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Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts use mathematical modelling and information technology to develop decision support systems for decision-makers in public and private organizations.

  • Avg. Salary $93,273.00
  • Avg. Wage $48.58
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Management Scientist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Statisticians (2161.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries (C061) 
  • 2011 NOC: Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries (2161) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Operations Research Analyst is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Interest in synthesizing information to extend knowledge on the mathematical basis of statistics, and to develop statistical methodologies


Interest in applying statistical theory and methods to provide information in scientific and other fields such as biological and agricultural sciences, business and economics, physical sciences and engineering, and the social sciences


Interest in consulting to advise on the applications of statistical methods and analyses

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Jan 25, 2015

Operations research analysts use analytical methods, mathematical modelling techniques and information technology to predict system performance and compare the outcomes of alternative strategies or ways of managing complex systems.

Operations research analysis can be applied to a wide variety of management problems. For example, it may be used by:

  • emergency medical services to plan the deployment of ambulances
  • governments to analyze the flow of patients through a health care system
  • hospitals to design blood banking systems or schedule staff and operating rooms
  • police departments to devise shift schedules that minimize response time and meet budget and human resource needs
  • municipalities to decide where a hazardous waste facility should be located
  • railway companies to schedule and optimize the use of rolling stock
  • airlines to develop pricing strategies, schedule crews and aircraft, and develop disaster recovery plans 
  • manufacturing companies to design or increase the efficiency of production systems
  • oil companies to evaluate prospective oil or gas projects
  • freight forwarders and transportation companies to develop and plan vehicle routes
  • logistic companies to design a long term plan for warehouse location and consolidation
  • service intensive companies to schedule the most efficient worker allocation 
  • forestry companies to help decide how to manage large tracts of forest land
  • investment firms to manage risk and optimize portfolios.

In general, operations research analysts:

  • meet with decision makers to identify problems and clarify management objectives
  • observe the current system in operation, if necessary and possible
  • manage and analyze large amounts of data that describe how systems operate and perform
  • use scientific methods to develop mathematical models that can be used to predict how systems will behave if different courses of action are taken
  • use computers to develop and run models and investigate the merits of alternate courses of action.

Sometimes, operations research analysts work as part of interdisciplinary teams that include such diverse professionals as economists, engineers and managers.

Working Conditions
Updated Jan 25, 2015

Operations research analysts usually work in office environments in large organizations or consulting firms. Since the work is project oriented, some overtime may be required to meet project deadlines. However, hours of work are often flexible. Some travel may be required to study systems in operation.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jan 25, 2015

Operations research analysts need the following characteristics:

  • good mathematical and analytical abilities
  • good spatial perception
  • good modelling skills to solve complex problems
  • good communication skills including listening and public speaking skills.

They should enjoy synthesizing information to develop innovative solutions to complex problems, applying statistical theory and mathematical techniques, and advising others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Jan 25, 2015

The minimum academic requirement to become an operations research analyst is a bachelor's degree specializing in industrial engineering, management science, computer science, applied mathematics, statistics or quantitative analysis. Computer skills related to data analysis and mathematical or statistical modelling are required. Those who have a related master's degree have a definite advantage when seeking employment.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Grant MacEwan University

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

University of Lethbridge

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

In collaboration with several Canadian universities, the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) offers a diploma to members who have completed post-secondary studies that cover operational research techniques, probability and statistics, computers and systems, and applications of operational research.

Certification Requirements
Updated Jan 25, 2015

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Jan 25, 2015

Most operations research analysts are employed in the head offices of large process, manufacturing and service firms. Some are employed by:

  • consulting firms
  • universities
  • logistic firms
  • private research institutions 
  • government departments.

Entry level operations research analysts start working on well defined problems and progress to less clear cut problems. Experienced analysts may start their own consulting businesses or move into other management positions.

Operations research analysts are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2161: Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Employment demand for operations research analysts has been relatively limited in Alberta but changes in computer technology (for example, reasonably priced, user friendly spreadsheet tools for operations research) are making operations research more accessible to smaller organizations.

Wage & Salary
Updated Jan 25, 2015

Starting salaries for operations research analysts vary according to the employee's qualifications and the nature of the position.

Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $30.02 $41.46 $36.78 $38.43
Overall $37.26 $81.72 $48.58 $48.15
Top $41.04 $81.72 $54.51 $58.55

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Mathematics
Other Sources of Information
Updated Jan 25, 2015

Canadian Operational Research Society website:


For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Feb 08, 2013. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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