amount of time spent with the employer, a statistician may create developing models, perform quality control, or make predictions for quality control. Statisticians also often interpret data gathered by other statisticians or develop programs for statistical analysis for an organization.

Education Requirements Bachelor's degree in mathematics or significant coursework in math; graduate degrees in theoretical or applied mathematics
Job Duties Calculating probability, performing quality control, developing models, etc.
Average Salary (2020) $66,040 *
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 31% increase (for statisticians)*

Sources: *Payscale; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Experts suggest that a four-year degree in mathematics or a closely related field like statistics is necessary for statistical analysts. Students in these programs will often complete courses like probability theory, linear algebra, survey methodology, and statistical theory. Statisticians may also need to work with computers extensively, so gaining computer programming knowledge could be helpful.

Because statistical analysis can focus on many different fields, statisticians can capitalize on coursework from different backgrounds. College studies in engineering or physical sciences may open doors to working in the field of manufacturing, while classes in biology or health sciences could prepare a statistical analyst for working in the medical or agricultural field.

While certifications are not required to become a statistical analyst, they may help with securing a job. Certifications that statisticians can get include Open Certified Data Scientist, Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences, SAS Certified Data Scientist using SAS 9, and Certified Analytics Professional.

Required Skills

Potential statistical analysts should know how to analyze information using algorithms and models. They should be able to use numbers and probability to make predictions about how to do things more efficiently, or be able to process numbers in order to tell an employer how a currently-running system is working. Potential statistical analysts should be aware of what regression models are, understand the mean, median, mode, and standard distribution of a data set, and know what a distribution curve is.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the positive change in number of employed statisticians from 2018 - 2028 is predicted to be about 31%, which is much higher than the average of 5% for other employment fields.

The salary of a statistical analyst depends on the location in which a person works and their number of years in the field. On the low end, statisticians will earn about $49,000 per year; others will earn about $97,000 per year, according to PayScale. The average annual pay for a statistical analyst is about $66,040.

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