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About the Job

Develop and apply biostatistical theory and methods to the study of life sciences.

It is also Called

  • Senior Biostatistician/Group Leader
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Biostatistician
  • Research Associate Professor
  • Professor of Biostatistics
  • Principal Statistical Scientist
  • Principal Biostatistician
  • Consultant/Associate Professor of Biostatistics
  • Clinical Biostatistician
  • Biostatistics Director
View All

What They Do

  • Design surveys to assess health issues.
  • Analyze archival data such as birth, death, and disease records.
  • Develop or use mathematical models to track changes in biological phenomena such as the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Design or maintain databases of biological data.
  • Collect data through surveys or experimentation.
  • Apply research or simulation results to extend biological theory or recommend new research projects.
  • Determine project plans, timelines, or technical objectives for statistical aspects of biological research studies.
  • Plan or direct research studies related to life sciences.
  • Teach graduate or continuing education courses or seminars in biostatistics.
  • Assign work to biostatistical assistants or programmers.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $78,700 with most people making between $45,470 and $122,400


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 2,160 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 2,470 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 31 openings due to growth and about 39 replacement openings for approximately 70 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education