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Biostatisticians apply their knowledge of statistics, science, and mathematics to research critical queries in public health and health care. Biostatisticians are responsible for designing, analysing, and executing specific statistical studies, which improve the research efforts in public health and gear to further medical knowledge. Biostatisticians generally address different healthcare topics, either in the public or private sectors, and typically work in an office environment. Common employers include educational institutions, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies.    

Job Specification, Salary, Outlook 

Biostatisticians also analyse statistics and relevant data on living things gathered during medical research studies, to make predictions or draw conclusions. Biostatisticians contribute to the design and implementation of research studies in collaboration with other scientists and statisticians. Producing various statistical research proposals and delivering the findings to the scientific community is also a significant part of this role.

Biostatisticians’ work may include processing statistical data on experimental and new treatments for a specific disease, or setting the statistical parameters for a new study by a pharmaceutical company or government agency. Work typically takes place in an office setting, but may extend into the field as well.

So, how much do biostatistics professionals earn? It depends on several factors, but the average salary for medical biostatistics specialists in the United States is $74,989 per annum, with a range of $55,223 - $121,836. Factors that affect the level of salary include job location, technical skills, medical field subject knowledge, and academic background. In the UK, an average salary of £33,895 per year can be expected, with a range of £25,209 - £68,008.       

Job Description

The biostatistics specialist’s responsibilities can be described as managing the projects concerned with various applications of statistics in medical biology. They are required to lead the staff involved in the study and projects, assigning tasks for the implementation of suggested guidelines in order to maintain a regular work flow and to meet the project requirements. The publication of biostatistics studies, staff recruitment, evaluation and training are also within the remit of the role.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Monitoring deliverables on statistical programming of graphs, analysis data sets, listings and tables of clinical trial reports 
  • Applying innovative designs, analysis methods and supporting the evaluation via appropriate methods and analytical studies 
  • Ensuring statistical documentation meets statistically correct standards
  • Participating and leading in process training and improvement
  • Monitoring and contributing to complete technical and operational bio-statistical activities 
  • Working with clinical teams in designing clinical studies, conducting statistical analyses and providing statistical support for clinical study reports 
  • Managing a biostatistics team; handling personnel issues, performance reviews, training/coaching, and career development
  • Auditing SAS and clinical data
  • Building working relationships with cross-functional team members and liaising with other statisticians
  • Offering statistical expertise on exploratory information  
  • Representing the biostatistics team at meetings and external scientific conferences

Key Skills & Qualifications

 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that advanced biostatistics work generally requires a Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biostatistics, Statistics, or Mathematics. Candidates who are interested in becoming a biostatistician should obtain a bachelor's degree for any entry-level position. Many professionals also hold a master's or doctorate degree in biostatistics or a related field, such as biology or mathematics, and this higher level of qualification is beneficial for those looking to progress to more senior positions, and to have an edge when applying for particularly competitive roles.  

 Required job skills

  • Expertise in various database modelling applications used in clinical trials 
  • Leadership, interpersonal, and project management skills 
  • Excellent writing, verbal, and presentation skills 
  • Ability to handle multiple projects and the laboratory activities while keeping a track of the quality standards and maintain a deadline to deliver expected results
  • Experience in managing and implementing working relationships with all the external agencies, such as research committees, consultant groups and CROs
  • Ability to handle various complex tasks and the flow of information effectively and with clarity, to avoid any confusion that may affect the study
  • Well versed in the latest guidelines stated by national and local regulatory bodies
  • Ability to apply theories and technical principles to life cycle management and pharmaceutical clinical development
  • Superior level of understanding of advanced statistical techniques and concepts
  • In-depth knowledge of the regulatory drug approval/submission process at a regional and global level
  • Ability to work in an independently with minimal supervision

Job Trends    

According to the BLS, the continued and steady growth of the pharmaceutical field will generate increased levels of demand for biostatisticians. The Bureau reported that the overall number of jobs for statisticians were expected to grow by 34% between 2014 and 2024.