What Does a Market Research Analyst Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

a day in the life of a market research analyst

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 595,400 people worked as market research analysts in the U.S. in 2016.

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.
  • 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. 
  • Interpret the data they've collected, ​organizing this information into statistical tables and reports.
  • 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: $63,120 ($30.35/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $121,080 ($58.21/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $34,310 ($16.49/hour)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

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, or communications. 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 date.
  • 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 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 23% from 2016 through 2026, 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


The Insights Association has job listings, a networking portal, and it offers a certification program that can add immeasurably to your 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.

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Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018