What Is a Statistician? Duties, Salary, and More

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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.

Statisticians, also called statistics officers, are data analytics experts who compile and analyse statistical data to solve problems for businesses, government organisations, and other institutions.

In their daily work, statisticians determine the data a company needs to solve a problem and then apply mathematical theories to turn the data into a solution. In many cases, they also source the data for companies by designing surveys, questionnaires, experiments, and polls.

If you're analytical and enjoy using numbers and data to solve problems, consider a career as a statistician.

In this article, you'll learn more about what you can expect from a career as a statistician, including their duties, potential salary, and work environment. Finally, you'll find suggested courses to help you learn the in-demand skills needed to excel in the field.

What does a statistician do?

A statistician applies statistical methods and models to specific problems to develop informed solutions. As a statistician, you'll analyse and interpret data to help businesses with important decisions, problems, and logistical scenarios. As a result, statisticians often use probability, calculus, mathematical modelling, and statistical analysis. 

Primary duties and responsibilities

Statisticians collect data in an organised 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 analyse 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.

Fields and industries

Statisticians work in education, marketing, psychology, sports, and other fields that require statistical backing. Due to the high value of data and projections, the government, health care, and research industries hire many statisticians. In the UK, major employers include the Office for National Statistics, NHS, UK Universities, and Government Services.

Why are statisticians important?

Statisticians offer evidence to support important decisions, solutions, or projections, using analytical skills to perform such tasks as spotting issues with marketing efficacy, projecting sales over the upcoming quarter, identifying stock market trends, and more.

As a statistician, you'll collect and analyse data to solve problems in every facet for various employers, from privately owned businesses to non-profit organisations. 


Statistician salary

According to Glassdoor, statisticians earn a higher-than-average annual wage, an average of £37,067 in the UK [1]. According to the National Careers Service, statisticians typically expect salaries ranging from £23,000 to £62,000 [2]. While this is a wide range, salaries vary greatly depending on experience, location, and job responsibilities.

How to become a statistician

To become a statistician, you'll need to gain the right credentials, possess critical job skills, and work to stand out from the crowded applicant pool to pique employers' interests. Here are some of the steps you'll likely take as you’re working to become a statistician:

1. Gain the right credentials.

In most cases, a statistician will need a postgraduate degree in statistics, mathematics, psychology, epidemiology, operational research, economics, or a related field. While a master’s degree is generally sufficient, some positions in finance or the pharmaceutical industry may seek candidates with a doctorate. However, some companies will hire an entry-level statistician with a bachelor’s degree in similar areas and a strong demonstration of appropriate skills. 

Once you complete your degree, you can join the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Civil Service Fast Stream programme. This programme is designed to help graduates with related experience enter a career as a statistical officer. 

In some cases, earning a T level qualification in a related area like Digital Business Services or completing an advanced apprenticeship can provide a launching point to gain experience and enter an entry-level statistics-based role. 

2. Develop your skills.

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. 

3. Consider continuing education.

Statisticians don’t need a professional certificate, but the Royal Statistical Society offers professional qualifications and ongoing courses to help statisticians build their skills and advance in their field. This is also an opportunity to develop your network and learn from professionals in your area. You will need a statistics or a statistics-related degree to become a member. 

Career progression

The more experience you have in the field, the more likely you will grow in your statistician career and potentially advance to senior or executive roles. Generally, those with master’s degrees or doctorates will have more opportunities to ascend to higher positions. 

As you work in an organisation and become more recognised as a crucial team member and stats expert, you may also move into higher roles. Learning in-demand skills like artificial intelligence can also help you expand your opportunities.

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

Get started with Coursera.

Statistics can be a rewarding career if you enjoy using numbers and mathematics to solve problems and developing surveys to source data. If you're excited about a career in the field, consider taking a cost-effective, flexible course on Coursera.

In Stanford's Introduction to Statistics Course on Coursera, you'll learn statistical thinking concepts essential for learning from data and communicating insights. In Johns Hopkins' Advanced Statistics for Data Science Specialisation, you'll familiarise yourself with fundamental concepts in probability and statistics, data analysis, and linear models for Data Science.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Statistician Salaries in the United Kingdom, https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/uk-statistician-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN2_KO3,15.htm?clickSource=searchBtn.” Accessed June 6, 2024.

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