What Does a Market Research Analyst Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

A day in the life of a market research analyst: Devise and evaluate methods for collecting data, Measure effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies, Present their findings to executives and clients through charts, graphs, and other visual means

The Balance / Theresa Chiechi 

Market research analysts assess consumer preferences to help organizations decide how to shape, advertise, and market their products and services. Many market research analysts work for consulting firms that are hired on a contract basis. Others work directly for employers as part of a marketing team at consumer and product firms.

Approximately 738,000 people worked as market research analysts in the U.S. in 2020.

Market Research Analyst Duties & Responsibilities

Market analysts' responsibilities can depend somewhat on the employer, but they're largely similar:

  • Devise and evaluate methods for collecting data, such as surveys, focus groups, questionnaires, and opinion polls.
  • Analyze data using statistical software.
  • Interpret the data they've collected, ​organizing this information into statistical tables and reports.
  • Present their findings to executives and clients through charts, graphs, and other visual means to help them make ​better-informed decisions about product introductions, modifications, and marketing campaigns. 
  • Create a visual of industry trends and of competitors so organizations can predict how products and services will fare in the marketplace.
  • Measure effectiveness of marketing programs and strategies.

The industries that most frequently employ market research analysts include management, science, technical consulting services, computer systems design services, and advertising/public relations services.

Market Research Analyst Salary

Salaries can vary depending upon employer and industry. Those who work in the publishing industry tend to be the highest paid, but only marginally over those in company management.

  • Median Annual Salary: $65,810
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $127,410
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $33,80

Education, Training & Certification

Advanced education and certification can help land a job in this occupation.

  • Education: Market research analysts typically have at least a bachelor's degree in marketing, market research, statistics, computer science, math, social sciences, business administration, communications, or a related field. An MBA or other advanced education isn't required, but it's usually desired for leadership positions.
  • Certification: Certifications are voluntary but strongly recommended because they help demonstrate professional competency.

The Marketing Research Association provides training and certification to those who qualify. 

Market Research Analyst Skills & Competencies

Some qualities and acquired skills will help you succeed at becoming a market research analyst.

  • Computer skills: Experience with Microsoft PowerPoint and Word, as well as statistical software platforms such as SPSS, WinCross, SAS, and Market Sight, can help with sorting data, as well as creating visual results and trends.
  • Math and analytical skills: These are essential for analyzing research data.
  • Confidence: You should be comfortable speaking in front of strangers and presenting results to internal team members and management.
  • Multitasking capability: You should be able to manage multiple projects with a quick turnaround.
  • Interpersonal skills: You'll need an ability to work well with all levels of management, internal staff, clients, and vendors.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for market research analysts are expected to grow by 18% from 2016 through 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Trends toward using data to understand consumer preferences for products and services and to target marketing to specific consumer niches are chiefly responsible for this projected growth.

Work Environment

This is a diversified position that can require working alone or with a team at any given time. You'll be working with people with a wide variety of skills and talents.

Work Schedule

This is a full-time job, normally during regular business hours. Some overtime can be required due to looming deadlines and business volume.

How to Get the Job

LEARN AND APPLY:

The Insights Association has job listings, a networking portal, and it offers a certification program that can add immeasurably to your resume. Also check the top job boards for available positions.

DRAFT THE PERFECT RESUME:

Your resume is your first introduction to a prospective employer, and a good one can't be overrated. Learn tips and techniques for making yours perfect.

INCLUDE RELEVANT SKILLS IN YOUR COVER LETTER:

If the job requests a cover letter, use two to three short paragraphs to describe past projects where you successfully performed market research.

Comparing Similar Jobs

Here's the estimated annual earning for similar occupations.

Article Sources

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Market Research Analysts." Accessed July 7, 2021.

  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "What Market Research Analysts Do." Accessed July 7, 2021.

  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Market Research Analysts: Pay." Accessed July 7, 2021.

  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "How to Become a Market Research Analyst." Accessed July 7, 2021.

  5. O*NET OnLine. "Summary Report for: 13-1161.00 - Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists." Accessed July 7, 2021.

  6. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statististics. "Market Research Analysts: Job Outlook." Accessed July 7, 2021.

  7. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Market Research Analysts: Similar Occupations." Accessed July 7, 2021.