Moderators are compensated for leading groups of consumers in focus groups and determining how well they like certain products, such as foods, software and household goods. They then report their findings to companies, which use the information to develop marketing strategies. Moderators also monitor and respond to participants' comments online or in forum discussions, ensuring everyone adheres to specified guidelines. If you have a gift for gab and experience in marketing research or customer service, the job of moderator may be perfect for you. You can expect to earn nearly $60,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
Moderators earned average annual salaries of $57,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Indeed. To become a moderator, you will likely need a bachelor's degree in business, marketing or market research and two or more years of customer service or market-research experience. Other essential qualifications you'll need include an attention to detail and critical-thinking, organizational, analytical, writing, speaking and computer skills.
Salary by Region
Average salaries for moderators varied significantly within certain U.S. regions in 2013. In the Midwest, they earned the highest salaries, $61,000, in Illinois and the lowest, $44,000, in South Dakota. Those in the Northeast made between $50,000 and $69,000 per year, respectively, in Maine and New York. If you worked in the South, you'd make $48,000 or $67,000, respectively, in Louisiana or Washington D.C., which were the lowest and highest salaries in that region. In the West, you'd make the most in California and the least in Hawaii -- $62,000 or $40,000, respectively.
You may earn more as a moderator in certain industries, as a market research analyst who also collects and analyzes consumer research data. In 2012, market research analysts earned the highest salaries, $94,380, in the semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -- versus an industry average of $67,380. You may also earn more working for a large research company, as big companies have more revenue to support higher salaries. Moderator salaries are higher in Illinois and California because of higher housing and living costs.
The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for moderators. It does, however, project job opportunities for market research analysts, which will increase 41 percent in the next decade. This extremely high growth rate should also apply to moderator jobs, as companies will continue relying on customer input to increase profits and market share. The demand for this specialty service should be just as high as it is for other types of marketing research.
2016 Salary Information for Market Research Analysts
Market research analysts earned a median annual salary of $62,560 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, market research analysts earned a 25th percentile salary of $45,550, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $88,260, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 595,400 people were employed in the U.S. as market research analysts.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Market Research Analysts: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- Groups Plus: FAQs aAout Focus Groups
- Internet Governance Forum: Job Description for Remote Moderators
- Indeed: Moderator Salary
- Indeed: Moderator Salary in Maine, and New York
- Indeed: Moderator Salary in Hawaii, and California
- Indeed: Moderator Salary in Louisiana, and Washington, DC
- Indeed: Moderator Salary in South Dakota, and Illinois
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Market Research Analysts
- Career Trend: Market Research Analysts