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Operations Research Analysts picture    Operations Research Analysts image

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts utilize advanced analytical techniques in order to solve problems and make better decisions. Operations research analysts strive to find more effective and efficient techniques to run a variety of operations such as traffic systems and factories. An operations research analyst solves problems. Operations analysts sometimes participate in top-level planning and forecasting. They often have an area of specialization.

An operation research analyst develops and applies mathematical models, computer modeling, statistical analysis, linear programming and other mathematical techniques to develop and interpret information. The objective of this work is to help managers with making decisions and formulating policies.

Operations analysts determine the most effective way for managing personnel, money, equipment, materials and space. They help improve inefficient operating methods that produce financial losses. An operations analyst utilizes engineering, mathematics, computer programming and scientific techniques.

Operations research analysts are employed by the military, manufacturing industries, telecommunications, insurance, the government and other sectors. Some operations research analysts are employed by consulting firms and research organizations. Some analysts create schedules and routes for trains, planes and buses. A common job title is analytical strategist.

Responsibilities

  • Determine data requirements and collect and validate information by using statistical tests and judgement
  • Develop decision support software
  • Determine the most appropriate analytical technique
  • Evaluate information to conceptualize and define operational problems
  • Test models for accuracy and make changes if necessary
  • Consult with managers to identify and solve various problems and to learn management objectives
  • Prepare reports for management that define and evaluate problems and recommend solutions
  • Indicate computational or manipulative techniques to apply to models
  • Break systems into component parts
  • Use analytical methods from science, math and engineering

Job Characteristics

They usually are working at their desks or in computer rooms. Operations analysts often work as part of a team, however a lot of their time is spent on independent calculations and computer work. An operations research analyst typically works 40 hours a week, however due to the need to meet deadlines they may work overtime. They also spend time to stay current with the latest developments in the field.

Employment Outlook

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Typically, employers seek candidates that have earned, at a minimum, a master's degree in operations research or a closely related subject such as engineering, computer science, mathematics, business, management science or information systems. Often, employers prefer the master's degree to be combined with a bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics, statistics or economics. Graduate degrees in both computer science and operations research are very attractive to employers.

Since computers are the most important tools utilized by operations analysts they also need training and experience in computer programming. They also need skills in database collection and management and in developing and utilizing sophisticated software packages. Continuing education is vital for those in the profession. An operations research analyst can move up and become a technical specialist or a supervisor on more complex projects. They may also acquire higher level managerial or administrative jobs. Some operations research analysts open their own consulting business.

Resources

Major Employers

The major employment providing industries are management, scientific and technical services; computer systems design and related services; management of companies and enterprises, insurance carriers and the federal government.

Schools for Operations Research Analysts are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Operations Research Analysts

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Operations Research Analysts jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Huntsville 540 $100,240
Hoover 150 $84,820
Birmingham 150 $84,820
Mobile N/A $75,970
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 60 N/A
Fairbanks 50 $48,600
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 2980 $67,530
Scottsdale 2980 $67,530
Mesa 2980 $67,530
Tucson 210 $66,550
Sierra Vista 30 $76,020
Douglas 30 $76,020
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 180 $58,310
North Little Rock 180 $58,310
Little Rock 180 $58,310
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 3720 $83,750
Long Beach 3720 $83,750
Los Angeles 3720 $83,750
Sunnyvale 3360 $113,920
Santa Clara 3360 $113,920
San Jose 3360 $113,920
Hayward 1980 N/A
San Francisco 1980 N/A
Oakland 1980 N/A
San Diego 1030 $85,030
Carlsbad 1030 $85,030
Arcade 910 $65,430
Roseville 910 $65,430
Sacramento 910 $65,430
Arden 910 $65,430
Riverside 190 $79,150
Ontario 190 $79,150
San Bernardino 190 $79,150
Bakersfield 130 $85,490
Santa Maria 110 $92,770
Santa Barbara 110 $92,770
Fresno 70 $70,860
Watsonville 70 $95,150
Santa Cruz 70 $95,150
Santa Rosa 40 $66,960
Salinas 40 $70,710
Oxnard N/A $62,800
Ventura N/A $62,800
Thousand Oaks N/A $62,800
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 530 $79,870
Aurora 530 $79,870
Denver 530 $79,870
Colorado Springs 190 $106,780
Boulder 80 $70,780
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 560 $88,560
East Hartford 560 $88,560
West Hartford 560 $88,560
Stamford 400 $89,830
Bridgeport 400 $89,830
Norwalk 400 $89,830
New Haven 40 $108,830
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 1510 $58,030
West Palm Beach 1510 $58,030
Miami 1510 $58,030
Clearwater 1120 $60,590
Tampa 1120 $60,590
St. Petersburg 1120 $60,590
Orlando 910 $61,930
Sanford 910 $61,930
Kissimmee 910 $61,930
Jacksonville 750 $57,160
Tallahassee 550 $46,580
Crestview 200 $94,580
Fort Walton Beach 200 $94,580
Destin 200 $94,580
Palm Bay 180 $68,650
Titusville 180 $68,650
Melbourne 180 $68,650
Lakeland 110 $49,460
Winter Haven 110 $49,460
Cape Coral 110 $51,750
Fort Myers 110 $51,750
Daytona Beach 100 $50,170
Ormond Beach 100 $50,170
Deltona 100 $50,170
Ferry Pass 90 $49,170
Brent 90 $49,170
Pensacola 90 $49,170
Gainesville 90 $51,260
Bradenton 70 $56,700
Sarasota 70 $56,700
North Port 70 $56,700
Ocala 70 $57,790
Panama City 60 $88,310
Naples 50 $60,120
Marco Island 50 $60,120
Immokalee 50 $60,120
Port St. Lucie 30 $44,170
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 1660 $58,400
Sandy Springs 1660 $58,400
Atlanta 1660 $58,400
Macon 50 $62,470
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 300 $59,160
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 260 $60,440
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bloomington 860 $78,750
Urbana 30 $73,540
Champaign 30 $73,540
Springfield N/A $72,230
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 800 $69,670
Indianapolis 800 $69,670
Carmel 800 $69,670
Fort Wayne 70 $70,510
Bloomington 60 $66,320
Goshen 40 $68,840
Elkhart 40 $68,840
Kokomo 40 $87,960
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Des Moines 300 $62,810
West Des Moines 300 $62,810
Iowa City 60 N/A
Cedar Falls 30 N/A
Waterloo 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 360 $63,740
Topeka 40 $68,660
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 130 $70,670
Lexington 130 $70,670
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 730 $41,470
New Orleans N/A $72,990
Metairie N/A $72,990
Monroe N/A $90,810
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 120 $70,720
Portland 120 $70,720
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 1370 $97,210
Towson 1370 $97,210
Columbia 1370 $97,210
Lexington Park 360 $99,700
California 360 $99,700
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 1140 $86,630
Warren 1140 $86,630
Detroit 1140 $86,630
Ann Arbor 180 $86,440
Grand Rapids 80 $59,580
Wyoming 80 $59,580
East Lansing 60 $60,840
Lansing 60 $60,840
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 50 $71,750
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 90 $55,140
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 50 $47,400
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 90 $48,930
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 170 $75,060
Henderson 170 $75,060
Las Vegas 170 $75,060
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 140 $97,860
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 230 $83,470
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 260 $65,830
Buffalo 260 $65,830
Cheektowaga 260 $65,830
Schenectady 240 $59,370
Albany 240 $59,370
Troy 240 $59,370
Rochester 180 $61,960
Syracuse 140 $77,240
Rome 80 $60,590
Utica 80 $60,590
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 250 $75,870
Durham 180 $76,040
Chapel Hill 180 $76,040
Salem 80 $101,980
Winston 80 $101,980
High Point N/A $56,860
Greensboro N/A $56,860
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 1210 $66,770
Elyria 1210 $66,770
Columbus 970 $80,800
Dayton 240 $92,930
Akron 40 $74,010
Toledo 40 $83,740
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 570 $58,520
Tulsa 100 $58,620
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 40 $74,630
Salem 40 $87,460
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 520 $72,900
Harrisburg 300 $63,160
Carlisle 300 $63,160
Barre 140 $38,360
Wilkes 140 $38,360
Scranton 140 $38,360
Hazleton 140 $38,360
Lancaster 110 $77,910
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 90 $39,630
Carolina 90 $39,630
San Juan 90 $39,630
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 250 $58,360
Mauldin 60 $75,590
Anderson 60 $75,590
Greenville 60 $75,590
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 830 $65,230
Murfreesboro 830 $65,230
Davidson 830 $65,230
Nashville 830 $65,230
Knoxville 200 $60,560
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 3510 $81,390
Dallas 3510 $81,390
Fort Worth 3510 $81,390
Houston 1710 $82,810
The Woodlands 1710 $82,810
Sugar Land 1710 $82,810
Austin 1280 $69,450
Round Rock 1280 $69,450
New Braunfels 1030 $89,030
San Antonio 1030 $89,030
Temple 100 $101,970
Killeen 100 $101,970
El Paso 90 $85,850
Bryan 40 $46,930
College Station 40 $46,930
Lubbock 40 $61,350
Corpus Christi N/A $83,700
Edinburg N/A $84,680
McAllen N/A $84,680
Mission N/A $84,680
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 520 $71,500
Clearfield 70 $67,580
Ogden 70 $67,580
Provo 50 $76,980
Orem 50 $76,980
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 50 $74,710
Burlington 50 $74,710
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 530 $84,190
Harrisonburg 80 $95,780
Charlottesville 70 $66,590
Roanoke 30 $78,010
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 2380 $88,440
Tacoma 2380 $88,440
Seattle 2380 $88,440
Tumwater 180 $65,460
Olympia 180 $65,460
Spokane Valley 70 $68,070
Spokane 70 $68,070
Richland N/A $64,620
Kennewick N/A $64,620
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 550 $65,300
West Allis 550 $65,300
Milwaukee 550 $65,300
Madison 410 $71,180
Green Bay 110 $59,190
Oshkosh 80 $51,440
Neenah 80 $51,440
Wausau 80 $60,960
Appleton N/A $81,400

Most Popular Industries for :
Operations Research Analysts

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 14,380 23% $77,930
Government 8,640 14% $71,210
Banking And Credit 5,330 8% $57,710
Insurance 4,700 7% $59,640
Business Management 4,160 6% $71,470
Telecommunications 2,940 4% $70,450
Education 2,600 4% $53,720
Securities And Investment 2,280 3% $71,160
Internet Service Provider 2,260 3% $76,070
Electronics And Computer 1,660 2% $73,720
Office Services And Staffing 1,630 2% $64,470
Hospital 1,430 2% $61,150
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 1,120 1% $71,170
Durable Goods Wholesale 1,060 1% $78,950
Chemicals 920 1% $85,530
Utilities 640 1% $72,000
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Operations Research Analysts.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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