Statisticians analyze data and help find solutions to a variety of everyday problems. In this role, you collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative information. You’ll also present data. You can work in a variety of industries, but as a clinical trials statistician, you’ll be working in the healthcare field.
The Work Of A Medical Statistician
Generally, statisticians create and manage experiments and surveys and handle the first collection of data. They also work through the data and analyze in the context of the experiment or survey. They try to find trends to help make decisions about solutions to problems. Based on what they find, they advise others on their findings and make a recommendation on a course of action.
- You will usually work on a team as a statistician, and this may include working with professionals from other disciplines.
- You have to have strong IT skills and be able to analyze data carefully and accurately. Since you’ll likely work as part of a team, it is essential that you have strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- You will need to be able to share your results with team members and clients. There is also a good chance that you’ll work alone at times, so you should be a self-starter and be able to manage your time and work priorities.
- You will definitely need to have a strong mathematical ability. Using mathematical software and techniques, you’ll take complex statistical ideas and explain them in ways that your clients and team members can understand. Then you can make recommendations based on strategy.
- You may work with clients and agree on what data to gather. You’ll discuss how it should be gathered, considering any ethical or legislative issues, which is especially important in clinical trials. You’ll design experiments to get the data you want, and then you’ll collect and analyse the data.
- You then interpret it and ensure that people make the correct choices based on the results, for example, determining what is actually statistically significant.
- You will also present the data to supervisors, those in charge of regulations, and clients, among others. You may advise policymakers on decisions based on the results.
- You will also write reports and articles to be published, and you may present your findings at relevant conferences in the UK and around the world.
One clinical trials statistician job advertisement at the University of Leeds said candidates would work on real-world problems and help improve the care of patients. They could research and create a statistical methodology and work with other health workers. They could design, do, analyse and publish clinical trials. They would also present at conferences and write grant applications.
This position welcomed applications from final year M.Sc. students.
A position at the University of Nottingham required applicants to have a Ph.D. in medical statistics or another related field. Those who had graduate degrees in some related fields and a lot of experience in medical research were also acceptable. They also needed to know statistical software and have experience working in research.
Medical Statisticians Salary
The salaries for medical statisticians are generally comparable to those of government statisticians. A statistician working for the government and working away from London usually has an entry salary of between £23,000 and £26,000lo. For more experienced government statisticians, the salary ranges from £44,000 to £50,000. London salaries are higher.
Pharmaceutical industry salaries are usually higher and have nice perks for those with a good education, experience, and skills. Salaries will vary depending on the employer, like location and experience, and skill level.
The part-time, fixed-term medical statistician position at the University of Nottingham had an advertised salary of £29,799 to £38,833 per year.
You may be able to work flexible hours, work part-time, work from home, and get paid overtime at times. You may also be able to take career breaks. You’ll work in an office most of the time, but you may travel to meetings and conferences to talk about trial design, collect information, talk about results, and to meet with regulatory authorities. You may be able to work as a consultant and choose which projects you work on and who you work for.
How To Become A Clinical Trials Statistician
- Have a degree in economics, quantitative maths, psychology or statistics.
- Have a master’s degree in medical statistics, public health or epidemiology.
- Earn a professional qualification of Graduate Statistician by taking degree courses.
- Get work experience in a statistics-related subject.
You should have a degree with significant work in statistics or quantitative maths to work as a clinical trial statistician. You might have a degree in economics, geography, mathematics, psychology, or statistics, for example.
If you have a degree in another field, you can work in medical statistics if you have earned a master’s degree in a field like medical statistics, public health, or epidemiology. If you work for the government, you will need at least a 2:1 degree with at least 25 % statistical content. You may also need a first or second class degree in a subject related to numbers or an RSS graduate diploma.
You can earn a professional qualification of Graduate Statistician by taking degree courses that are accredited by the Royal Statistical Society.
If you don’t have a degree, you can also sometimes find work as a statistician, but you’ll need a lot of work experience in a statistics-related subjects and to take continuing professional development that leads to the necessary professional qualifications, like the RSS Higher Certificate.
However, to work in the pharmaceutical industry, you’ll probably need a MSc or PhD in statistics or a postgraduate degree in an area with a lot of statistical content. It is becoming more common for entry-level applicants to have a graduate degree. The RSS Graduate Diploma in Statistics may also be acceptable as it is the same as a good UK honours degree in statistics.
To learn more about events and training as well as job listings, you can join the RSS or the Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PSI) organization.
To gain work experience, you may be able to do a work placement. You could also try a year of professional training to see how statistics work in the real world. You might do this in another field like business. Civil service summer placements are sometimes available as well with the government.
You will gain training on the job with most employers. You’ll work under more experienced colleagues until you’re able to do your job more independently.
Additionally, you’ll need to stay current on the literature and attend conferences. Your employer may offer support for part-time MSc in statistics study. At universities, you can take short classes in computing software, management, teaching, and presentational skills. You can take some short courses through professional societies.
Chartered Statistician is the highest certification from the RSS. You’ll need to have a degree and professional education and work experience that is approved for a minimum of five years. You can apply to be a Chartered Scientist after you’re a Chartered Statistician.
Working in the pharmaceutical sector, you can take on management roles or become a technical expert. If you show the skills and qualities necessary, you can be promoted quickly. You can also work abroad more often since many companies are international. There may not be much room for internal promotion because organisations that hire statisticians only hire a few. You may be able to rise through the ranks by finding a new employer. Larger companies will offer more advancement opportunities.
With specialization or diversification and with a Ph.D., you can get into research and teaching or move into other fields like a regulatory oversight, managing projects, or working freelance.
I hope this article gave you a good overview of this interesting profession. If you have any further questions or comments about how to become a clinical trials statistician then please comment below or visit our career forum for more in-depth discussions.