Biostatisticians are statisticians who apply their
skills in health-related fields. They typically collaborate with
other researchers in the health disciplines, designing studies,
collecting data, and analyzing datasets in pursuit of answers to
Such studies may provide information on how a disease
progresses, the safety and efficacy of a new treatment or medication,
or the impact of risk factors associated with a medical condition.
Studies are also undertaken to estimate health care costs and quality
of health care provided to aid those responsible for making health
policy and quality assurance decisions.
Biostatisticians provide expertise in the planning
stages (e.g. experimental design, sample size considerations), on
data collection, on choosing and implementing appropriate methodologies,
and interpreting the results. Some situations require the biostatistician
to develop new methods appropriate for the particular problem. The
expertise of biostatisticians and epidemiologists overlap considerably,
but their respective training reflects differing areas of interest.
Areas of Specialization
Health-related research projects require biostatistical support.
New fields of study requiring specialized biostatistical knowledge,
such as statistical genetics and medical imaging, are growing at
a rapid pace. Biostatisticians also can find jobs in related areas
such as veterinary medicine, botany, and wildlife research.
Biostatisticians work in hospitals, health care facilities,
colleges and universities, industry, and in numerous sectors within
the government. They also work with government surveys and market
research (The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies Presents
Careers in Statistics
They often work as part of a team of scientists, which may include
physicians and other health professionals, epidemiologists, health
policy analysts, health econometricians, and computer programmers.
The number of statisticians employed in Florida in 2006 was 415. It is projected that in 2014 there will be 454. This represents an annual average growth rate of 1.2 percent.
Length of Training/Requirements
A bachelor's degree with a major in biostatistics, statistics or
mathematics is the minimum requirement for entry-level positions.
Most jobs require a master's or doctoral degree.
with concentration in biostatistics are available at both the undergraduate
and graduate levels in Florida. Students planning to become biostatisticians
should have a strong interest and background in mathematics, computers,
and medical, biological, or health sciences.
No licensure or certification is required at the present time.
The average annual wage or salary in Florida in 2009 was $61,339.