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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 consumer preferences, business conditions, and other factors to assess 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 data and findings into tables, graphs, and written reports
  • Prepare reports and present results to clients and management

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

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

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 that market research analysts use are survey researchers.

Work Environment About this section

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

Market research analysts held about 792,500 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of market research analysts were as follows:

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

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

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

Work Schedules

Most market research analysts work full time during regular business hours.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst About this section

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

Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree. Some employers require or prefer that job candidates have a master’s degree. Strong research 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.

Courses in statistics, research methods, and marketing are important for prospective analysts. Courses in communications and social sciences, such as economics or consumer behavior, are also helpful.

Some employers of market research analysts require or prefer a master’s degree. Several schools offer graduate programs in marketing research, but analysts may choose to complete a bachelor’s degree in another field, such as statistics and marketing, and 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

Analysts may pursue certification, which is voluntary, to demonstrate a level of professional competency. The Insights Association offers several certifications for market research analysts, including the IPC Principal and the IPC Masters. Candidates qualify based on industry experience and passing an exam.

Other Experience

Completing an internship while in school may be helpful. Prospective analysts also may gain experience by volunteering for an organization and helping with market research or related projects.

Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have experience in other positions that require collecting and analyzing data or writing reports to summarize research. 

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Market research analysts must evaluate large amounts of data and information related to market conditions.

Communication skills. Market research analysts must be able to clearly convey information when gathering material, interpreting data, and presenting results to clients.

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

Detail oriented. Market research analysts must pay attention to minutiae to evaluate data.

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.

Job Outlook About this section

Market Research Analysts

Percent change in employment, projected 2021-31

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

19%

Business operations specialists

8%

Total, all occupations

5%

 

Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 19 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 99,800 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. These workers 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, 2021-31
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2021 Projected Employment, 2031 Change, 2021-31 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

13-1161 792,500 942,800 19 150,300 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about market research analysts, visit

Insights Association

For resources and information about qualitative research, visit

Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA)

CareerOneStop

For a career video on market research analysts, visit

Market research analysts

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Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

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