Your career as a market researcher would go beyond just conducting phone surveys. You would be designing questionnaires, analyzing the results of surveys and reporting important customer findings. You would then advise executives which strategies can increase sales and profits. Do these tasks well, and you could earn over $54.12 per hour along with the top 10 percent in this field, according to May 2011 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average Salary and Benefits
The average hourly pay for a market researcher was $32.27, according to the BLS. Therefore, you aren't likely to starve anytime soon pursuing this career. You would probably earn between $21.12 and $40.71 per hour, what the middle half earned. Your earnings would depend on the company you work for as well as where you live. Experience is also a factor. Expect to receive benefits such as medical insurance, paid vacations and a retirement plan as a full-time worker.
Salary by Industry
An interest in cars could pay dividends for you if you find a job in the automobile manufacturing industry. These workers earned the highest hourly wages as market researchers at $47.75, according to the BLS. You would earn a slightly lower hourly rate of $45.20 working for a semiconductors and electronic components manufacturer. The federal government also pays market researchers well, at $44 per hour. And service providers such as marketing research agencies and advertising firms paid hourly rates closer to the industry norm at $32.87 and $32.56, respectively.
Salary by Region
A move to Delaware would earn you the highest wages as a market researcher, as they made $39.98 per hour, according to the BLS. Your wages would also be relatively high in the state of Washington: $37.80 per hour. Expect to earn slightly less in sunny California, where market researchers made $36.47 per hour. And if you live in the Lone Star State, your hourly wages would be closer to the industry average at $32.78.
Education and Training
You have several educational options when becoming a market researcher. You could get a degree in business or marketing, as many do. You may also find a college you like that offers marketing research as a major. This would give your career an immediate boost, because you'd already understand the basics of the discipline: writing quality surveys, calculating them and honing your analytical ability. Take some courses with database management software such as SPSS and SAS. Market researchers need this information to keep track of customers: their ages, incomes and what they buy, for example. A master's degree would be a plus.
Your career as a market researcher looks promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of jobs in this field to increase by a whopping 41 percent between 2010 and 2020. This rate of growth is much faster than other occupations. The main reason is that competition is stiff among companies in all industries. Corporations need to find ways to differentiate their products and provide consumers what they want. And as a market researcher, you put yourself in a position to make a real difference for your employer.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Market Research Analysts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- CareerPlanner.com: Market Research Analyst
- StateUniversity.com: Marketing Research Worker Job Description, Career as a Marketing Research Worker, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
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