Biostatistician Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Biostatistician Do?

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. 

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National Average Salary

Biostatistician salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Biostatistician is:


Biostatistician Job Descriptions

It’s important to include the right content in your job description when hiring a biostatistician. The following examples can serve as templates for attracting the best available talent for your team.

General Biostatistician (sample)

As a biostatistician for [Your Company Name], you’ll design, analyze, and interpret data for scientific research. The biostatistician combines epidemiological knowledge with statistics to work in areas such as medical research, pharmaceuticals, public health, and clinical investigations.

You will interact closely with a research team, so it helps to communicate well. The ability to produce readable reports, which summarize their findings and generate hypotheses, is essential. You must know how to use statistical programs like SAS Software. The ideal candidate should also be familiar with other software packages, including Java Programming Operations Research (JOR) Package, Minitab Statistical Packages, S-Plus Statistical Packages among others.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Programming knowledge of at least one statistical software package such as SAS, JMP, STATA, or R.
  • Statistical analysis of medical research data
  • Interpret statistical analysis to draw conclusions on a wide range of topics
  • Design and conduct experiments, surveys, observational studies, and clinical trials as needed
  • Summarize findings in reports or presentations.
  • Communicate with team members regularly via email, phone calls, or meetings.
  • Maintain a database of research materials

Education and experience

  • Master’s degree in statistics, biostatistics or related field
  • Many employers prefer candidates with 5-7 years of experience
  • A master’s degree will enable you to apply to entry-level positions in biostatistics
  • Some people do choose to pursue a doctoral degree, but this is not necessary

Required skills and qualifications

  • Good communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Creativity, resourcefulness, and the ability to mentor junior staff
  • Knowledge of epidemiology and medical terms is a plus
  • Knowledge of public health and clinical trials is a plus

Preferred qualifications

  • Knowledge of various statistical software packages including SAS Software, Minitab Statistical Packages, S-Plus Statistical Packages among others
  • Able to demonstrate the use of statistical approaches and techniques in analyzing data related to biomedical research
  • Knowledgeable about statistical analysis, probability theory, and modeling for generating predictions
  • Familiar with Microsoft Excel

Entry-level Biostatistician

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

  • Knowledge of statistical methods
  • Knowledge of SAS and/or R statistical software
  • 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

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

Education requirements

  • 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

Mid-level Biostatistician

As a biostatistician, you will be given access to cutting-edge in-house technology, allowing you to work on global projects across various therapeutic areas. Thanks to our development opportunities and mentoring at all levels, you can 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

Principal Biostatistician

[Company] is a global CRO that offers high-quality one-stop service to biopharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer products clients. Some of these services include clinical operations, project management, biostatistics, data management, regulatory affairs, medical affairs, and pharmacovigilance. [Company] has established major delivery centers across the US, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, and the Philippines. It has over 3,000 employees globally, with a strong and talented team and a growing clinical operations presence in seven countries across Asia, North America, and Europe.

The goal of the principal biostatistician is to provide Biostatistical support and work on key client deliverables involving designing and analyzing clinical trials.


  • 3+ years’ experience preferred leading late-phase studies • Modeling experiences such as Mixed Models, Cox Models, Kaplan, Mier Estimates, and Poison Modeling would be a plus·
  • Responsible for protocol development, including study design, sample size calculation, randomization, and statistical analysis plan for assigned studies.
  • Provide statistical oversight to studies and assure adequate quality and consistency with project requirements.
  • Responsible for assuring that data for statistical analyses are complete, accurate, and consistent.
  • Responsible for statistical analysis plans and the accuracy and timeliness of statistical input into reports or decisions.
  • Responsible for the validity of the analysis and exploring alternative analysis strategies as needed.
  • Demonstrates extensive understanding of statistical concepts and methodologies. Recognizes and corrects flaws in scientific reasoning and statistical interpretation.
  • Responsible for the accuracy and consistency of statistical tables, figures, and data listings, accuracy of report text, and consistency between summary tables in the body of reports and the corresponding source tables and listings.
  • Responsible for the statistical methods section of the reports. Identifies and corrects common flaws in the interpretation of results, inconsistency in presentation or inference, adherence to the report guidelines, and ensures project-wide consistency.
  • Effectively mentor peers about statistical methodology and provide appropriate training to less experienced statisticians.
  • Manage activities of statisticians across projects by appropriately coordinating assignments and reviewing work so that projects are delivered on time with high quality.


  • MS or Ph.D. in Statistics, Biostatistics, or related field. Ph.D. with 3-5 years of experience or MS with 6-8 years of experience.
  • Strong oral and written communications skills, with the ability to effectively communicate internally and with clients.
  • Demonstrated understanding and insight into statistics, drug development process, and relevant FDA regulations.
  • Pharmaceutical, CRO, or related industry experience with clinical trials, including interaction with Regulatory Agencies, especially FDA.

Research Biostatistician

The primary purpose of the research biostatistician position is to carry out data preparation responsibilities related to cancer clinical trials, develop skilled statistical programs, perform statistical analysis associated with clinical data and prepare written reports to investigators. In addition, this position prepares statistical considerations for basic trial designs or grants and performs biostatistical reviews of protocols.

Key Functions

  • Statistical Consulting and Collaboration
    • Compiles, analyzes and reports statistical data for various projects including, but not limited to manual and computer-aided data abstraction and evaluation, clinical trials, computerized imaging and bioinformatics.
    • Prepares statistical considerations for basic trial designs and carries out uncomplicated statistical analyses independently, but completes statistical responsibilities for more complex projects with supervision.
    • Assists faculty in the development of new statistical methodology for measurement and analysis of data.
    • Applies advanced statistical methods, simulation models, and skilled statistical programming as needed.
    • Assesses relevant literature as well as existing data, evaluates the quality of data used in reports and assists with preparation and distribution of data for committee and scientific meetings.
    • Attends project meetings with collaborators with or without supervisor as directed by supervisor.
    • May present findings at relevant meetings both inside and outside of the institution as requested.
  • Protocol Review
    • Participates in the protocol review process jointly with supervisor.
  • Statistical Reporting
    • Prepares written reports to investigators jointly with supervisor.
    • May present findings at relevant meetings both inside and outside of the institution as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Required: Master’s degree in Biostatistics, Statistics, Bioinformatics, Mathematics or related field.

Preferred: PhD in Biostatistics, Statistics, Bioinformatics, Mathematics, or related field.


Required: Two years experience with mainframe and/or PC databases, document processing and statistical software such as SAS and S-Plus. With preferred degree, no required experience.

Preferred: Statistical software experience with an emphasis in biostatistics and clinical trials.

Biostatistician Qualifications to Look For

Previous experience

  • Collaborated with scientific teams to design robust experiments and clinical trials
  • Applied statistical theories and methods to solve complex biological problems
  • Collected, analyzed, and interpreted data from biological experiments and trials
  • Utilized statistical software such as R, SAS, or SPSS for data analysis and modeling
  • Provided insights on findings through reports, graphs, and other visual means
  • Reviewed and ensured data integrity and accuracy
  • Assisted in the publication of research findings, ensuring statistical soundness
  • Contributed to grant writing processes with a focus on the statistical design and analysis components
  • Developed new statistical methodologies or adapted existing ones to better meet research needs
  • Provided guidance on sample size determination, experimental layout, and data collection methods

Soft skills

  • Strong analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Detail-oriented  
  • Effective collaboration and team-working skills
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously


  • Master’s degree in Biostatistics, Statistics, or a related field is often the minimum requirement; however, many positions, especially in academic research or advanced pharmaceutical work, may require a Ph.D.
  • Knowledge of specialized statistical software such as R, SAS, or STATA
  • For those working on clinical trials, familiarity with regulatory guidelines (like those from the FDA or EMA) can be beneficial
  • Continuous learning to stay updated with advancements in both biological sciences and statistical methodologies


  • Mastering Software Development in R Certification by Johns Hopkins University (Coursera). This specialization in R programming provides rigorous training in R language and also teaches the best software development practices for building data science tools that are not only robust, modular and reusable but also collaborative (thus suitable for use in team-based and community environments). Through this program candidates will gain the necessary skills for handling complex data, building R packages, and developing custom data visualizations.
  • SAS Certified Clinical Trials Programmer Using SAS 9. This programmer works exclusively with clinical trials data, transforming raw data into polished, validated reports. There are two different paths to achieving this certification:
    • Clinical Trial Programmer Exam: The certification exam features 90 to 100 multiple-choice questions, a three-hour time limit and candidates must answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly to pass the exam. There are no prerequisites required to take this exam.
    • Clinical Trial Programmer – Accelerated Exam: The certification exam features 70 to 75 multiple-choice questions, a 120-minute time limit, and candidates must answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly to pass the exam. Candidates must already have completed the SAS Base Programmer certification before they can sit for this accelerated exam.
  • Certificate in Applied Biostatistics – Online (Harvard Catalyst). This advanced-level program is for candidates with MD, Ph.D. or equivalent degrees. The comprehensive classes provide a comprehensive introduction to biostatistics in medical research. Review the common techniques in this field as well as the manners in which they can be applied in standard statistical software. End the lectures by choosing an appropriate study design, calculate the sample size needed to complete the study, analyze the collected data, and communicate the results from their experiments.

How to Hire a Biostatistician

When hiring a biostatistician, first consider the following:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
  • Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
  • Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring a biostatistician:


CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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3. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • Can you explain your experience with statistical analysis and modeling in a biomedical or clinical research setting?
  • How do you design and implement statistical analysis plans for clinical trials or other studies?
  • Can you give an example of a project where you had to account for multiple confounding factors or missing data in your analysis?
  • How do you ensure the validity and reliability of your statistical analyses?
  • How do you communicate complex statistical concepts and results to non-statisticians in a clear and understandable manner?
  • Can you describe a situation where you had to adapt your analysis methods or change your study design based on new data or unexpected results?
  • How do you ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and guidelines for statistical analysis in clinical research?
  • How do you use statistical software and programming languages for data analysis and visualization?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to use advanced statistical techniques, such as survival analysis or mixed effects models, in your work?
  • How do you stay current on advances in statistical methods and their applications in biomedical research?

Need help hiring a Biostatistician?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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