Market Research Analyst

Career Information

Researcher talking to elderly man on the doorstep
Andrew Bret Wallis/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Job Description

Have you ever wondered why a certain product is sitting on the shelf of your favorite retailer? Who decided that anyone would want to buy it? Why is its price what it is and who decided that advertising it in a particular way would appeal to you and other consumers out there? Market research analysts help companies figure out what to sell, who will buy their products and services and how to promote them.

In order to get all this information, they design surveys that are used to help discover potential customers' preferences. Then these marketing professionals train and supervise interviewers who conduct these surveys online, by telephone or through interviews with individuals or focus groups.

Employment Facts

There were 283,000 market research analysts employed in 2010. Approximately 29% of them worked in the professional, scientific and technical services industry. Others were employed in the finance and insurance, information, management and wholesale trade industries.

Educational Requirements

If you want to become a market research analyst you will need to earn at least a bachelor's degree in marketing research or a related discipline like statistics or math. Regardless of what degree you decide to pursue, your coursework should include business, marketing, statistics, mathematics and survey design.

Some jobs may require a master's degree.

Why Do You Need to Know About Educational Requirements?

Other Requirements

Market research analysts may receive certification from the Marketing Research Association. This certification, which is based on education and experience, must be renewed every two years.

In order to qualify for renewal, one must take continuing education classes.

To be an effective market research analyst you must be able to communicate well in writing and orally, and be detail-oriented. You also need good critical thinking and analytical skills.

Advancement Opportunities

After getting experience assisting more seasoned market research analysts, one will be assigned to his or her own projects. Those who want to advance to more responsible positions should take continuing education courses to keep up with the newest methods of developing, conducting, and analyzing surveys and other data. Earning an advanced degree is also helpful.

Why Do You Need to Know About Advancement?

Job Outlook

The job outlook for market research analysts is excellent. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this occupation will experience much faster growth, through 2020, than most other occupations requiring a bachelor's degree.

Why Do You Need to Know About Job Outlook?


In 2011 market research analysts earned a median annual salary of $60,250.

Median weekly wages were $28.97.

Use the Salary Wizard at to find out how much a market research analyst currently earns in your city.

A Day in a Market Research Analyst's Life:

On a typical day a market research analyst's tasks might include:

  • Collecting and analyzing data on customer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits to identify potential markets and factors affecting product demand.
  • Preparing reports of findings, illustrating data graphically and translating complex findings into written text.
  • Measuring and assessing customer satisfaction.
  • Forecasting and tracking marketing and sales trends, and analyzing collected data.
  • Measuring the effectiveness of marketing, advertising, and communications programs and strategies.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Market Research Analyst, on the Internet at (visited July 7, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists, on the Internet at (visited July 7, 2012).

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