Is a college education in statistics your formula for attaining a high-paying career? Majoring in this branch of mathematical science that focuses on collecting and analyzing numerical data can prepare you for a job with a great salary. You could use your degree to become a statistician working in any number of fields or apply the mathematical and statistical skills you have developed to a different analytical role in business, technology or another field. No matter what your job title is or in what industry you work, having these highly-prized analytical skills will help you get a high salary.
Salaries for Statisticians
For statisticians across the United States, the median salary is $84,060 per year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. Statisticians gather quantitative data through surveys, scientific experiments and other means and use their advanced mathematical knowledge, along with statistical analysis computer software, to better understand that data. They look at relationships between different factors, identify trends and interpret their findings to learn from the numbers. Statistics applies mathematical methods to analyzing real-world data, and though that data is numerical in nature, it often has a social component, such as an impact on or application to public policy, as well. There are many benefits of a career as a statistician. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the career #1 on its list of the Best Business Jobs, #2 among the Best STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Jobs and #6 on the list of 100 Best Jobs in America. The low unemployment rate, high salary and rapid rate of growth all combine to make statistician a surprisingly popular profession. However, students should know that many statistician roles require a graduate degree.
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Where do statisticians work? You might be surprised at the many different possible roles that are in this relatively small occupation of 37,200 American workers. Job opportunities with a statistics degree range from research statistician to sports statistician. Whether your passion is intellectual academic research that aims to solve the biggest mysteries known to man or tracking the performance data of your favorite athletes, there’s something to interest you. If you have an interest in the field of healthcare, you might want to work as a biostatistician in a hospital, public health agency or pharmaceutical company. These specialized statistician roles involve the use of statistical modeling to assess the efficacy of new medications, the prevalence of a public health issue and other matters related to medicine and health.
Among the industries that regularly employ statisticians, median wages range from $70,000 to more than $100,000 per year. Jobs with the federal government are the most lucrative, paying a median salary of $103,630, and they also account for 13 percent of all statistician roles. Scientific research and development roles offer the next highest wages, with a median annual salary of $91,610, the BLS reported. Statisticians who work in the field of healthcare and social assistance earn a median wage of $79,150, while those employed by insurance carriers make a median salary of $77,860, the BLS reported.
If you thought statisticians only worked in academia, you might be surprised. Jobs at colleges and universities account for just eight percent of statistician roles. Though these jobs require the most education, they pay the least, with a median wage of just $70,780.
Job Titles Beyond Statistician
If you don’t want to be a statistician, there are plenty of other opportunities to use your analytical and mathematical skills and still earn a lucrative salary. A degree in statistics is an excellent starting point for other math careers, such as actuary and operations research analyst. Actuaries earn a median salary of $101,560 for their work calculating the cost of risk with the aid of statistical and mathematical software, the BLS reported. Operations research analysts, who earn a median salary of $81,390, apply mathematical and statistical methods to solving businesses’ and organizations’ problems and helping them to make sound, data-driven decisions.
Even beyond the math occupations, there are so many other options for a career with a statistics degree. Developing computer software, managing databases, and studying the use of resources as an economist are all well-paying career options you could pursue with a background in statistics. Many graduates of statistics degree programs go into careers in business, marketing and sales or in technology, data and analytics.
While you don’t need an advanced degree for many non-statistician jobs, you may need coursework in specific subject areas, such as business or computer science. Deciding what you want to do with your degree early on will help you make the most of your education.