Statisticians gather numerical data, analyse it to look for trends and report on these. Their work helps organisational leaders understand data and make plans based on it.
Typical duties include:
designing surveys and other ways of collecting data.
applying statistical methodology to complex data.
using statistics to make forecasts and to provide projected figures.
presenting information in a variety of formats.
advising colleagues on trends observed in data and the implications of these.
supervising junior statistical staff.
Salaries depend on the sector in which you work. For example, many statisticians are employed in the civil service, where starting salaries are around £26,000 in London and £23,000 outside the capital. Salary survey websites suggest that as a medical statistician at a university, your salary could start at around £27,000 and rise to an average of £35,000, while in the pharmaceutical industry, your starting salary is likely to be higher.
Typical employers of statisticians
The Civil Service.
Hospitals and health organisations.
Industrial, pharmaceutical and commercial companies.
Publicly funded research councils.
You could become self-employed and work as a consultant or contractor once you’ve gained sufficient experience.
Jobs are advertised on
and by careers services. You’ll also find vacancies advertised on specialist jobs boards.
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into this career for school leavers and graduates.
Graduates usually need a degree in a numerate discipline such as statistics, economics or mathematics. Many employers also ask for a relevant postgraduate qualification, and this will be essential for research and medical statistics posts.
To become a graduate statistician with the Royal Statistical Society, you must take a degree course which is accredited by them. After becoming a graduate statistician you can continue your training and achieve the full professional status of chartered statistician.
School leavers can take an apprenticeship in data analysis or data science, both of which lead to qualifications.