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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 740,900 jobs in 2020. The largest employers of market research analysts were as follows:

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 11%
Finance and insurance 10
Wholesale trade 8
Management of companies and enterprises 7
Publishing industries (except Internet) 4

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

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. Some 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 business, communications, or social science field. Others have a background in business administration or social science.

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 on the basis of experience and knowledge; they must pass an exam, have at least 3 years working in opinion and marketing research, and complete 12 hours of industry-related education courses. 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 2021

Business operations specialists

$76,040

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

$63,920

Total, all occupations

$45,760

 

The median annual wage for market research analysts was $63,920 in May 2021. 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 $37,570, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $128,320.

In May 2021, the median annual wages for market research analysts in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises $79,640
Publishing industries (except Internet) 79,450
Finance and insurance 76,650
Wholesale trade 64,090
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 62,650

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 2020-30

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

22%

Business operations specialists

9%

Total, all occupations

8%

 

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 96,000 openings for market research analysts are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Employment growth will be driven by an increasing use of data and market research across many industries. They will be needed to help understand the needs and wants of customers, measure the effectiveness of marketing and business strategies, and identify the factors affecting product demand.

The increase in the collection and analyses of big data—extremely large sets of information, such as social media comments or online product reviews—can provide insight on consumer behaviors and preferences. Businesses will need market research analysts to conduct analyses of the data and information.

Employment projections data for market research analysts, 2020-30
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

13-1161 740,900 904,500 22 163,600 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about market research analysts, visit

Insights Association

CareerOneStop

For a career video on market research analysts, visit

Market research analysts

O*NET

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Search Marketing Strategists

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