Operations Research Analyst

Be Creative: Operations Research Analyst
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Robin Roundy


“BYU's math department launched me on a very exciting career in  operations research - the application of mathematics to business management.”

“I deal with the modeling, mathematical theory and algorithmic aspects of inventory control,  production planning, production scheduling, forecasting and capacity management.  It has been fascinating to work with a mixture of very small, very large, and medium-sized companies.”

Operations research analysts are involved in top-level strategizing, planning, and forecasting. They use advanced techniques from mathematics, science, and engineering to make better decisions and to solve problems. These analysts help to allocate resources, measure performance, design production facilities and systems, manage the supply chain, set prices, coordinate transportation and distribution, and analyze large databases. They also have been used in wartime to effectively deploy radar, search for enemy submarines, and get supplies to where they are most needed.

Low-end Salary: 
Median Salary: 
High-end Salary: 

Operations research analysts must obtain the minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree in an area such as mathematics. Most employers do prefer applicants with a master’s degree and computer programming skills. Keeping up to date with technological advances and improvements in analytical methods is essential.

Math Required: 

College Algebra Trigonometry Calculus I, II, III Advanced Multivariable Calculus Linear Algebra Advanced Linear Algebra Linear Programming

When Math Is Used: 

Operations Research Analysts use math to solve a wide variety of 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 • 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 • forestry companies to help decide how to manage large tracts of forest land • investment firms to manage risk and optimize portfolios.

Potential Employers: 

Many operations research analysts in the Federal Government work for the Department of Defense, and others in private industry work directly or indirectly on national defense.


The Game theory, a part of operations research, was used to select a strategy for the Battle of Midway during World War II. The U.S. Navy was on one side of Midway Island, and the Japanese Navy on the other. We calculated our probability of winning in the four cases of our going north of the island or south of it, and the same for the Japanese. Game theory was then used to select the winning strategy.

Roshan Kumar
User offline. Last seen 2 years 5 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/13/2012
Career in Operation research

Hi Robin,

This is Roshan, currently working in data warehousing domain with an IT firm in bangalore, India. I have more than 4 years of teaching experience on OR as a freelancer. I am looking for a position to work in research field that i found in myself. I am having good grip on operation research techniques like Liner programming, Decision theory, Inventory model, Queuing theory, Dynamic programming, Replacement theory, Game theory, Project planning etc. I am well versed in implementing these concepts. Can you please assist me how to proceed with this career opportunity.

Best regards,


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Salary figures from
the current US Bureau of Labor of Statistics website and represent the
90th percentile.

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” WeUseMath.org is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.


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Figures represent salary potential.


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