Mathematicians and Statisticians: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
In private industry, mathematicians typically need an advanced degree, either a master’s degree or a doctorate. For jobs with the federal government, candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or significant coursework in mathematics.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 33% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Median pay: How much do Mathematicians and Statisticians make?
$81,950 Annual Salary
$39.40 per hour

Mathematicians and statisticians analyze data and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.

What do Mathematicians and Statisticians do?

Mathematicians and statisticians typically do the following:

  • Develop new mathematical rules, theories, and concepts in areas such as algebra and geometry
  • Decide what data are needed to answer specific questions or problems
  • Apply mathematical theories and techniques to solve practical problems in business, engineering, the sciences, and other fields
  • Design surveys, experiments, or opinion polls to collect data 
  • Develop mathematical or statistical models to analyze data
  • Interpret data and report conclusions drawn from their analyses
  • Use data analysis to support and improve business decisions

Mathematicians and statisticians apply theories and techniques, such as mathematical or statistical modeling, to solve practical problems. Typically, they work with individuals in other occupations to solve these problems. For example, they may work with chemists, materials scientists, and chemical engineers to analyze the effectiveness of new drugs. Others may work with industrial designers to study the aerodynamic characteristics of new automobiles.

To work on these problems, mathematicians and statisticians must first collect data. Statisticians design surveys, questionnaires, experiments, and opinion polls to collect the data they need. Surveys may be mailed, conducted over the phone, collected online, or gathered through some other means.

Some surveys, such as the U.S. census, include data from nearly everyone. For most surveys and opinion polls, however, statisticians use a sampling method to collect data from some people in a particular group. Statisticians determine the type and size of the sample to be surveyed or polled.

After the data are collected, mathematicians and statisticians use specialized statistical software to analyze data. In their analyses, mathematicians and statisticians identify trends and relationships within the data. They also conduct tests to determine the data’s validity and to account for high survey nonresponse rates or sampling error. Some may help create new software to analyze data more accurately and efficiently.

Mathematicians and statisticians present the findings from their analyses and discuss the data’s limitations in order to prevent inaccurate conclusions from being drawn. They may present written reports, tables, charts, and graphs to other team members and to clients.

Mathematicians and statisticians work in many fields, such as education, marketing, psychology, sports, or any other field that requires the collection and analysis of data. In particular, government, healthcare, and research and development companies employ many statisticians.

Careers for Mathematicians and Statisticians

  • Algebraists
  • Analytical statisticians
  • Applied statisticians
  • Biometricians
  • Biostatisticians
  • Cipher experts
  • Colleges and universities.
  • Cryptanalysts
  • Cryptographers
  • Cryptographic vulnerability analysts
  • Cryptologists
  • Environmental statisticians
  • Geometricians
  • Government.
  • Healthcare. 
  • Mathematical statisticians
  • Research and development.
  • Research biostatisticians
  • Sampling experts
  • Statistical analysts
  • Statistical reporting analysts
  • Statisticians
  • Survey statisticians
  • Time study statisticians

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