How to Become a Statistician


Table of Contents

1. Overview: Job Responsibilities, Salary, and Common Requirements

2. A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Statistician

3. What Does a Statistician Do?

4. Signs You Should Consider Becoming a Statistician

5. How Do You Become a Statistician?

6. What are the Knowledge and Skills Needed to be a Statistician?

7. Popular Schools and Colleges in the U.S. for Aspiring Statisticians

8. Mathematics and Statistics Careers

9. How to Get a Job as a Statistician

10. Learn About Geographic and Location Pay Differentials

11. Make Your Resume Stand Out

12. Ace Your Statistician Interview

13. Top Online Courses for Aspiring Statisticians


Job Responsibilities

  • Identify the issue to be solved and the data needed to solve it.
  • Curate the right methods needed to employ the data collection.
  • Gather, interpret, and analyze data to draw conclusions.
  • Construct surveys, experiments, or polls to gather data.
  • Utilize analytical tools, mathematical algorithms, and theories to solve real-world problems in the sector a Statistician is in.
  • Report the conclusions gathered from the analysis.
  • Train others to collect data.
  • Find trends and relationships in the data gathered.
  • Develop processes for data collection.
  • Give advice about business strategy to the organization.
  • Simplify the complex terms and explain analysis in layman’s terms.
  • Help in the decision-making of the business.

How Much Does a Statistician Make?

Statisticians made a median salary of $91,160 in 2019, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The best-paid 10 percent made $146,770 that year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made $52,690.


Common Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Statistics, Mathematics, or any quantitative-related field
  • Master’s degree in Statistics
  • Professional Certifications for specialty
  • Adeptness in data analysis
  • Proven numeracy skills

Similar Careers


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Common Skills

Data Analysis

Analytical skills



Communication skills

IT skills


Project Management

Research and Development


$91,160 per year





A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Statistician

A Statistician’s job is essential in every sector imaginable. A Statistician is hired to gather, analyze, interpret, and provide a conclusion to certain data. Most industries call the need for their help as they provide statistical data that are highly needed for whatever purpose business may see it.

There has been a spike of the demand in the employment of Statisticians in the country, as most sectors have realized the importance of data-driven decision making.  In fact, the job outlook for Statisticians from 2019 to 2029 is 35%, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Imagine, from the total number of employment of 42,700, it could rise up to 57,500 in 10 years! That’s how demanding the career is at the moment.

Lucky for you, pursuing a career as a Statistician will get you to places. With a high demand for this role, you can set your hopes up to become a Statistician.

What Does a Statistician Do?

Statisticians are professionals who utilize various statistical methods and models to draw a conclusion from a real-world problem.  They provide their expertise in several sectors, including the government, engineering, business, healthcare, and many other fields. 

A Statisticians’ typical duties include the following:

  • Identify the issue to be solved and the data needed to solve it.
  • Curate the right methods needed to employ the data collection.
  • Gather, interpret, and analyze data to draw conclusions.
  • Construct surveys, experiments, or polls to gather data.
  • Utilize analytical tools, mathematical algorithms, and theories to solve real-world problems in the sector a Statistician is in.
  • Report the conclusions gathered from the analysis.
  • Train others to collect data.
  • Find trends and relationships in the data gathered.
  • Develop processes for data collection.
  • Give advice about business strategy to the organization.
  • Simplify the complex terms and explain analysis in layman’s terms.
  • Help in the decision-making of the business.

Statisticians typically work in various fields, including education, psychology, sports, marketing, and many other fields that need analysis of data. But the sectors that hire the most number of Statisticians include the government, healthcare, research and development, and the academes.

Government – Statisticians work in the government to provide them the data that deals with the population. These statistical data may vary from employment, unemployment, census, wages, to the number of endangered species in a particular area—every data that comes out from the government is collected and analyzed by Statisticians. That displays the reason why most Statisticians are hired by the government.

Healthcare – Statisticians who specifically work for pharmaceuticals, public health agencies, and hospitals are called biostatisticians or biometricians. They mainly conduct studies about the effectiveness of drugs to treat medical conditions. They collect data and figure out conclusions as to how many were treated and what factors have contributed to healing. Sometimes, they help identify the source of an outbreak of illnesses in animals and humans.

Research & Development – Most Statisticians work in the research field to spearhead any experiments, product testing, and market analysis. They could be doing experiments on how ergonomically effective a newly designed chair is, or they could be analyzing consumer data to come up with marketing strategies.

Postsecondary institutions – Many Statisticians work for universities and colleges to study theoretical or abstract concepts in Mathematics or Statistics. They strive to increase knowledge in understanding the field by finding out new theories.

Signs You Should Consider Becoming a Statistician

Pursuing a career in Statistics is not for everyone. When you are just looking at the goal to be a Statistician, you might forget to evaluate yourself first if you will fit the role. Needing a lot of determination and patience, you must ensure that you are prepared to take on anything just to land the career. Here are the telltale signs if you are going to be a Statistician:

You love Statistics.

Obviously, Statisticians deal with Statistics. If you enjoy dealing with numbers and analyzing statistical data, these will pave the way for your success in this career. After all, this is the main focus of your job, and you need to have that passion for numeracy and analysis already, or you must learn to.  

You are fine working alone for long hours.

Do you enjoy your own company more rather than collaborating with people for a certain project? If yes, you will have a good time working for this career as this requires your full concentration to get the job done—often alone. If you are one who doesn’t mind having minimal interactions during your work, this will work out well for you. It will show independence and accountability for the role.

You are detail-oriented.

The best person to have the role is someone keen on every detail. You are dealing with Statistics, data, and mathematical algorithms which need your full attention. You can’t afford to omit any essential data as everything matters to come up with an accurate analysis. So if you think you are a detail-oriented person, you will always make the cut.

You have no problem with tedious duties.

Do you not easily get bored with tedious tasks? If so, you can survive being a Statistician. When you are dealing with data science, 80% of your time is usually spent on data preparation. This includes standardizing data terms, cleaning up data, and more. You have to be patient with the unexciting tasks as these are important in your final analysis.

You have good IT skills.

As a Statistician, you will be using a lot of IT software to help you ease your job. If you enjoy tweaking your computer and have a good foundation for programming languages, then you can totally enjoy this career. Statisticians do not only deal with data on a piece of paper, but they also utilize other tools like IT software to aid them and simplify their job. 

You can accept failure.

Statistical analysis is an experimental work. Often, you will face a lot of failures, as not every theory works. You don’t have to be frustrated for not getting a successful outcome; it’s normal in working with data. And if you are a person who can handle failures well, then this job is for you.

You like the unexpected.

Do you like spontaneous work? This role is for people who like unpredictable work as results always turn up differently with various algorithms used. You are going to enjoy this role as this is not for those people who want to come to work knowing what’s ahead of them.

You are persistent.

Dealing with many trials and failures, you have to instill that persistence to get on with your analysis until you get it right. A good Statistician never gives up on his analysis methods in order to finally arrive at the right results. If you are one who strives hard to meet success, then you can definitely enjoy this role.


How Do You Become a Statistician

In order to become a Statistician, you need to meet a series of requirements that will help you land the role. Here are the typical requirements you need to qualify upon applying for a job:

1. Earn a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics or any quantitative degree.

The first step to qualify as a Statistician is to earn a bachelor’s degree in Statistics or Mathematics. Although these two are the best options, you can also choose from other degrees, such as Economics, Computer Science, or any other quantitative field.

In order to be employed for an entry-level Statistician role, a relevant degree to Statistics is needed. These programs prepare a student to deal with data science and statistical analysis. The subjects any aspiring Statistician should have in his curriculum must include Calculus, Linear Algebra, Theoretical Statistics, Multivariate Analysis, Experimental Design, Regression, and Statistical Methods.

2. Obtain a Master’s degree.

A master’s degree is not really a strict requirement in order for you to get into the field. But holding one will boost your credibility to work for a particular sector. After all, you spent additional years specializing in your niche. One can pursue a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) in Statistics. 

This program will usually last for two years, but for some accelerated programs, one can save time and finish this in nine months.

3. Get Statistician certifications.

Statisticians are not required to secure any kind of license, so certifications will be of great help to your career. These certifications display your expertise at a particular specialization. You can get these certifications from organizations like the American Statistical Association (ASA), which offers entry-level professionals accreditations like Graduate Statistician or GStat and Accredited Professional Statistician or PStat.

4. Pursue a doctorate degree.

A Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest educational attainment any Statistician could get. Although it is not a major requirement, a Ph.D. can guarantee you a higher position in the research or educational field. It usually takes 4-5 years to complete plus a dissertation as you specialize in one particular area.

What are the Knowledge and Skills Needed to be a Statistician?

Successful Statisticians are able to make it big in the field because they are equipped with the right knowledge and skill set. After years of academic learnings and on-field experience, it is expected to have these qualities instilled in you:

Analytical skills

A Statistician’s main job is to analyze data in order to draw up accurate results. You will need sharp analytical skills as you are using mathematical methodologies, algorithms, models, and tools just to get results. You are going to make use of your sharp mind and accuracy over the course of time you are working as a Statistician.

Communication skills

Just like any other profession, you are required to have good communication skills because you are working in an environment that demands frequent interaction. You will be reporting to stakeholders or managers about your conclusion, and you need to be good at explaining these in a simple manner. As someone who is more familiar with the technicalities of Statistics, you have the responsibility of breaking down the complexities for the organization to understand.


Your dexterity to handle numbers plays a pivotal role in fulfilling your duties as a Statistician. Statistics is always comprised of numbers, and you can’t afford to get overwhelmed with the endless numbers you are going to handle. Your excellence in Mathematics, Algebra, Statistics, and Calculus will play an advantage in having this role.

Problem-solving skills

Statisticians are mainly tasked to identify a problem and draw up conclusions that will help resolve this. They also carry the responsibility of developing new methods that can be used widely in order to solve this. 

IT Skills

Your dexterity to handle numbers plays a pivotal role in fulfilling your duties as a Statistician. Statistics is always comprised of numbers, and you can’t afford to get overwhelmed with the endless numbers you are going to handle. Your excellence in Mathematics, Algebra, Statistics, and Calculus will play an advantage in having this role.

Writing skills

Most Statisticians conduct in-depth research to prove their point, and this includes writing the paper. Good writing skills come in handy when they are tasked to do this role. They are the ones who understand the whole data analysis, and they should be able to put things down in an elaborate manner.

Project management

Statisticians typically work independently. This requires them to be able to function on their own and meet deadlines with accuracy and efficiency. There are times that multiple projects will be handled at the same time, and you are expected to juggle everything without losing your trance.

Critical-thinking skills

Logical reasoning is an essential part of overcoming the challenges thrown at data analysis. The collection of data alone takes a chunk of your mind, so accuracy in decision-making and critical-thinking play a significant factor in fulfilling your duties as a Statistician.

To know which universities excel in providing a good foundation for Statistics, here is a list from Niche showing the 2021 top colleges and universities in the country that offer excellent bachelor’s degree programs in Statistics.

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Duke University
  • Rice University
  • Brown University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Columbia University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Chicago
  • Cornell University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • University of California – Los Angeles
  • Carleton College
  • Williams College
  • Amherst College
  • Emory University
  • Bernard College
  • Wake Forest University
  • University of California – Berkeley 
  • Univerity of Florida
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • University of Georgia
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of  Wisconsin
  • Lehigh University
  • University of Miami
  • Smith College
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
  • Purdue University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Penn State
  • University of California – Santa Barbara
  • Southern Methodist University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Brigham Young University
  • University of Washington
  • Florida State University
  • Mount Holyoke College 
  • University  of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • George Washington University
  • University of California – Davis
  • University of California – San Diego
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Michigan State University
  • University of South Florida
  • Indiana University – Bloomington
  • Michigan Technological University

Mathematics and Statistics Careers

If you have a degree in Mathematics and Statistics, you have tons of careers to pursue besides being a statistician. The degree doesn’t just center on numbers and data, but it could end you up in various sectors like health, finance, information technology, pharmaceuticals, government, insurance, and the academe.

To provide you a list, here are some of the Mathematics and Statistics careers related to becoming a statistician:


Actuaries work with enterprises to help them assess the risks of certain events or courses of action. They create policies and procedures to minimize any financial risks. Most commonly, they work in the insurance sector, making data analysis and approximating the likelihood of death, illness, injury, disability, or property loss.


Analysts study the mathematics of complex relationships. They are hired in the high tech industries, large companies, the military, and government. 


The primary role of biomathematicians is developing analysis algorithms for biological data to assist scientists in concluding. They work at high tech pharmaceuticals industries, molecular genetic research companies, and biotechnology companies.


A cryptographer makes and deciphers encryption codes with the help of mathematics. Cryptographers work at security agencies, financial institutions, or internet companies.

Environmental Mathematician

Environmental mathematicians work with a team that tackles environmental issues. They typically work for government and non-government organizations.

Math Teacher

Math teachers work in the academe to educate young minds in the subject of mathematics. They instruct and present mathematical theories, techniques, problem-solving steps, and examples. 

Mathematical Consultant

Mathematical consultants work with big companies to help solve existing complex mathematical problems. Commonly, mathematical consulting firms hire them.

Mathematical Scientist or Research Analyst

Mathematical Scientists and Research Analysts work with a team of scientists to help assist in mathematical calculations. They typically work for high tech industries, the armed forces, and government research.

Numerical Analyst

Numerical analysts use numerical procedures and computers in data analysis and physical systems. They typically work in the high tech industries, the armed forces, and the government. 

Operations Research Analyst

The primary job of operations research analysts is to provide a quantitative basis of decision making for the business. They commonly work in high tech industries, the armed forces, or the government.


Topologists study the mathematics of surfaces. They often work at oceanography, mapping, and animation companies.


How to Get a Job as a Statistician

Getting a job as a Statistician should not be a struggle for you; there is quite a demand for this role, after all. Each sector needs the help of a Statistician; you just have to set your eyes on which industry you want to be in. To help you look for career opportunities, here are some tips on where and how you can find them.

Identify the companies you want to apply for.

Just like any other job applicant seeking their next career, you should prioritize the companies you are interested in. Whatever the industry it could be, your dream companies should come first when you are applying. You will be more motivated to pursue your applications because you know how much you want to enter a particular company. Then if any unfortunate circumstances factor arise, you can opt for your other options.

Check your professional network for any possible career opportunity.

Your LinkedIn and professional organizations play a vital role in finding job opportunities from your professional connections and friends. Given that you probably have a network of professional connections willing to give you a helping hand for referrals, you can try to check in on them. Considering that most of you come from a similar field, it is way easier to find vacancies. Always keep tabs on your former colleagues, professors, classmates, mentors, and organizations to maintain professional relationships.

Search local job listings in your area through online job search.

The easiest option to find any job opportunity is browsing through career websites. These job portals offer your local job listings near you. Plus, you get to choose which particular job post is fit for you.

You can try searching on job search portals like:

Watch out for a career fair near you.

Attending a career fair is always a good idea for hopeful job applicants. This kind of event happens every once in a while in almost every location in the country. You just have to watch out for dates when there is one. Aside from countless companies offering various job positions, you will also have the opportunity to build some connections with professionals you will meet there.

To keep yourself updated in the pre-scheduled dates of career fairs near you are, here are some websites you can check out:

Learn About Geographic and Location Pay Differentials

A Statistician’s annual median wage in 2019 was $91,160. That’s quite impressive in the labor force. However, if you want to know how much you could earn on your state, check out this table showing the 2019 annual wage of Statisticians in each state as reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

State2019 Mean Annual Wage
New Jersey$111,410
North Carolina$103,330
Rhode Island$97,410
New York$95,400
State2019 Mean Annual Wage
West Virginia$82,630
New Mexico$82,400
New Hampshire$76,700
North Dakota$73,640
South Carolina$68,940

Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Make Your Resume Stand Out

A well-crafted resume always reflects how you take your application seriously. You want to impress your potential employer, so you need to make the extra effort to polish what’s in your resume. After all, it is the first thing an employer will see—you have to make sure it is worth their time.

To help you craft a resume that strikes a good impression, here are some pointers to help you:

1. Keep everything brief.

Your resume is not an essay of your professional experiences and achievements. In as short as 6 seconds, an impression can be made just by scanning your resume. And that’s a fact. So keep everything precise as you don’t want your resume looking messy and chunky. 

When you share some additional support to your credentials, remember to keep them as brief as possible. Give an ample amount of details and avoid stating unnecessary things. 

2. Provide a sharp career objective.

At the beginning of every resume, there is always a quick introduction of who you are, what you do, and where you see yourself working. Ensure that you provide all this information in a short but remarkable way. This is your introduction, so impress them as early as now.  

A three-sentence paragraph is sufficient to supply the essential information about you. Always include what your desired position is and the kind of environment you are seeking to work for.

3. Enumerate timelines in reverse-chronological.

You are going to list a lot of timelines in your resume which include your experiences, internships, and educational attainment. Remember when enumerating these items in a timeline, always start with the latest ones. This way, you are showing to your potential employer your most recent career pursuits and not your oldest activities. It cannot be the other way around as anyone who will read your credentials will lose interest. 

4. Showcase your certifications garnered. 

As a Statistician, it always pays to have a couple of certifications you can showcase to prove your expertise. You are not required to take any licenses, but the fact that you have taken the time to earn licenses appeal to your potential employer. 

Here are some of the certifications a Statistician in his career:

  • Certified Biometrics Professional
  • Fellow in the Casualty Actuarial Society
  • IBM Certified Specialist – SPSS Statistics Level 1 v2
  • ACCA
  • Certified Fraud Analyst
  • Certified Analytics Professional
  • Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences
  • Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst
  • EMC Proven Professional Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA)
  • IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics
  • Open Certified Data Scientist
  • SAS Certified Data Scientist Using SAS 9

5. Include your professional affiliations.

As a working professional, you tend to join professional organizations. Being an active member of such affiliations promotes career growth and provides several exclusive opportunities. Make it a practice to be a part of an organization that specializes in your field.To enumerate some of those organizations, here is a list of them:

  • American Statistical Association
  • Institute of Mathematical Statistics
  • American Mathematical Society
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • NSF Section for Mathematics and Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical Association of America
  • National Council of Teachers in Mathematics

Ace Your Statistician Interview

And you are down to the last step of landing the role! You probably have encountered too many interviews already, but here we are to give you a refresher of some technical questions that can be asked to you. 

1. What is the process of data analysis?

You are being asked a question about your main responsibility. Any interviewer expects your knowledge of the responsibilities you are going to have. This way, they can evaluate how much you know about it as early as now.

To deliver an impressive answer, just provide your interviewer a precise but sharp overview of what data analysis is. You can say data analysis includes the processes of collection, cleaning, interpretation, transformation, and modeling of data in gathering insights and generating reports. You can break down the processes and briefly discuss what happens in each step, but don’t take too long. Just make it short but enough to demonstrate your adeptness of the task.

2. Enumerate some statistical methods or techniques used in data analysis?

As a Statistician, this should not be a no-brainer for you. You have studied Statistics for quite some time, and this question demands an answer you have probably studied way back in your first year at the academy.

This should be easy for you—don’t brag, but just be confident in naming and explaining briefly what they are. The answer will be the mean or the average, median or the middle number of all the numbers, mode or the most repetitive number on the sets, standard deviation or how much the data is spread out, and regression or the measure of the relationships in variables. 

3. What are the methods in sampling?

As a part of the collection of data, you are going to do a lot of sampling—the selection of the unbiased participants in your study. This, again, is an essential part of gathering your data. You shall be able to name a few.

There are four methods of sampling, and these include random, system or picking every kth member of the given population, cluster or when the population is in groups, and stratified or the sample from a group sampling.

4. What was the largest data you have handled? How did you process it? 

You mostly have some of your past studies listed down on your resume. Make that a guide to walk through your interviewer in your previous undertakings.

Provide your interviewer a quick overview of what you have handled and make sure to highlight your best achievements. Name the largest project you’ve had and share how much worthy of your efforts it was. 

5. Share a time when you have made a bad prediction or analysis. Why did it occur?

A good Statistician recognizes his own mistakes. You are not perfect, there will be lapses on your work, and that’s pretty normal. You just have to admit to your interviewer that in some unfortunate cases, you can be vulnerable to mistakes, too.

This is a test of honesty and accountability. All of us make mistakes—your interviewer just wants to know how you take accountability. So just share a story of failure and provide the lesson you have learned from it.

These are just some of the questions that could be thrown your way. There are still tons out there that you should be prepared for. Just remember to wear your confidence and exude professionalism during the interview. This is the last step to finally securing the spot, just give it your all and be yourself.

Top Online Courses for Aspiring Statisticians

Sharpen your skills in statistics by taking these top online courses

Here are some of Skill Success’ best online course to help you get started on your way to become a Statistician:

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