A medical statistician (or biostatistician), usually works within the healthcare system, where their main role is helping with research. Collecting data on a variety of topics, a job as a medical statistician can lead to an interesting career. Furthermore, individuals who carry out this type of work are essential in the progression of medicinal and scientific research. Without their efforts, society would be worse off due to a lack of efficient treatment options. Another incentive to work within this field is the salary. Although wages will vary from place to place, on average a medical statistician will earn $87,780 per year.
Considering that it is a respected and well-paid profession, it’s easy to see why an individual would be attracted to this type of work. If you’re someone who might be interested in a career as a biostatistician, there are some points that you will need to consider in the first instance. Here are three key steps for achieving a career in medial statistics.
In order to secure a position in this field, you must first achieve the appropriate qualifications. Statistics is a mathematical discipline, therefore a strength in this subject will be essential.
You will be required to have achieved an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (biology, chemistry, math). Furthermore, you will need to obtain a masters degree, preferably in statistics, as a next step. You might have already achieved your undergrad degree, but now have other life commitments that are preventing you from returning to school. If that’s the case, don’t worry–there are plenty of online programs that you can enroll on to, which offer a masters in statistics.
If you would like to, furthering your educational achievements and getting a PhD in this field would also be incredibly beneficial to you as a candidate for this role. However, this is not an essential requirement.
Although work experience might not be essential for entry-level jobs, it’s highly recommended that you try to get some before you apply. Having some hands-on experience in any industry will make an employer feel more at ease when hiring a candidate. This isn’t only beneficial for them, but for you, as well.
It is easy to assume that a certain role or department is where you want to be, but without having any real experience of working in those positions, it’s impossible to know for sure. In reality, you might find that the work isn’t quite what you thought it was going to be and regret making a commitment to the job. Where possible, try to arrange work experience before you start applying for positions.
A minimum of a year’s work experience is usually preferred, and you can do this during or after your studies. There are several different institutions for which a medical statistician can work, so think carefully about where you might want to gain this experience.
As mentioned above, there are several different paths on which a career in medical statistics can take you. Firstly, you could be working directly with public healthcare services. In these roles you will be working on numerous research projects, and developing medicines and treatment options. This could lead to ground-breaking and exciting discoveries for the healthcare industry.
Instead of working for public healthcare, you might be more interested in working for a pharmaceutical company instead. This is a huge world-wide industry, therefore, a qualified medical statistician would not struggle to find work within this field. Again, this is a research-based role, collecting data that will improve the quality of the drugs being produced. Statisticians who work for a pharmaceutical company will be involved throughout the entire process, all the way through to the commercializing a new drug.
Alternatively, there are more academic routes that you can follow if you would prefer. Although there will be research positions at universities, there will also be the opportunity to teach the subject. High schools are another educational institution in which a statistician could teach either math or science.
There is the opportunity to work in all three of these industries during your career as a medical statistician. It is because of this flexibility that you don’t have to panic, or feel as though your career path is set in stone.
With endless prospects, a career in medical statistics is worth pursuing if you’re interested in doing so. Not only does it offer a good salary, it also presents the opportunity to make a difference in society, by improving medicines and other areas of care. Follow these steps and considerations to achieve your medical statistician career goals.