What you need to know
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.
Because most industries use market research, these analysts are employed throughout the economy. Most analysts work full time during regular business hours. Some work under pressure of deadlines and tight schedules.
Some of the things a market research analysts might do:
- 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
- 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.
The average pay for market research analysts in the United States ranges from $34,310 to $121,080 as of May 2018.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Employment growth will be driven by an increasing use of data and market research across all 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.
Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field. Many have degrees in fields such as statistics, math, or computer science. Others have backgrounds in business administration, the social sciences, or communications.
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.