Studying statistics, you will acquire mathematical and analytical skills that can be applied virtually anywhere and are considered very valuable by many employers. It is also likely that you will be able to incorporate knowledge and skills from other academic areas you have studied. In addition to making you more desirable for employment, this can help you build a more satisfying career based around multiple interests.
Statisticians can generally expect generous compensation for the important work that they do. In 2016 the median pay for statisticians in the US was $80,500 per year, which is likely to rise in the future due to high demand.
You can explore employment data for statisticians in the US at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, where you can find out which industries hire the most statisticians, which cities have the highest concentrations of statisticians, and more!
Statisticians can find challenging, rewarding jobs in virtually every major industry. Explore more about careers in:
- Operations management
- Information technology
- Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals
- Banking and finance
For more examples of common careers in statistics, you can also visit the Explore Statistics Page on the Northwestern Career Advancement website
Looking for a career in public service? Almost every government agency needs qualified, capable statisticians. Statisticians work in many key government roles. They design the surveys and tests (such as the Census) which are used to gather data for government use, and they analyze the results of these tests to find useful statistics, such as the unemployment rate. They also help develop forecasts and models for scientific research and policy making, such as modeling the spread of disease or the effects of climate change.
Statisticians in the federal government can find many opportunities at agencies such as:
- Census Bureau
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Defense
- Department of Justice
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Beyond this, there are many opportunities for statisticians in state and local governments.
Statisticians play a prominent role in the healthcare industry. They collect and maintain public health statistics and conduct studies and clinical trials examining the effects of different medicines and behaviors. Statisticians in healthcare can work in both the public and private sectors to promote responsible policymaking and healthy lifestyles.
Statisticians in the healthcare industry can find employment at organizations such as:
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Biotechnology companies
- The World Health Organization
Businesses usually place a high priority on making sure they operate as efficiently as possible. In order to do this they need to constantly gather data throughout their supply chains and analyze it to find out what parts work well and what parts need improvement. Firms often turn to statisticians for this type of data collection and analysis.
Statisticians in operations management can find employment at organizations such as:
- Industrial manufacturing firms
- Logistics firms
- Transportation companies, such as airlines and trucking companies
- Hotels and management
Statisticians have many different roles in the information technology industry. One of the most crucial and visible of these is analyzing user data for social media and computing firms. Statisticians work at major tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, sifting through vast amounts of data to find patterns which can be used to improve the quality of the firm’s services. For instance, statisticians at Amazon might analyze demand for different products in different parts of the world. Using that data, they could find which products sell better in which regions. The company could then send more of these products to the delivery warehouses servicing each particular region, improving delivery times.
Statisticians in the information technology industry can find employment at organizations such as:
- Software publishers
- Consulting firms
- Telecommunications companies
- Computer services companies
Before any drug, food, or medical device is introduced to the mass market in the US, it must be thoroughly tested and evaluated for performance in different scenarios. Extensive clinical testing must be performed to determine the risks and side effects associated with using the product. Statisticians are frequently involved in these tests, analyzing the data and sometimes conducting the tests themselves. Their work often performs a critical role in the risk assessment of biotechnology products.
Statisticians in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry can find employment at organizations such as:
- Medical device and equipment research and testing
- Agricultural firms
The modern banking and finance industries are built on investments and the trading of financial instruments, such as mortgages and other loans. Trades are often very intricate with many moving parts, and many financial institutions possess very large numbers of these complicated assets. Statisticians are needed to keep track of assets and develop forecasts regarding the returns on different investments and trades.
Statisticians in the finance industry can find employment at organizations such as:
- Commercial banks
- Credit unions
- The US Federal Reserve
- Brokerage firms
For an example of the power of statistics in modern-day major-league sports, look no further than the 2011 film “Moneyball.” In the film, the manager of a failing baseball team hires a statistician to help improve the team on a budget. Insights from the statistician allow the manager to draft newer, higher-quality players and create a better lineup. Thanks to these insights, the team wins 19 consecutive games, tying for the longest winning streak in American history. While this is a dramatization, it is reflective of real-life sports. Statisticians work all throughout the industry, improving lineups and trades by analyzing data from different teams and team members.
Statisticians in the sports industry can find employment at organizations such as:
- Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN)
- BIG 10 Network
- Major League Baseball
- National Football League (NFL)
- National Hockey League (NHL)
- National Basketball Association (NBA)
Insurance carriers frequently determine the price of insurance coverage based on assessed risk – that is, how likely it is that an insured person or object will be damaged. Statisticians are needed to calculate the risk to different assets by collecting data and building models.
Statisticians in the insurance industry can find employment at organizations such as:
- Insurance carriers
- Consulting firms
Statisticians in the education industry frequently teach and conduct research at colleges and universities.