Statistician

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£61,880

Currently employed in Scotland

3,700

Five year job forecast

+5.26%

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

Statisticians collect and analyse data, then present their findings to use the date to help solve problems, spot trends or make predictions.

In this role you’d use your knowledge of statistics to design and implement methods of research such as surveys, experiments, opinion polls. You’d then gather numerical data and display it, helping companies to make sense of quantitative data. 

For example, information about weather conditions is collected through satellites, barometers, radars, and other instruments located on land, in water and the atmosphere. The data collected is then combined with forecasting and statistical models to provide the detailed weather forecasts that we see every day on TV or on our phones.

Statistics are used in many fields including economics, biology, engineering, public health, medicine, psychology, marketing, education, and sports.

What you might do

  • meet with clients to discuss the data required and how it should be collected

  • select the best research method to use depending on the information needed

  • design research methods such as experiments, trials or surveys

  • carry out research, often as part of a team

  • collect and analyse the data

  • use the statistics to make forecasts

  • present your results to others in the most appropriate way, using tables, graphs, diagrams or written reports

  • make decisions or predictions based on the results

  • advise other colleagues and policy makers of results and decisions

Working conditions

Hours

Your working hours will depend on your role. You could work office hours but flexible working is common.

Environment

You could be based in an office but you may also have to carry our research and experiements outside of the office.

Travel

You may have to travel to do research or surveys so a driving licence would be useful.

UK employment status

Full-time

87%

Part-time

8%

Self employed

5%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Sorting
  • Time management
  • Analysing
  • Understanding

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need. 

People in this role will generally have degree level qualifications in a statistical related subject, such as:

  • economics

  • geography

  • mathematics

  • psychology

  • statistics

The UK’s main employer of statisticians is the Office of National Statistics and they have a number of fast track schemes to help graduates make a start in a career as a statistician.

Qualifications such as the Graduate Diploma in Statistics, awarded by the RSS, may also be accepted - this is equivalent to a UK honours degree in statistics.

In addition, the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) have a number of accreditation and qualification schemes such as the professional qualification of graduate statistician, gained through completion of degree courses accredited by the RSS.

You could also consider applying to join the civil service via the Civil Service Fast Stream: Government Statistical Service programme - an accelerated training and development programme – to do this you would need a good degree pass or postgraduate qualification.

Recruitment in this area is also increasing in Scotland and there are opportunities within the Scottish Government and other public sector bodies as well as demand for statisticians within STEM industries (science, technology, engineering & maths) and specialisms, such as biostatisticians.

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have ‘required’ subjects that you must have for entry.  In addition, they may also highlight additional subjects that they would value. (See individual institutions websites for specific entry information). 

Useful subjects would be:

  • Maths

  • Computing science

Helpful to have

While not all employers list specific qualification requirements they do ask for relevant (usually work based) experience that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.

Some employers will expect you to have a working knowledge of statistical software packages, like Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

Membership of the RSS, as mentioned above, is worth considering in order to stay up-to-date and access their training opportunities.  You can join as a fellow with no qualifications, as a professional or as a business looking to help staff stay up to date.