Operational Researcher

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Operational researchers use mathematics, statistics and scientific methods to help develop better systems and procedures in industry, commerce and public services. They try to give managers a scientific basis on which to make their decisions. They are sometimes called management scientists.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Starting salaries for qualified operational researchers in the UK tend to be in the range £25,000 to £29,000 a year. Starting salary can be higher if you hold a postgraduate degree. Experienced researchers can earn from £40,000 to £80,000 or more a year.

A government operational researcher on the Civil Service Fast Stream programme starts on £27,000 a year. This rises to between £45,000 and £55,000 a year with experience and promotion.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

You could work in almost any type of organisation: commercial and industrial firms, retail companies, health services, defence and telecommunications companies, electricity, gas and water companies, transport, local and central government and educational institutions.

What Does it Take?

You need to be able to:

You must be:


Getting On

More Information

The Government Operational Research Service (GORS), part of the Civil Service employs around 500 specialists who work on a range of projects across over 25 Government Departments and agencies. If you have a first or upper second class Honours degree in a numerate degree or a lower second class degree plus a numerate postgraduate degree you can apply for the GORS Fast Stream. 



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Civil Service Fast Stream
Twitter: @faststreamuk

Operational Research Society
Tel: 0121 233 9300
Twitter: @TheORSociety

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Career Sectors


Chemistry and Materials Science

Food Science and Technology

Mathematics and Statistics


Science General