Biostatistics Careers

ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts in Health Informatics

CAREER TRAINING

Inferential Statistics

NUMBER OF JOBS

25,100

JOB OPENINGS

3,500

JOB GROWTH

14%

AVG. SALARY

$72,830 /yr

$35.02 /hr

All Stats from www.BLS.gov

Biostatisticians are statistical researchers who specialize in health topics. They apply statistical and mathematical formulas to draw conclusions from research regarding disease, health risks, and other factors that impact public health or the health of various demographic groups. They can also evaluate various treatments for health issues to determine their effectiveness on a large scale.

Biostatisticians design studies that evaluate health risks; review and analyze data; draw up reports based on findings, and present them to employers, agencies, the media, and other stakeholders.

Where Are the Biostatistician Jobs?

Biostatisticians may work in academia, private research laboratories, hospitals, insurance companies, public health agencies, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, or the government.

Biostatisticians who work for pharmaceutical companies are often involved in clinical trials; their job is to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs across experimental samples or analyze available treatments of a specific disease. Academic biostatisticians may be involved in teaching and publication in addition to research.

Biostatisticians working for government agencies usually focus on public health risks; their findings are often published in online and print outlets. Part of their job may be to evaluate the health risks of pollution or specific products, or the sources of disease outbreaks.

Biostatisticians who work with independent research companies will most likely be involved in a greater variety of medical research projects than they would at a pharmaceutical company that focuses only on that company’s products. More experienced biostatisticians in these companies may also contribute to business development.

How to Become a Biostatistician

You can still sometimes find entry-level positions in this field open to Bachelor’s degrees. Degrees in mathematics, statistics, or biostatistics are all useful. Many of these jobs are found in the government sector, which requires a Bachelor’s degree and at least 24 credit hours in the areas of mathematics and statistics.

However, it’s easier to land a job and move forward in your career with an advanced degree. Some companies and organizations prefer those with a Master’s degree or even a Ph.D. in these subjects. If you’re interested in working at a college, you will most likely need a doctoral-level degree.

Biostatistics and Online Degrees

Traditionally, mathematics-based fields tend to be fairly friendly to online degree programs. However, biostatistics is also a scientific research field—and these tend to be less accepting, especially if you’re looking for a job in academia. In addition, some traditional Masters and Ph.D. programs are reluctant to accept online credits as a Bachelor’s prerequisite, especially if they come from a for-profit school.

That doesn’t mean you can’t study to become a biostatistician online, however. If you’re interested in an accredited online degree program in this area, focus your search on nonprofit online schools and traditional schools that offer online or blended learning classes. This will make it more likely that your degree will be accepted by employers and other schools where you might want to earn an advanced degree.

Biostatistician Salary

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, statisticians in general averaged $72,830 in yearly wages as of 2010. Those at the bottom end of the pay scale earned under $39,090, while those at the top earned as much as $119,100.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that the highest-paying employer is the federal government, followed by private research firms, insurance companies, colleges, and the state government.

Biostatistician Job Outlook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports a projected 14% growth rate in the next decade for statisticians in general—about average. It’s projected that larger datasets available online will drive demand for experts who can make use of that data. The growth is expected to be widely distributed across the government, private research, and pharmaceutical sectors.

 

Additional Resources:

Occupational Outlook Handbook: Statisticians
American Statistical Association