Your Guide to a Career as a Statistician—What to Expect

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Interested in a career as a statistician? Learn more about the role, education requirements, salary range, career outlook, and more right here.

[Featured Image]:  A male and a female analyzing statistics from a series of tables and graphs.

A statistician career may be an option if you’re analytical and enjoy using numbers and data to solve problems. Statisticians determine the data a company will need to solve a problem by applying mathematical theories. 

In many cases, they also source the data for companies by designing surveys, questionnaires, experiments, and polls. Statisticians then use this data to help solve a problem. Essentially, they make numbers make sense for business stakeholders.

When considering a statistician career, gaining a base-level understanding of what they do, the education requirements, where they work, potential salary, and more can help you determine if it's the right career choice. This guide can help you learn more about becoming a statistician. 

What does a statistician do?

A statistician applies statistical methods and models to a problem to digest data and develop solutions. As a statistician, you would analyze and interpret data to help businesses with important decisions, problems, and logistical scenarios. Statisticians may use probability, calculus, mathematical modelling, and statistical analysis. 

Why is the role of a statistician important?

Statisticians offer evidence to back important decisions, solutions to problems, or projections, using analytical skills to spot issues with marketing efficacy, project sales over the upcoming quarter, stock market trends, and more. As a statistician, you would collect and analyze data to solve problems in every facet of the industry. 

What are the primary duties and responsibilities of a statistician?

Statisticians collect data in an organized and ethical fashion. You would do so through polls or surveys, but you must consider bias and other factors when designing these data-collection tools. 

You'll then analyze the data to find trends and relationships, present these findings comprehensively, and communicate them to your superiors. You must also explain your process of discovering these findings and what they mean to the business.

What qualifications and certifications are required to become a statistician?

In most cases, a statistician will need a master’s degree. However, some companies will hire an entry-level statistician with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, statistics, or a related field. In Canada, it is a minimum requirement to have a bachelor’s degree to attain a statistician job. If you are interested in pursuing a research-intensive position it is required that you complete a doctoral degree (PhD). Statisticians must have strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills. 

Statisticians don’t need a professional certificate, but the Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) offers two levels of accreditations: Professional Statistician (P.Stat.) and Associate Statistician (A.Stat.).

What skills are needed to work as a statistician?

Statisticians need skills in mathematics, computers, communications, and analytics. You will also need industry awareness and knowledge and the ability to work on a team and collaborate with others. Companies place a high value on problem solvers who are skilled in their technical practices and communicate effectively. 

What fields do statisticians work in?

Statisticians work in education, marketing, psychology, sports, and other fields that require statistical backing. Government, health care, and research industries hire many statisticians due to the high value of data and projections.

What do statisticians earn?

According to Glassdoor, he average annual salary for a statistician in Canada is $77,723 as of February 2024 [1]. Keep in mind that salaries may be influenced by factors like industry, years of experience, location, and more. 

The Government of Canada expects significant growth for statisticians, as it anticipates a 27 per cent rise in jobs between 2019 and 2028. It expects about 4,200 open positions annually in this field [2]. 

Career progression

The more experience you have in the field, the more likely you will gain opportunities to advance into senior or executive roles. Generally, those with master’s degrees or doctorates will have more chances to ascend to higher positions. 

As you work in an organization and become more recognized as a crucial team member and stats expert, you may also move into higher roles. 

Pursuing higher education and success in the field are two ways to move higher. Plus, your pay grade will usually grow as your role increases. 

Get started

Statistics can be a rewarding career if you enjoy using numbers and mathematics to solve problems and developing surveys to source data. Explore an Introduction to Statistics course from Stanford University on Coursera to help you get a better feel for a career in this field. If you prefer something more advanced, an Advanced Statistics for Data Science course offered by John Hopkins University can help you immerse yourself in the life of a statistician.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Statistician Salaries in Canada,,6_IN3_KO7,19.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed February 21, 2024.

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