Defense Statistician

Gather and assess data to help guide national defense policy.
picture of Defense Statistician

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$39,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Defense Statisticians do?

A Defense Statistician collects and analyzes quantitative data, to help officials make defense-related decisions and policies. These officials include Politicians, senior officers in the Army, Navy, and Marines, and even the President Of The United States.

If you think national defense is all about the gauge of your guns, the size of your bombs, and the strength of your tanks, think again. National defense isn’t just about having an arsenal of weapons. It’s also about having an arsenal of information. That arsenal is what you manage when you’re a Defense Statistician.

Like a regular Statistician, you spend your days immersed in surveys, questionnaires, reports, models, and forecasts, which you design and execute using tried-and-true statistical concepts like sampling, probability, and variance.

Whether you’re an employee or a Consultant, you make your reports by writing, designing, and asking questions, then recording, summarizing, and communicating answers, which you ultimately translate into predictions, prognoses, and recommendations. Your efforts might yield demographic data describing the numbers, ages, and genders of new military recruits. They might yield economic data revealing the quantities, locations, and costs of military provisions. Or they might yield strategic data exploring the causes and effects of military deaths and injuries.

Whatever the data, it’s your responsibility as a Defense Statistician to obtain it by asking the right questions in the right ways to the right people, which requires an intimate understanding of defense systems, structures, issues, and events. More than a Pollster, therefore, you’re the statistical equivalent of an Intelligence Analyst (only armed with scatter plots instead of surveillance equipment!).

Should I be a Defense Statistician?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • How to become a Defense Statistician

    Defense Statisticians often have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaay39&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29|master%27s+%2833%25%29|doctorate+%2837%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,37
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