Occ. Code 0705200







New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            For the purpose of this standard, statistics is defined as the body of theory and methods used in the collection, classification and evaluation of numerical data.  It represents a system for the collection, compilation, description, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of information in numerical form.


            Statisticians and Biostatisticians assist higher level professionals in applying these statistical concepts to the planning of statistical or biostatistical studies.  The major objective of such activity is to provide management with bases for decisions in research and administration through specific descriptive summaries and evaluations of numeric data developed through the application of statistical theory.  Activities are usually concerned with a specific program area or subject matter field and are initiated in response to program needs and to various mandated activities.


            Positions of Statistician are found in several State agencies with the greatest number of positions in the Department of Labor.  Positions of Biostatistician are located in the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene.




            Generally Statistician and Biostatistician are non-supervisory positions, although incumbents may provide technical direction and assistance to statistical clerical positions on an assigned basis.  Incumbents work under close supervision and are usually assigned small recurring projects controlled by well established procedures and involving a limited number of factors, or to a segment of a larger study in direct support of a higher level professional.  Since the work involves the selection and application of established statistical methods, typical assignments usually do not require adaptation or adjustment of procedures.


            In the analysis, interpretation and presentation of numerical data which are basic functions of Statistician and Biostatistician positions, statistical techniques such as sampling, regression and correlation, analysis of time series, tests of hypotheses, and analysis of variance are the primary analytical and inferential tools used.  Incumbents may assist in such activities as the formulation and planning of investigations, the design of samples, the conduct of surveys, and the provision of technical assistance to program staff and others in the application of statistical techniques and methods.  The majority of the incumbent’s time must be devoted to these activities which are critical to the classification of Statistician and Biostatistician.


            Incumbents may use the services of computer specialists and computer equipment in their work.  The use of such equipment, however, represents one of a variety of tools, used by statisticians, and as such is incidental to the classification of positions in these classes.


            The activities and tasks performed by Statisticians and Biostatisticians are similar, the main distinction being the subject matter fields in which each works.  Statisticians typically work in such fields as economics, social science, taxation, labor, agriculture, education, and operations and administration; Biostatisticians in health, medical and biological fields.


            Positions involved in activities concerned with supervising a clerical staff in the collection, processing and dissemination of routine numerical data on an ongoing scheduled basis following prescribed methods and procedures are classified under an appropriate title in the Clerk series, or to a title in the series most appropriate to the predominant tasks performed.


Statistician Trainees assist higher grade statisticians in performing statistical work of limited scope, while broadening their knowledge and enhancing their professional skills in the methods and techniques of statistics.


            A Senior Statistician or Senior Biostatistician applies professional knowledge of statistical theory, assumptions and principles to the planning and execution of surveys and studies which may require the adaptation and adjustment of established statistical methods.  Typically, incumbents supervise and provide technical direction to a subordinate staff consisting of statistical clerical professional positions on a full-time or special project basis.  Seniors may provide technical assistance and advice to program staff in the application of statistical techniques and methods, and in the interpretation of statistical studies.


            Positions in the Economist series apply economic theory and principles to the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of economic information.  Economists utilize a variety of methods including statistical and mathematical techniques as a means of gathering and interpreting quantitative information.  The use of such methods by economists, however, may be only incidental to the position whose principal interest is in the subject matter field which requires specific knowledge and competence in economics.


            Positions in the Program Research Specialist series perform staff service to management in securing and providing operating and management officials with the factual and evaluative material, and the advice needed for the effective direction of agency programs.  The work of incumbents in this series is characterized by the performance of activities concerned with the planning of studies; the collection of data; the analysis, evaluation, interpretation and reporting of findings on current or proposed operating programs as well as policies and legislation related to such programs for the purpose of evaluating actual or potential effectiveness in achieving objectives; and for providing advice and consultation to management officials and others on operating programs.  Program Research Specialists employ a number of standard statistical methods to compare and project quantitative data, and may consult with and receive the assistance of professional statisticians in the design of statistical and analytical methods for program research projects.  The use of such statistical techniques, however, represents only one of a variety of tools used by specialists for fact finding and analysis of data.




Although incumbents may perform all of the following tasks over a period of time, the nature of a specific assignment may call for the conduct of only a limited number of such activities.


May assist professional positions of a higher grade in the planning of statistical projects and surveys by personally performing, or assisting in the performance of one or a combination of the following tasks:


·        Applies statistical theory and methods in determining the appropriate statistical techniques to be used and in developing a plan for the collection, organization and analysis of numeric data.


·        Based on the statistical plan, prepares documents necessary to carry out the project such as written instructions, procedures and forms.


·        If survey is to be conducted, selects the appropriate sampling techniques and develops procedures to control the accuracy, completeness and statistical reliability of the survey data.


·        Develops a questionnaire to elicit information required by the survey plan.


·        As required, solicits the cooperation of participants by means of written correspondence and personal interviews.


·        If computer services and equipment are to be utilized to process data, describes and provides written documents covering the statistical plan and data requirements to computer staff.


Conducts or assists in the conduct of projects and surveys for the purpose of obtaining the desired information according to plan.


·        Following prescribed procedures, collects edits, organizes and summarizes data in tabular form amenable to statistical analysis.


·        Reviews data for reliability, validity, consistency, completeness, accuracy, reasonableness, and comparability.


·        Determines the cause of errors in data and makes appropriate corrections.  If required, recommends modification or change in procedures to insure the collection of useable data.


·        Makes required mathematical and statistical computations involving the use of a number of techniques.


May assist in the evaluation of results, and assists or independently analyzes and presents data in written form, tables, graphs and charts.


In conjunction with the other activities listed in this standard, may supervise a staff of statistical clerical support positions in a statistical operation usually on an assigned basis.


·        Assigns and schedules work, and gives instructions and assistance to subordinate employees engaged in processing reports, questionnaires, and forms, and in making tabulations, graphs, charts, and statistical computations.


·        Reviews work for accuracy and compliance with instructions.


May provide technical assistance to program staff and others in the application of statistical techniques and methods for a specific project or statistical study.


·        Through written correspondence, telephone, or personal contact, explains such areas as the status of the project and the statistical methods and procedures used.


·        May assist in interpreting study results indicating the significance and meaning of the study findings.




            The nature of the tasks performed by incumbents of these classes requires occasional oral and written communications with program managers and subject matter specialists concerned with the project for the purpose of obtaining, exchanging and clarifying information and explaining statistical procedures and plans.


            Incumbents meet frequently with the supervisor for the purpose of receiving information and instructions on assignments; receiving work and identifying and resolving statistical problems related to a project.


            Written results of studies are prepared for review by the supervisor which include such information as brief narrative reports, and supporting graphic presentations as prescribed by plan.


            Statisticians and Biostatisticians maintain professional relationships by meeting with professional statistical associations and societies to discuss mutual problems and possible solutions, and other areas concerned with improving their knowledge of the statistical field.




            Employees in these classes normally do not supervise other positions.  However, incumbents may provide technical direction on statistical matters to a staff generally on a project basis.  Statisticians and Biostatisticians are supervised by professional positions of a higher grade usually at the Senior or Associate level of the appropriate occupational series.  Technical assistance in a program or subject matter area may also be given incumbents working on a specific project by program or subject matter specialists.


            Assignments made are usually of a recurring nature with the general methods to be used and techniques applicable to the assignment furnished by the supervisor.  The work is controlled by clearly defined procedures and guides and the supervisor is generally available for guidance as needed.  Work performed may be checked in progress and is given a technical review on completion.




·        Working knowledge of the principles, theories and techniques of descriptive and inferential statistics.


·        Working knowledge of the mathematics required to perform statistical procedures.


·        Working knowledge of the sources of information, and application of statistical methods related to the subject matter field under study.


·        Basic knowledge of the regulations and objectives of the agency’s programs as they affect the statistical assignment.


·        Basic knowledge of current developments in the field of statistics or biostatistics.


·        Ability to prepare written statistical reports and summaries including charts and graphs.


·        Ability to apply established mathematical and statistical methods to the solution of problems in a subject matter field.


·        Ability to orally communicate with agency representatives or the general public for the purpose of obtaining and exchanging information relevant to a study.





Possession of a Bachelor’s Degree including or supplemented by 15 credit hours of course work in mathematics or statistics including at least six credit hours in statistics, and one year of satisfactory professional statistics experience; or satisfactory completion of one year as a Statistician Trainee.



Reviewed:  1/03



NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.