Market Research Analysts

Summary

market research analysts image
Market research analysts perform research and gather data to help a company market its products or services.
Quick Facts: Market Research Analysts
2015 Median Pay $62,150 per year
$29.88 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 495,500
Job Outlook, 2014-24 19% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 92,300

What Market Research Analysts Do

Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

Work Environment

Because most industries use market research, these analysts are employed throughout the economy. Most analysts work full time during regular business hours. Some work under pressure of deadlines and tight schedules.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst

Most market research analysts need at least a bachelor’s degree. Top research positions may require a master’s degree. Strong math and analytical skills are essential.

Pay

The median annual wage for market research analysts was $62,150 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by an increased use of data and market research across all industries, to understand the needs and wants of customers and to measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for market research analysts.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of market research analysts with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about market research analysts by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Market Research Analysts Do About this section

Market research analysts
Market research analysts gather and analyze data on consumers and competitors.

Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

Duties

Market research analysts typically do the following:

  • Monitor and forecast marketing and sales trends
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies
  • Devise and evaluate methods for collecting data, such as surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls
  • Gather data on consumers, competitors, and market conditions
  • Analyze data using statistical software
  • Convert complex data and findings into understandable tables, graphs, and written reports
  • Prepare reports and present results to clients and management

Market research analysts research and gather data to help a company market its products or services. They gather data on consumer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits. They collect data and information using a variety of methods, such as interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, market analysis surveys, public opinion polls, and literature reviews.

Analysts help determine a company’s position in the marketplace by researching their competitors and analyzing their prices, sales, and marketing methods. Using this information, they may determine potential markets, product demand, and pricing. Their knowledge of the targeted consumer enables them to develop advertising brochures and commercials, sales plans, and product promotions. 

Market research analysts evaluate data using statistical techniques and software. They must interpret what the data mean for their client, and they may forecast future trends. They often make charts, graphs, infographics, and other visual aids to present the results of their research. 

Workers who design and conduct surveys are known as survey researchers.

Work Environment About this section

Market research analysts
Market research analysts may give presentations to clients.

Market research analysts held about 495,500 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most market research analysts were as follows:

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 10%
Wholesale trade 10
Finance and insurance 10
Management of companies and enterprises 8
Manufacturing 8

Because most industries use market research, these analysts are employed throughout the economy. 

Some market research analysts study trends for the company for which they work. Others work for consulting firms that do market research for many different clients.

Market research analysts can work individually or as part of a team, collecting, analyzing, and presenting data. For example, some analysts may work with graphic designers and artists to create charts, graphs, and infographics summarizing the research and findings.

Work Schedules

Most market research analysts work full time during regular business hours. Some, however, work under pressure of deadlines and tight schedules, which may require additional hours of work.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst About this section

Market research analysts
Market research analysts measure the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Most market research analysts need at least a bachelor’s degree. Top research positions may require a master’s degree. Strong math and analytical skills are essential. 

Education

Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field. Many have degrees in fields such as statistics, math, and computer science. Others have backgrounds in business administration, the social sciences, or communications.

Courses in statistics, research methods, and marketing are essential for these workers. Courses in communications and social sciences, such as economics or consumer behavior, are also important.

Some market research analyst jobs require a master’s degree. Several schools offer graduate programs in marketing research, but many analysts complete degrees in other fields, such as statistics and marketing, and/or earn a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). A master’s degree is often required for leadership positions or positions that perform more technical research. 

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is voluntary, but analysts may pursue certification to demonstrate a level of professional competency. The Marketing Research Association offers the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) for market research analysts. Candidates qualify based on experience and knowledge; they must pass an exam, be a member of a professional organization, and have at least 3 years working in opinion and marketing research. Individuals must complete 20 hours of industry-related continuing education courses every 2 years to renew their certification.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Market research analysts must be able to understand large amounts of data and information. 

Communication skills. Market research analysts need strong communication skills when gathering information, interpreting data, and presenting results to clients. 

Critical-thinking skills. To determine what marketing strategy would work best for a company, market research analysts must assess all available information.

Detail oriented. Market research analysts must be detail oriented because they often do precise data analysis.

Pay About this section

Market Research Analysts

Median annual wages, May 2015

Business operations specialists

$64,510

Market research analysts

$62,150

Total, all occupations

$36,200

 

The median annual wage for market research analysts was $62,150 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,530, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,460.

In May 2015, the median annual wages for market research analysts in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises $70,740
Finance and insurance 68,960
Manufacturing 68,570
Wholesale trade 59,330
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 58,550

Most market research analysts work full time during regular business hours. Some, however, work under pressure of deadlines and tight schedules, which may require additional hours of work.

Job Outlook About this section

Market Research Analysts

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Market research analysts

19%

Business operations specialists

7%

Total, all occupations

7%

 

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Employment growth will be driven by an increasing use of data and market research across all industries—to understand the needs and wants of customers and to measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies.

In addition, market research provides companies and organizations with an opportunity to increase sales and cut costs. Companies increasingly use research on consumer behavior to develop improved marketing strategies. By doing so, companies are better able to market directly to their target population.

Market research also lets companies monitor customer satisfaction and gather feedback about how to improve products or services, allowing companies to build an advantage over their competitors. They may use research to decide the location of stores, placement of products, and services offered. As more companies use research to develop marketing strategies, competing companies will likely engage in similar market research. 

Job Prospects

Job prospects should be best for those with a master’s degree in market research, marketing, statistics, or business administration.

Those with a strong quantitative background in statistical and data analysis or related work experience will have better job opportunities than those without it.

Employment projections data for market research analysts, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

13-1161 495,500 587,800 19 92,300 [XLSX]

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of market research analysts.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2015 MEDIAN PAY Help
Cost estimators

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry.

Bachelor's degree $60,390
Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

Bachelor's degree $124,850
Operations research analysts

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions.

Bachelor's degree $78,630
Statisticians

Statisticians

Statisticians use statistical methods to collect and analyze data and to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.

Master's degree $80,110
Economists

Economists

Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues.

Master's degree $99,180
Mathematicians

Mathematicians

Mathematicians conduct research to develop and understand mathematical principles. They also analyze data and apply mathematical techniques to help solve real-world problems.

Master's degree $111,110
Survey researchers

Survey Researchers

Survey researchers design and conduct surveys and analyze data. Surveys are used to collect factual data, such as employment and salary information, or to ask questions in order to understand people’s opinions, preferences, beliefs, or desires.

Master's degree $53,920
public relations specialists image

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals.

Bachelor's degree $56,770
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Market Research Analysts,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/market-research-analysts.htm (visited December 10, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. This tab may also provide information on earnings in the major industries employing the occupation.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's Career InfoNet.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2014

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2014, which is the base year of the 2014-24 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2014-24

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2014-24

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024.

2015 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2015, the median annual wage for all workers was $36,200.