Job type

Operational researcher

£23k - £65k

Typical salary

37 – 39

Hours per week

Operational researchers analyse how organisations can improve the way they work.

More info

  • Use data, maths and modelling techniques to help organisations improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • You'll gain specialist knowledge and conduct research then advise clients on how they can make improvements
  • An interesting field with excellent prospects for those with an interest in maths, technology and problem-solving

As an operational researcher, you'll use advanced mathematical and business theories to help your organisation work more effectively. Operational research (sometimes also called Management Science) work can range from air traffic control scheduling to measuring player performance in a professional sports team.


  • Observe staff and managers and interview them about their jobs
  • Collect and analyse data, using mathematical and statistical methods
  • Apply business theories
  • Identify areas for improvement and recommend changes
  • Advise managers on making changes
  • Check to see how changes are working
  • Set up and test solutions to problems
  • Use statistical and computer forecasting
  • Present findings to the organisation


You could work in an office or work from home.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need business management skills, analytical thinking skills, knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses, flexibility and openness to change, good initiative, customer service skills, the ability to work well with others, and knowledge of English language.

You'll usually need a degree in operational research or maths, or another relevant subject such as statistics, computing, economics or management science.

Direct application is possible if you've got related experience from industry, such as research and development, or project management.

Joining a professional body like The Operational Research Society may improve your career prospects.


With experience you could become a project or team leader, then manager of an operational research department. You could also become self-employed as a management consultant.