Biostatistician How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

What is a Biostatistician?

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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Average Salary and Compensation

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

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

$110,400

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
  • You intend to hire on a temporary, contract, or contract-to-hire basis and direct the work activity
  • You are hiring a direct employee 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

There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for a biostatistician opening:

CareerBuilder

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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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process. 

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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 Job Descriptions

Example 1

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

Requirements

  • 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

Example 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

Example 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

  • 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

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

Biostatistician

  • 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

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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