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Market Research Analyst Job Description

Market research analysts help companies understand what products people want, how much they will pay for them, and who will buy them. Market research analysts research the market conditions in a geographic area, as well as information on sales, prices, competitors, distribution, and marketing.

Market research analysts need access to a lot of data in order to do their jobs well. This information is usually gathered by survey researchers. Survey researchers collect information about consumer buying habits, demographics, and needs. They use many different methods to collect their data, including polls, interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

Once they've collected the data they need, market research analysts use statistical software to analyze and interpret it. Their findings are often published in reports that are used to inform business decisions.

Sometimes, market research analysts research competitors to determine an organization's position in the marketplace. By comparing the data from different organizations, they are able to identify differences between the demographics or market penetration for each organization.

This reports that market research analysts create can be used by the marketing department to target their existing and potential consumers. It can also be used by product teams who need to better understand the needs of their market so they can create more useful products.

If you have a passion for data and want to have a career where you can use it to make business decisions, then working as a market research analyst might be a good choice for you.

Work Environment and Schedule

Market research analysts are employed in just about every industry, but most of the employments are found with finance and insurance companies, as well as companies that provide professional and technical services.

Many market research analysts work for consulting firms who provide services to many different clients, but some work in-house for the company that hires them. The path that you choose should depend on your personal preferences.

Consultants are often required to work long hours, and have to juggle many different projects at the same time. In some cases, frequent and extended travel can be required to visit with clients. Working as a consultant can be very demanding, but it is very rewarding for the right type of person.

Market research analysts normally a more normal schedule during normal business hours. Overtime is still required in some cases, but travel is generally kept to a minimum.

How to Become a Market Research Analyst

A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required for most entry level market research analyst positions. People in this occupation come from many different academic backgrounds, but most major in statistics, mathematics, business administration, and economics.

Regardless of your major, taking courses in economics, statistics, marketing, and sociology can be very beneficial. All of these subjects have real world applications in market research.

Most employers prefer to hire candidates with experience, even for their entry level positions. Getting an internship while in school is a great way to get that experience. Not only can you figure out if this is an occupation that you might want to work in permanently, an internship can also lead to long term employment opportunities after graduation. To learn about the internship options available to you, stop by your college or university's career center.

Many employers require a master's degree to advance into senior management positions. If you plan to spend your entire career in this field, you should seriously consider getting a master's. Without one, your advancement opportunities may become limited.

Some market research analysts choose to be certified. Certification is offered by the Marketing Research Organization. Certification is rarely required for employment, but earning a certification can help demonstrate competency in a field. This can be particularly important for consultants who need to convince clients that they're capable of doing the job.

Related Occupations

Employment Outlook

There are currently 282,700 market research analysts in the United States, with 19,180 new market research analyst job openings created each year.

Market Research Analyst jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Market Research Analyst Salaries

Salaries by State

Hover over your state to get an idea of what Market Research Analysts make in your area.

How to use this salary data.

Job seekers can use it while negotiating a salary.

Employers can use it to help set appropriate wage levels while writing job descriptions.

Overall Salaries

Market Research Analyst salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most market research analysts make between $43,900 - $84,700 per year, or $21.12 - $40.71 per hour.

Salary and statistical data provided by the BLS.