Biostatistician  What They Do

Just the Facts

Biostatisticians Career Video

Insider Info

dotThe future is always uncertain. But statisticians try to eliminate some of the guesswork by using math and theories of probability. Crunching numbers helps them figure out what is most likely to occur in the future.

Biostatisticians are specialized statisticians who work in the medical field.

They predict the pattern of a disease and evaluate new treatments. Is a medical treatment actually harming a patient? Could a newer type of treatment work more effectively? What about new drugs?

dotBiostatisticians assess the safety of medications by crunching numbers. But before they can compare numbers, they have to set up experiments that will give accurate data. They are involved in research design, data collection and statistical interpretation of the results.

These professionals work with numbers. But they need to know enough about the medical field to understand the data. Often, biostatisticians work with a medical team and other researchers to design experiments.

dotBiostatisticians may work for governments, in clinical research labs or at universities. They may also work in the private sector, such as at a pharmaceutical company. They generally work in an office setting.

Computers are used to organize and analyze data. Biostatisticians must take precautions against the usual risks, such as eyestrain and repetitive stress injuries. Some travel can be required if a biostatistician has to give advice on a research project, or supervise and set up a survey.

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

Use numbers to predict patterns of disease

  • Biostatisticians work with a medical team and other researchers to design experiments
  • Some travel can be required
  • You'll need a bachelor's degree in math or statistics