What Do Operations Research Analysts Do?
Operations research analysts have the job of interpreting, analyzing and developing specific information that helps the management of a company with their policy formulation and decision making. They may do their job by developing software, products or services that assist with the decision-making process. There is expected to be job growth at the rate of 27% for this position. This means that there will be around 3,600 job openings each year.
Operations Research Analysts Skills and Abilities
In order to be successful at this job, you must have good knowledge of mathematics, computers, technology, engineering and all the aspects of the production process. Additionally, complex problem solving skills are a plus so that you can develop well-thought-out solutions. Reading and writing skills are also essential if you want to hold this position. Some other important skills needed include:
- Active listening
- Decision making
There are also some key abilities that these professionals have as well. For example, mathematical reasoning and the ability to do math quickly and effectively are crucial. In addition, deductive and inductive reasoning and written comprehension will get you far in this field.
Operations Research Analysts Duties
Operations research analysts have some essential duties that they perform each day on the job. They are in charge of formulating mathematical simulation models of certain problems, working closely with senior managers to identify and solve problems and make effective decisions, developing cost and time networks, developing business methods, analyzing information and determining alternative actions that can be made to produce better outcomes. Other daily tasks can include:
- Working with co-workers to ensure solutions are properly implemented
- Preparing reports for management
- Testing models and making changes where necessary
- Defining data requirements
- Designing operational models
Operations Research Analysts Tools and Technology
There are different types of tools and technology that are utilized in this position that are needed for successful completion of the job. Various types of computers can be used, including desktop, mainframe and laptop computers. Scientific or analytical software will additionally be used extensively. This can include GAMS, AMPL, ESRI ArcExplorer and Claritas RRIZM NE. Computer aided design software may also be used as well. Some other forms of technology used by these professionals may include:
- Query and database software
- Date base reporting software
- Object-oriented development software, such as C++ and Sun Microsystems Java
Education and Training for Operations Research Analysts
It is usually required that you have a Bachelor’s Degree in order to hold this position at the entry level. For higher positions, however, a Master’s Degree may be required. There are few schools offering degrees in operations research, so these professionals typically have earned degrees in related fields. Some of these can include computer science, physics, engineering and mathematics. Mathematics courses are extremely important for these individuals since their jobs rely heavily on the subject. Other courses that may be taken can include economics and political science. Since technology and software are constantly changing, it is important that you keep up with continuing education.
Operations Research Analysts Salary
For operations research analysts, the median annual salary is $76,700. This can vary depending on your location in the country. While the top 10% can make around $132,200 per year, the lowest 10% may make approximately $42,800 annually.
Operations Research Analysts Jobs by Geography
Levels of employment vary from state to state. The top three states that employ the most operations research analysts are California, Texas and Florida. The highest, California employees 10,790 of these professionals. When it comes to highest annual mean wage, the top three locations include New Jersey, the District of Columbia and Virginia. New Jersey’s yearly mean wage is $109,910. The computer systems design and company management industries employ the highest amount of these individuals.