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Biostatistician Job Duties
A biostatistician is a statistician who applies statistics to a number of topics in biology, many of which have an effect on public health. Biostatisticians will create surveys, experiments and opinion polls to collect important data related to public health. For many of the surveys and polls that they create, biostatisticians collect data from particular people in an at-risk area to some type of disease.
Biostatisticians will create questionnaires to collect the public health information that they need from certain populations. The data is then analyzed, and the biostatistician will figure out averages, reliability and various other aspects of the data that are vital to public health.
Many biostatisticians work in pharmaceutical companies, government agencies focused on public health, and also in medical centers. With your master’s degree in public health, you might work in a hospital or a public agency to determine the source of illness outbreaks.
Biostatistics is simply a related branch of statistics that focuses on public health. Some of the other common duties of statisticians include:
- Determine what problems or questions need to be studied
- Determine what kind of data is needed to address the identified questions
- Determine how to collect the needed data
- Create surveys and experiments to collect the needed data
- Analyze the collected data
- Report conclusions to authorities and decision makers
Biostatistician Career & Salary Outlook
The job market for biostatisicians is expected to grow about 15% in the next 10 years. This is about average when compared with other professions. Growth will occur from the wider use of effective statistical analyses to make logical and informed decisions. The wider availability of data due to the the Internet may also create new areas that can be more effectively studied.
Biostatisicans are working largely in public health. Given the fact that there is a strong effort by governments to rein in spending on health care, it is possible that this subcategory of statistics may see a larger amount of job growth in the future.
More government agencies are generally employing more statisticians to provide better and more accurate data upon which to make informed policy decisions. Biostatisticians will bee needed in the life sciences and possibly in engineering, and they will be more needed in pharmaceuticals. More pharmaceutical firms are doing research and conducting clinical research, so biostatisticians are needed to do clinical trials. These professionals are needed to assist companies in getting approval to sell their drugs in the US.
The median salary for statisticians in 2010 was a healthy $72,800. About 10% earned over $119,000. Many professionals with a background in statistics and a master’s of public health find that they usually are in the top of the wage category. This is especially the case after a few years of experience with the MPH. See more from the Best Public Health Careers list.
Job Outlook for Biostatisticians
Job possibilities for biostatisticians, and statisticians generally, should be good. There will be an increase of about 3,500 jobs in the field from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you have a master’s degree in public health, you should see the strongest demand.
Statisticians who work in the federal government seem to enjoy an especially high salary, with a median wage of almost $95,000 per year.
Biostatistician Education and Training
To become a biostatistician, you will first need to have a bachelor’s degree in statistics, then you should get your master’s degree in public health. You should focus much of your studies when possible on the life sciences and public health. You also will be benefited if you have a good background in computers; statisticians really extensively on computer programs to do a great deal of their work. A good background in biology, chemistry and other sciences is also very useful. See 10 Best MPH Programs Online.