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ASA Surveys and Surprising Graphs
Keith Crank, ASA Assistant Director for Research and Graduate Education
T
he ASA conducts a number of surveys during
the year. Most prominent are our salary sur-
full professors
veys. We survey academic statisticians and bio-
140
associate professors
assistant professors
statisticians annually, and we survey business, industry,
and government statisticians biannually. The results of 120
the academic salary surveys were reported in the
December 2008 and January 2009 issues of Amstat
News. The next survey of business, industry, and gov-
100
ernment statisticians will be conducted this spring and
y (in 000s)
reported in the July or August issue of Amstat News.
Salar
80
Beginning in 2008, we also began conducting
a survey of academic departments of statistics and
biostatistics. The report for that survey is available at
60
www.amstat.org/outreach/departmentsurveys.cfm. We
plan to continue these departmental surveys to pro-
40
vide information about our academic departments
that is of interest to our members and useful to our
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Years in Rank
departments as they compete for resources.
We also conduct member surveys on various top-
Statistics department faculty 2008−2009 salaries
ics from time to time. The most recent was a sur-
vey of usage of our publications. The report for that
200
survey was published in the August 2008 issue of
Amstat News.
Responsibility for conducting these surveys varies.
The academic salary surveys are now done entirely
150
by the ASA. (Prior to 2008, the salary survey of aca-
demic biostatisticians was done at the University of
Vermont.) The salary survey of business, industry, and
government statisticians is done through a contract
y (in 000s)
(to the Medical College of Georgia for 2009, to Iowa
Salar
100
State University in 2007) with guidance provided by
the ASA’s Statistical Partnerships among Academe, full professors
Industry, and Government (SPAIG) Committee.
associate professors
assistant professors
The member surveys also are done through a contract 50
non-faculty
(most recently to Washington State University) with
guidance from the Membership Surveys Committee.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
The results of the academic salary surveys are
Years in Rank
published as tables of medians, quartiles, and (in
Academic biostatisticians faculty and nonfaculty 2008−2009 salaries
some cases) other percentiles. But, most of us don’t
have time to stare at tables long enough to under- nonfaculty). (These curves were created in R, which I
stand them very well (even though, as statisticians, am just beginning to learn. The data points were left
we probably do better than most). To get a better off the graphs to avoid releasing individual’s informa-
sense of how salaries have changed over the years, tion. If anyone knows how to get error estimates for
I prepared two reports that include graphs show- these curves, please let me know.) While I would not
ing how salaries for various groups have changed expect these graphs to be the same, I am surprised at
with time. To view the reports, visit www.amstat.org/ how different the shapes are for statistics faculty ver-
outreach/departmentsurveys.cfm. sus biostatistics faculty. What do you think? Are these
The two graphs provided here show fitted curves surprising to you, as well?
of how the 2008–2009 salaries change with aca- To contact me, send an email to keith@amstat.org.
demic rank and years within rank for faculty in sta- Questions or comments about this article, as well as
tistics department and for biostatistics faculty (and suggestions for future articles, are always welcome. ■
FEBRUARY 2009 AMSTAT NEWS 27
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