How to become a Statistician

Statisticians design and apply statistical techniques for creating, collecting and analysing data to draw conclusions, inform decision-making and direct policy within areas such as science, technology, medicine, education, business, finance and government.

Personal requirements for a Statistician

  • Aptitude for analysis and research
  • Good at mathematics
  • Good reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team

Education & Training for a Statistician

To become a statistician you usually have to study mathematics, econometrics or statistics at university. These areas of study may be undertaken within a mathematics, actuarial studies, arts, business, commerce, computer science, economics or science degree, depending on the mathematical and statistical emphasis of subjects taken. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Duties & Tasks of a Statistician

Statisticians:

  • Define precisely what is to be measured and decide which information to collect and from where
  • Determine the size of the sample to be tested and how the sample will be selected
  • Decide on the best method of collecting the information, whether by mail-out of questionnaires, experiments or survey interviews (telephone or face-to-face), and create associated measurement tools
  • Ensure measurement resources are used efficiently
  • Interpret data and produce relevant statistics to describe or infer particular trends and patterns
  • Model and predict trends for phenomena such as accidents, pollution, disease outbreaks and economic trends
  • Check the validity and reliability of statistical models used in applications
  • Fit models using statistical computing environments and packages and develop, code and run statistical computer programs
  • Design experiments and trials to test new methods and products
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the obtained information, represent data graphically and report findings.

Tasks

  • Specifies the data to be collected, and the methodology to be used in collection and analysis..
  • Analyses and interprets data and produces relevant statistics to describe and infer particular trends and patterns..
  • Applies models to experimental observations, and adjusts and recasts the models..
  • Liaises with management and clients to determine the subject or area to be surveyed or examined..
  • Formulates mathematical models to simulate processes..
  • Uses numerical analysis methods to develop algorithms and perform computations..
  • Evaluates and describes the reliability and utility of source information..

Working conditions for a Statistician

Statisticians may work by themselves, but they usually work in a team. The team may include specialists from various fields, as well as clerical and computing staff involved in data collection and analysis.


Employment Opportunities for a Statistician

Statisticians are employed in a wide variety of fields, including financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, large industries and major corporations. They also work in federal government departments, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Depending on individual interests, statisticians work within both private and public sectors. Some work as statistical consultants to medical facilities (both research and clinical) and financial services organisations, such as superannuation funds, managed funds or major industries. It is also possible to find work with non-government organisations and research institutes. Most statisticians work in major cities. Advancement to supervisory and higher management positions is possible for experienced and well-qualified statisticians.


Specializations

Biostatistician

A biostatistician studies links between biological problems and their causes in humans, animals, agriculture and botany. They usually work in medical research facilities, universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies or government health departments, and use statistical models to investigate risk factors for health problems.

Mathematical Statistician

A mathematical statistician develops new statistical theories, modelling approaches and statistical methodologies in a broad variety of contexts.

Applied Statistician

An applied statistician analyses data from a variety of sources, including designed experiments and observational studies, and writes statistical programmes. Applications include health, medicine, education, industry, government, finance and business.

Epidemiologist

An epidemiologist identifies and studies factors which influence the frequency and distribution of diseases and other health-related events within a population.

Statistician

Statisticians design and apply statistical techniques for creating, collecting and analysing data to draw conclusions, inform decision-making and direct policy within areas such as science, technology, medicine, education, business, finance and government.

Epidemiologist

An epidemiologist identifies and studies factors which influence the frequency and distribution of diseases and other health-related events within a population.

  • Average age
    Average age
    39 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    52% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    41 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,060
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    72% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    3,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 15.1%
    NSW: 27.1%
    NT: 1.0%
    QLD: 14.1%
    SA: 8.2%
    TAS: 2.7%
    VIC: 22.1%
    WA: 9.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.5%
    20-24: 5.5%
    25-34: 29.8%
    35-44: 29.2%
    45-54: 19.7%
    55-59: 7.5%
    60-64: 4.8%
    65 and Over: 3%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 2.8%
    Bachelor degree: 34.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 2.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 52.3%
    Year 10 and below: 0.8%
    Year 11: 0.7%
    Year 12: 6.3%
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