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Being a Statistician within BE presents an opportunity to work on an array of projects that deal closely with issues and industries at the forefront of the nation’s attention. These include FTC investigations with a specific law enforcement purpose (e.g., the investigation of a proposed merger or a business practice with the potential to harm consumers), as well as more wide-ranging investigations and research projects that serve the mission of the FTC. Investigations with a specific law enforcement purpose are conducted by teams comprised of economists, Statisticians, and other staff from the Bureau of Economics and attorneys in the Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection. Other investigations or research projects may be conducted independently or in collaboration with attorneys in the Office of Policy Planning or another FTC office. Statisticians interact with both economists and legal staff, thereby gaining an understanding of both economic and legal aspects of FTC investigations.

  • BE’s Antitrust divisions investigate the competitive effects of proposed mergers and other potentially anticompetitive business practices. Recent projects have included analysis of the potential effects of proposed horizontal mergers in industry such as chemical manufacturing, hospitals, and private-label cereal, analysis of potential vertical effects of a proposed semiconductor merger, and analysis of contracting practices in negotiations between pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacy benefits managers.
  • BE’s Consumer Protection division investigates unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices. Recent projects have included estimating the harm to consumers from the suppression of negative product reviews, novel analysis of the government’s consumer complaint data to understand how frauds affect different demographic groups, and investigations into how deceptively marketed and difficult-to-cancel subscription services have injured consumers.
  • BE’s Office of Applied Research and Outreach focuses on research performed within BE and also in collaboration with other FTC offices. Recent and ongoing projects have included empirical research into the competitive effects of divestitures in horizontal mergers, the effects of Certificates of Public Advantage issued by state governments to replace competition between healthcare providers, and the role of pharmacy benefit managers in the supply chain for prescription drugs and drug benefits.

During these assignments, Statisticians work closely with economists to compile data from public and private sources, conduct statistical analyses, perform literature reviews, and help design and test survey questionnaires. Statisticians also work with economists to develop written reports memorializing their findings in order to help inform FTC decision-making.

Training and Development

The training and development program is an important component of the Statistician experience. Through formal training and on-the-job experience, Statisticians in BE develop expertise in software packages such as Stata, R, Python, Microsoft Excel, ArcGIS, and other programs. Statisticians also have the opportunity to attend and participate in economic research seminars hosted by BE.

Recent formal training opportunities have included courses in Python, difference-in-difference methods, and data visualization.

Preparation for a Career

The Statistician position is for an initial term of one year, renewable up to four years. It is an ideal position for technically inclined recent graduates who would like to gain real-world research and analysis experience before pursuing a Ph.D. or other graduate degree. It also provides highly relevant work experience for those who move on to careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Some pursue advanced degrees in fields such as economics, business, law, and public policy at prestigious universities such as:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Virginia
  • Emory University
  • Cornell University
  • Yale University
  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University

Others continue their careers at companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations such as:

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Department of Defense
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • ICF International
  • Bank of America
  • CCG Venture Partners
  • Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Salary and Benefits

Initial appointments are made at the GS-7 or GS-9 grade level, depending on qualifications. Salary is determined by the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) pay schedule for the locality pay area of Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA.

In addition to the base salary, other benefits of FTC employment include:

  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • Wide selection of health insurance plans
  • Flexible health spending account
  • Life insurance options
  • Thrift Savings Plan (401k equivalent)
  • Alternate Work Schedule availability
  • Generous public transportation subsidy
  • Possible tuition subsidy

Application Information

This position is open to any U.S. citizen. Most Statisticians enter at the GS-7 level. In order to qualify at the GS-7 level, a candidate must have superior academic achievement as a college graduate (Bachelor’s degree with a GPA 3.0 or higher) or 1 full year of graduate level education (or equivalent work experience) at the time they start employment. (Anticipation of the academic qualification or experience before entering on duty is required for application). On occasion, the FTC hires Statisticians at a GS-9 level. In order to qualify at the GS-9 level an applicant must have a Master’s degree (or 1 year of experience equivalent to the GS-7 level). The FTC will determine whether an applicant is qualified at the GS-7 or GS-9 level based on OPM’s requirements.

In addition to significant academic coursework in statistics, the ideal candidate will have coursework in economics and mathematics, some interest and proficiency in programming languages for statistics or data science such as Stata, R, or Python, as well as a genuine interest in the economics of competition and consumer protection.

While the FTC generally hires Statisticians during our regular recruiting period in the fall, candidates may apply for a Statistician position at any time there is an opening on

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