Mathematicians and Statisticians

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Mathematicians and statisticians analyze data and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help solve problems.

Work Environment: Many mathematicians and statisticians work in the federal government and in private science and engineering research companies. They may work on teams with engineers, scientists, and other professionals.

How to Become One: Mathematicians and statisticians typically need at least a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics. However, some positions are available to those with a bachelor’s degree.

Salary: The median annual wage for mathematicians is $101,900. The median annual wage for statisticians si $87,780.

Job Outlook: Overall employment of mathematicians and statisticians is projected to grow 30 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Businesses will need these workers to analyze the increasing volume of digital and electronic data.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of mathematicians and statisticians with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a mathematician or statistician with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Mathematician Jobs

  • Computational Mathematician - Clear Demand - ,

    Clear Demand has an immediate opening for a Computational Mathematician located in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is a permanent position with tremendous potential for growth. We are looking to hire a ...

  • Interdisciplinary Operations Research Analyst/Mathematician/Computer Scientist - Defense Threat Reduction Agency - Fort Belvoir, VA

    Interdisciplinary Operations Research Analyst/ Mathematician /Computer Scientist ===== Department of Defense Defense Threat Reduction Agency Research and Development Directorate Overview ...

  • Mathematics Instructor (Reg FT 10 month, with benefits) - Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

    Mathematics Instructor (Reg FT 10 month, with benefits) Position Title: Mathematics Instructor (Reg FT 10 month, with benefits) Department: Mathematics Campus : South Campus Additional Information

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Top 3 Statistician Jobs

  • Senior Statistical Programmer - Jazz Pharma - Philadelphia, PA

    Good knowledge of statistics methods such as GLM, Survival Analysis and the drug development process * Experience as a lead programmer for a project and/or compound. * Ability to balance and ...

  • Statistician - KS&R - ,

    D. in statistics , mathematics, or related field, at least two years marketing research experience; with supplier-side experience preferred, creative problem solving capabilities to collaborate on new ...

  • Statistician (DEU-LS) - Geological Survey - Reston, VA

    Statistician (DEU-LS) ===== Department of the Interior Geological Survey Overview ----- * ##### Open & closing dates 09/19/2019 to 10/04/2019 * ##### Service Competitive * ##### Pay scale & grade GS ...

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What Mathematicians and Statisticians Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Mathematicians and Statisticians

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.

Government. Mathematicians and 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. Others 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.

Healthcare. Statisticians 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. Mathematicians and 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. Some may analyze consumer data to help develop marketing strategies and prices for consumer goods.

Colleges and universities. Mathematicians and statisticians working in a postsecondary education institution may study theoretical or abstract concepts in mathematics or statistics. They identify, research, and resolve unexplained issues in mathematics and are concerned primarily with exploring new mathematical or statistical theories to increase knowledge and understanding about the field.

However, the mathematician occupation is a relatively small one, and many people with a degree in mathematics or who develop mathematical theories and models may not be formally known as mathematicians. Instead, they work in related fields and professions. In the computer systems design and related services industries, for example, they may be known as computer programmers or systems analysts. In finance, they may be known as quantitative analysts. Other industries may refer to them as data scientists or data analysts.

Computer and information research scientists, physicists and astronomers, economists, actuaries, operations research analysts, engineers, and many other occupations also use mathematics extensively.

Many people with a Ph.D. in mathematics, particularly theoretical mathematics, work as postsecondary teachers in education institutions. They usually have a mix of teaching and research responsibilities. Some may conduct individual research or collaborate with other professors or mathematicians. Collaborators may work together at the same institution or from different locations.

Work Environment for Mathematicians and Statisticians[About this section] [To Top]

Mathematicians hold about 2,900 jobs. The largest employers of mathematicians are as follows:

Federal government 40%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 19%
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 15%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 5%

Statisticians hold about 44,400 jobs. The largest employers of statisticians are as follows:

Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 12%
Federal government 11%
Healthcare and social assistance 10%
Insurance carriers and related activities 8%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 7%

Mathematicians and statisticians typically work in offices. They also may work on teams with engineers, scientists, and other professionals.

Mathematician and Statistician Work Schedules

Most mathematicians and statisticians work full time. Deadlines and last-minute requests for data or analysis may require overtime. In addition, these workers may travel to attend seminars and conferences.

How to Become a Mathematician or Statistician[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Mathematicians and Statisticians near you!

Mathematicians and statisticians typically need at least a master's degree in mathematics or statistics. However, some positions are available to those with a bachelor's degree.

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Education for Mathematicians and Statisticians

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.

Most colleges and universities offer a bachelor's degree in mathematics. Courses usually include calculus, differential equations, and linear and abstract algebra. Many colleges and universities advise or require mathematics students to take courses in a related field, such as computer science, engineering, physics, or statistics. Because mathematicians often work with data analysis software, computer programming courses may be particularly beneficial for students.

Many universities offer master's and doctoral degrees in theoretical or applied mathematics. Many students who get a doctoral degree work as professors of mathematics in a college or university.

Statisticians typically need a master's degree but some entry-level positions may accept candidates with a bachelor's degree.

Most statisticians have degrees in mathematics, economics, computer science, or another quantitative field. A degree in statistics typically includes courses in linear algebra, calculus, experimental design, survey methodology, probability, and statistical theory.

Many colleges and universities advise statistics students to take courses in a related field, such as computer science, engineering, or physics. These courses can help prepare students to work in a variety of industries. Coursework in engineering or physical science, for example, may be useful for mathematicians or statisticians working in manufacturing on quality or productivity improvement. A background in biology, chemistry, or health sciences is useful for work testing pharmaceutical or agricultural products.

Because mathematicians and statisticians often work with data analysis software, computer programming courses may be particularly beneficial for students.

Students who are interested in becoming mathematicians or statisticians should take as many math courses as possible in high school.

Important Qualities for Mathematicians and Statisticians

Analytical skills. Mathematicians and statisticians use mathematical 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 analysis.

Communication skills. Mathematicians and statisticians must interact with, and propose solutions to, people who may not have extensive knowledge of mathematics.

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

Problem-solving skills. Mathematicians and statisticians must devise new solutions to problems encountered by scientists or engineers.

Mathematician and Statistician Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

Salary Calculator


Entry Level Experienced

The median annual wage for mathematicians is $101,900. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $57,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $160,550.

The median annual wage for statisticians is $87,780. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $53,000, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $139,350.

The median annual wages for mathematicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services $116,210
Federal government $113,230
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences $110,510
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private $61,440

The median annual wages for statisticians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Federal government $106,670
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences $96,290
Insurance carriers and related activities $81,660
Healthcare and social assistance $79,370
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private $73,360

Most mathematicians and statisticians work full time. Deadlines and last-minute requests for data or analysis may require overtime. In addition, these workers may travel to attend seminars and conferences.

Job Outlook for Mathematicians and Statisticians[About this section] [To Top]

Overall employment of mathematicians and statisticians is projected to grow 30 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by occupation.

Employment of statisticians is projected to grow 31 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected to result from more widespread use of statistical analysis to make informed business, healthcare, and policy decisions. In addition, the large increase in available data from the Internet will open up new areas for analysis.

Employment of mathematicians is projected to grow 26 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 800 new jobs over the 10-year period. The amount of digitally stored data will increase over the next decade as more people and companies conduct business online and use social media, smartphones, and other mobile devices. As a result, businesses will increasingly need mathematicians to analyze the large amount of information and data collected. Analyses will help companies improve their business processes, design and develop new products, and even advertise products to potential customers.

In addition, mathematicians and statisticians will be needed in the scientific research and development services and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industries. The aging of the U.S. population is expected to prompt pharmaceutical companies to develop new treatments and medical technologies. Biostatisticians will be needed to conduct the research and clinical trials necessary for companies to obtain approval for their products from the Food and Drug Administration.

Job Prospects for Mathematicians and Statisticians

Job prospects for mathematicians and statisticians are projected to be very good. An increasing number of jobs over the next decade will require high levels of mathematical and statistical knowledge. Job opportunities are expected to be favorable for those with very strong quantitative and data analysis skills. Computer programming skills will remain important to many employers, as will be keeping up with new statistical methods and programming languages.

Many candidates with a background in advanced mathematical techniques and modeling also may find good job opportunities in other, closely related fields.

In addition to technical skills, applicants with strong communication skills and the ability to interpret and present their data and findings will have stronger job prospects.

Employment projections data for Mathematicians and Statisticians, 2018-28
Occupational Title Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28
Percent Numeric
Mathematicians and statisticians 47,300 61,600 30 14,400
  Mathematicians 2,900 3,600 26 800
  Statisticians 44,400 58,000 31 13,600


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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