Posted on Wednesday, 1st February 2017 by

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Statisticians know how important data is and how to use it wisely. Data and its applications are essential aspects in all agencies and businesses alike.

The federal government employs 3,127 statisticians of which 1 works overseas. The largest employer is Health and Human Services with 565 followed by the Department of Commerce with 381 and the Department of Agriculture with 148. All cabinet level agencies, except for the State Department, hire in this group. There are also opportunities for employment at some large independent agencies such as the EPA that employs 24 mathematical statisticians.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.
  • Salary is $63,772.00 to $99,296.00 per year.

Job Listings

Occupational Profile

According to  the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) published by the Department of Labor 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 sampling to collect data from some people in a particular group. Statisticians determine the type and size of the sample to be surveyed or polled.

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

Statisticians present the findings from their analyses and discuss the data’s limitations to prevent inaccurate conclusions from being drawn. They may present written reports, tables, charts, and graphs to other team members and to clients. Statisticians also recommend how to improve the design of future surveys or experiments.

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.

Government. Statisticians working in government develop and analyze surveys that collect a variety of data, including unemployment rates, wages, and other estimates pertaining to jobs and workers. Other statisticians help to figure out the average level of pesticides in drinking water, the number of endangered species living in a particular area, or the number of people who have a certain disease.

Some statisticians employed by the federal government are known as mathematical statisticians.

HealthcareStatisticians known as biostatisticians or biometricians work in pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies, or hospitals. They may design studies to test whether drugs successfully treat diseases or medical conditions. They may also help identify the sources of outbreaks of illnesses in humans and animals.

Research and development. Statisticians design experiments for product testing and development. For instance, they may help design experiments to see how car engines perform when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Statisticians may also help develop marketing strategies and prices for consumer goods.

Statisticians often collaborate with other occupations in the design and conduct of the research.

Some people with a degree in statistics or who collect and analyze statistical data may not be formally known as statisticians. Instead, they may work in related fields and professions. In some industries, for example, they may be known as quantitative analysts, market research analysts, data analysts, or data scientists.

Required Skills

Analytical skills. Statisticians use statistical techniques and models to analyze large amounts of data. They must determine the appropriate software packages and understand computer programming languages to design and develop new techniques and models. They must also be precise and accurate in their analyses.

Communication skills. Statisticians often work with, and propose solutions to, people who do not have extensive knowledge of mathematics or statistics. They must be able to present statistical information and ideas so that others will understand.

Math skills. Statisticians use statistics, calculus, and linear algebra to develop their models and analyses.

Problem-solving skills. Statisticians must develop techniques to overcome problems in data collection and analysis, such as high nonresponsive rates, so that they can draw meaningful conclusions.


  • Initiate investigations based on observations in program assignment areas.
  • Select and modify statistical techniques and methods to produce accurate and timely data.
  • Analyze findings, evaluate statistical limitations of data, and specifies the range of logical possible explanations.
  • Prepare documentation of procedures, findings, and problems encountered with recommendations.
  • Plan procedures for collecting and tabulating data, recommends new or improved methods and present findings.

GS-1530 Statisticians (Excerpted from a USAJobs job announcement)

Basic Requirements:

  • Degree: that included 15 semester hours in statistics (or in mathematics and statistics, provided at least 6 semester hours were in statistics), and 9 additional semester hours in one or more of the following: physical or biological sciences, medicine, education, or engineering; or in the social sciences including demography, history, economics, social welfare, geography, international relations, social or cultural anthropology, health sociology, political science, public administration, psychology, etc. Credit toward meeting statistical course requirements should be given for courses in which 50 percent of the course content appears to be statistical methods, e.g., courses that included studies in research methods in psychology or economics such as tests and measurements or business cycles, or courses in methods of processing mass statistical data such as tabulating methods or electronic data processing.
  • Combination of education and experience — The experience should have included a full range of professional statistical work such as (a) sampling, (b) collecting, computing, and analyzing statistical data, and (c) applying statistical techniques such as measurement of central tendency, dispersion, skewness, sampling error, simple and multiple correlation, analysis of variance, and tests of significance.

Additional Requirements 

  • You have had at least one year of professional work experience, equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal Service, where your analytical approaches and results were very generally reviewed for technical and professional adequacy.
  • Your assignments required that you select and adapt standard statistical techniques from text books, handbooks, or other professional literature for a variety of problems when related precedents were available.

Your assignments included work in all of the following areas:

  1. designing and developing specifications for data collection and data processing requirements, operating procedures, training materials, and operational schedules for statistical studies and surveys.
  2. selecting and applying advanced statistical analysis to socio/economic or demographic data, and developing professional papers or reports on such data; or you have had at least one year of experience supervising field data collection activities in large scale statistical surveys or studies.

When applying for a GS-12 position these additional requirements apply:

  • You had at least one year of professional work experience, equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal Service, where your work was generally reviewed only for adherence to accepted professional standards.
  • Your assignments regularly required that you develop solutions to difficult statistical or analytical problems that did not have readily available precedents, establish analytical methodology, design sampling and estimation procedures for surveys, document work results and findings, and prepare oral and written technical reports.

Your assignments included responsibility for all of the following:

  1. Independently leading a team to plan a statistical survey or study,
  2. Developing survey and data collection specifications,
  3. Establishing time schedules for various phases of survey operations,
  4. Coordinating the accomplishment and management of the various phases of the study or survey.
  5. Making presentations and planning the analysis of the socioeconomic or demographic data developed by the survey or study.

The statistician (GS-1530) position is utilized throughout government and in many areas.

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

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