How to Become a Statistician
Statistician Careers & Degrees

If you’re good at math and are interested in science then you might like to become a statistician.

Statisticians apply the principles of mathematics to practical fields such as research or data collections.

Statisticians are found working in many different fields.

Scientific research, market research, and opinion polling are just a few of the areas their mathematical know-how can be found hard at work.

Without the help of statisticians, many advances in the military, medicine, psychology, and education would not have been made possible.

About one third of statisticians are employed by the government.

Many others work in medicine, engineering, or other fields of research.

To become a statistician you will need some postgraduate education.

Education Requirements to Become a Statistician

If you’re in high school and would like to become a statistician, then you should choose subjects including mathematics, computer science, and other electives within science.

At college, a good choice is a four year statistics degree, biostatistics, or advanced mathematics degree.

This will allow you to take a job with the federal government or other fields as a statistician.

It’s important to note however, that most jobs in statistics require a masters degree.

After you complete your undergraduate degree, you can go on to complete a masters or a PhD in statistics.

Those with an undergraduate degree in a different area, such as biology or psychology, would also be eligible for these programs.

A masters degree takes between two and three years to complete, while a doctorate take around three to four years.

A masters degree in statistics will qualify you for many jobs in the private sector, as well as in government.

A PhD will qualify you for a role in academia or advanced research.

Strong computer skills are also required when you become a statistician.

It’s likely that you will gain these skills while you are at college, however, if you feel you need extra help in this area then you might like to take a short course, or an elective subject in computer science.

Statistician Job Description

Statisticians work in many different industries to provide data collection and analysis.

Statisticians work to put together experiments and research projects, or they may also design surveys and questionnaires.

They then use mathematics to analyze results and form reports by taking raw data and organizing it to be more clear and succinct.

This information is used by governments and business to interpret data and make decisions.

When you become a statistician, you will specialize in a particular field.

Some work within medicine to conduct research into new treatments and drugs, while others work in business or market research, the military, or engineering.

Statisticians have specialized knowledge of their industry, and they ways that mathematics can be applied in that area.

Some of the tasks of a statistician include:

  • Designing surveys, questionnaires, or experiments to collect data
  • Designing mathematical models to interpret data
  • Analyzing raw data
  • Creating reports of results
  • Making recommendations based on findings
  • Using computer systems based on mathematics

Statistician Salary and Career Path

When you become a statistician, your career path will depend on your education.

Those with a bachelors degree will find employment within government, while a masters degree is required for most jobs in the private sector.

A doctorate is needed for advanced research positions or to work in a college.

Many statisticians study part-time while working to gain postgraduate qualifications.

With experience, you can expect to move on to positions with more responsibility.

Some move on to supervisory roles, and others become teachers at college, while some move into different areas of research.

The median wage for a statistician is $72,000 a year, but the top 10% of earners made over $117,000 a year.

Those working in government tend to earn a higher salary than those in the private sector.

For more information on a career in statistics, take a look at the American Statistical Association website.

Some similar roles to that of statistician that you might be interested in include:

  • Mathematician
  • College professor
  • Math teacher
  • Computer scientist
  • Engineer
  • Economist
  • Financial analyst
  • Market researcher

If you have strong mathematical skills and would like a role where you can apply them to real world situations, then you might like to become a statistician.

Job prospects are good with a secure role and good salary available for successful candidates.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Arkansas- NA -
District of Columbia$104,950
Nevada- NA -
New Hampshire$76,700
New Jersey$111,410
New Mexico$82,400
New York$95,400
North Carolina$103,330
North Dakota$73,640
Rhode Island$97,410
South Carolina$68,940
West Virginia$82,630
Wyoming- NA -
Puerto Rico$35,910

The top earning state in the field is Massachusetts, where the average salary is $119,620.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Massachusetts - $119,620
New Jersey - $111,410
Idaho - $111,000
California - $110,240
Maryland - $108,660
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Statisticians, OCC Code 15-2041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a statistician do?

Statisticians analyze and interpret data by using mathematical techniques.

The typical duties of a statistician include determining the problems to be addressed; deciding what data would be needed; determining the suitable methods for finding and collecting the necessary data; designing opinion polls and surveys; analyzing the data collected; reporting conclusions, and so on.

In a nutshell, statisticians are responsible for collecting data through opinion polls, experiments, and surveys that have been created by them.

At times, the professionals need to collect data from a certain group of people; however, there are surveys that might include practically every citizen (like the national census, for example).

A statistician also develops the questionnaire and instructs the workers who would have to collect the data.

QuestionHow much do statisticians make?

On average, a statistician makes a little less than $88.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $53.000 and $139.000 annually.

Entry-level statisticians can earn around $25.50 per hour; while top-level professionals that have plenty of experience can make $67 per hour.

The statisticians that work in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey have the highest average salaries.

How much you get paid would certainly depend on the geographical location and the company that you have decided to work for.

Statisticians working for Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers, for example, earn around $110.000 per year.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a statistician?

Of course, significant training in mathematics is exactly what statisticians will need.

There are plenty of undergraduate programs in statistics that would be helpful for an aspiring statistician.

Most of the undergraduate degrees in public universities cost around $26.000.

Statisticians should also have a strong background in computer science.

The average cost for a bachelor’s program in computer science is about $42.000 per year.

QuestionWhat is the demand for statisticians?

Between 2016 and 2026, the statistician job market is expected to grow by 33.9% in the United States, which is a lot higher than the national average.

Statisticians will be in high demand as there will be a lot of new products, programs, and services emerging in the near future and the creators need to know what response to expect from the audience.

Certainly, those statisticians that have a degree and plenty of experience will have higher chances of getting the best jobs.

Bear in mind that the industry is concentrated in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a statistician?

An associate degree program will take you two years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree would require 4 years of your time.

Whether you decide to earn a degree in statistics, mathematics or computer science – it’s up to you, as all these things will be extremely helpful in the future profession.

In case you want to work with pharmaceutical or agricultural products, a background in chemistry or biology would come in handy.

Find a Program