Career Detail

Operations Research Analysts
Often involved in top-level strategizing, planning, and forecasting.
The Job
Analysts would study the problem, breaking it into its components. Then they would gather information from a variety of sources. To determine the optimal inventory, operations research analysts might talk with engineers about production levels, discuss purchasing arrangements with buyers, and examine storage-cost data provided by the accounting department.
Work Environment
Operations research analysts generally work regular hours in an office environment. However, because they work on projects that are of immediate interest to top managers, operations research analysts
College Majors
master's degree in operations research or a closely related field-such as computer science, engineering, business, mathematics, information systems, or management science-coupled with a bachelor's deg
Minimum Qualifications
A college degree in operations research generally is required. Computer programming skills are essential.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Operations research analysts must be able to think logically, work well with people, and write and speak well.
Quick Facts
  • While a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, employers generally prefer applicants with at least a master's degree in operations research or a closely related field.
  • Computer programming skills and keeping up to date with technological advances and improvements in analytical methods are essential.
  • Employment growth is projected to be as fast as the average for all occupations.
  • Individuals with a master's or Ph.D. degree in operations research or a closely related subject should find opportunities in a number of occupations that use their computer, mathematical, and problem-
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of operations research analysts were $69,000 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $51,780 and $92,920. The lowest 10 percent had wages of less than $40,000, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $118,130. Median annual wages of operations research analysts working in management, scientific, and technical consulting services were $80,290 in May 2008. The average annual salary for operations research analysts in the Federal Government was $107,198 in March
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