BiostatisticianSample Job Descriptions, Salaries, and Interview Questions

Biostatisticians collect data from medical research and analyze it to draw conclusions or make predictions. They develop and execute research studies in collaboration with other statisticians and scientists and monitor clinical trials to ensure the integrity of the results. Biostatisticians must have exceptional written communications skills as they write research proposals and submit their findings to the scientific community. Some biostatisticians may also teach at universities while conducting their research, splitting time between the lab and the classroom. They are required to have an in-depth understanding of advanced statistical techniques, be familiar with analyzing clinical trials, and have excellent knowledge of epidemiology and statistics. The ability to plan, develop, and manage complex statistical computer databases is also important in this role. 

Biostatisticians typically work in medical research, pharmaceuticals, public health, and clinical investigations. They should be familiar with specialized computer programs to analyze statistics and lab results. This role requires good collaboration skills as biostatisticians often interact with other scientists and researchers. 

Sample job description

As a Biostatistician, you will be given access to cutting-edge in-house technology, allowing you to work on global projects across a variety of therapeutic areas and thanks to our development opportunities and mentoring at all levels, you will be able to progress your long-term career in the direction you choose.

You will develop statistical methods sections of protocols and review case report forms (CRFs).

Prepare analysis plans and write specifications for analysis files, consistency checks, tables, and figures.

Communicate with clients regarding study protocol or statistical analysis issues as they arise.

Interpret analyses and write statistical sections of study reports.

Key responsibilities:

  • Act as a statistical lead on single studies.
  • Working closely with the Project Team Lead and supervisor to deliver on time, with high quality and within budget.
  • Writing and performing quality control (QC) reviews of Statistical Analysis Plan (SAP) and Shells.
  • Writing and maintaining programming specifications. Programming assigned datasets to industry standards.
  • Assisting with protocol development, sample size calculation and case report form (CRF) review.
  • Building and maintaining effective customer relationships, driving statistical discussions, providing support and / or guidance for statistical activities.
  • Managing scope of work and budget, and providing revenue and resource forecasts for single studies
  • Training and mentoring junior staff. Supporting colleagues and providing motivation as needed.


  • BSc or MSc degree in Biostatistics or related field, and 2-4 years’ relevant experience within the life-science industry
  • Familiarity with moderately complex statistical methods that apply to applicable clinical trials
  • Good working knowledge of SAS and CDISC
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and projects.

Sample job description #2

Contributions may include

  • Participation in clinical trial activities (mostly phase 2-4) as part of a cross-function team
  • Lead or support clinical trial activities from a statistician perspective
  • Develop, contribute to and review Statistical Analysis Plans (SAPs) and provide specifications for the programming activities
  • Oversee programming activities (mostly using SAS), including hands-on programming contributions and QC of programmers’ (and other statisticians’) deliverables
  • Contribute to project level activities (e.g. pooling specification, ISS/E planning, submission and Health Authority Questions) as appropriate
  • Support reporting of clinical trial activities and communication with clinical team members.
  • Review and give input to other documents (e.g. clinical study protocol, clinical study report) as appropriate
  • Contribute to other activities, e.g. adhoc requests, publication related analyses etc. as appropriate.

What we are looking for

  • Master’s degree in statistics or a related discipline.
  • At least 3-5 years’ experience supporting clinical trials and projects as a statistician in a pharmaceutical company or CRO
  • Experience with regulatory submission activities, clinical summaries etc. is a plus
  • Solid experience writing Statistical Analysis Plans and overseeing TFL production from a statistical perspective
  • Strong SAS skills
  • Familiarity with CDISC specifications, in particular ADaM and reporting
  • Good operational and communication skills
  • Constructive collaborative attitude
  • Results-oriented with good ethics

Sample job description #3

Our Biostatisticians are responsible for

  • Assisting in the analyses of research studies by using appropriate statistical methods and/or mathematical techniques
  • Meeting with clinicians, scientists and other research personnel to discuss research projects, goals and hypotheses
  • Providing support for statistical analyses by extracting data and ensuring accurate data files
  • Using statistical software packages (e.g., SAS and/or R) to write computer programs to analyze data
  • Preparing memoranda to effectively document data issues, statistical methodology, and analysis results and interpretations, including results in tabular and graphical forms
  • Assisting investigators with abstract and manuscript development to disseminate research results

Duties are performed under the guidance of a faculty member.

Ideal knowledge, skills, and abilities for Biostatisticians

  • Knowledge of statistical methods
  • Knowledge of statistical software such as SAS and/or R
  • Strong oral and verbal communication skills, including the ability to effectively communicate statistical methodology and results to non-statisticians
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects with competing deadlines in a professional manner

Career levels

Candidate may be hired at a career level that best fits her or his individual qualifications.

Statistical Analyst

  • Master’s Degree in biostatistics, applied statistics, or related field.
  • Prior medical consulting and/or graduate research experience in a biostatistical environment preferred.


  • Master’s Degree in biostatistics, applied statistics, or related field.
  • Minimum of two (2) years of work experience consistent with that expected of the Statistical Analyst position.

Senior Biostatistician

  • Master’s Degree in biostatistics, applied statistics, or related field.
  • Minimum of five (5) years of work experience consistent with that expected of the Statistical Analyst position.

Lead Senior Biostatistician

  • Master’s Degree in biostatistics, applied statistics, or related field.
  • Minimum of eight (8) years of work experience.

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for biostatisticians in the United States is $108,750 per year. Total compensation will vary by experience, location, employer size, work setting, and industry.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$108,150$146,300
Los Angeles, California$122,000$165,100
Denver, Colorado$108,700$137,550
Washington, DC$123,850$167,600
Miami, Florida$101,200$136,950
Orlando, Florida$93,350$126,300
Tampa, Florida$94,300$127,550
Atlanta, Georgia$98,900$133,800
Chicago, Illinois$113,700$153,850
Boston, Massachusetts$122,950$166,350
Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota$98,000$132,550
New York City, New York$129,400$175,100
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$105,400$142,550
Dallas, Texas$102,600$138,800
Houston, Texas$101,700$108,750
Seattle, Washington$118,300$160,100
National Average$92,450$125,050

Sample interview questions

  • Do you have experience with statistical packages like SAS, R, or SPSS?
  • How many data sets would you typically analyze simultaneously?
  • What is an example of a difficult analysis that you’ve worked on at your previous company/past job?
  • Why do companies hire by outsourcing for this role often instead of hiring new people to do it in house?
  • Please provide resources on how to learn statistics.
  • What is the most challenging situation you’ve faced as a biostatistician?
  • What has been the best professional experience you’ve had?
  • How does your undergraduate degree prepare you for the work you do now?

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