(Last Updated On: 05/04/2017)

Survey Researcher Job Description

Salary: $23,900 – $55,800 Number of Jobs: 19,600
Hourly Rate: $11.49 – $26.82 Employment Outlook: Good
Green Job: No Education:

What do Survey Researchers do?

Survey researchers design, conduct, and analyze surveys. Depending on the survey they’re working on, their surveys may be for marketing research, government, health, or public opinion purposes.

When conducting a marketing survey, researchers normally try to identify products or services that consumers need, prefer, or want. These positions can be very similar to those of market research analysts.

Public opinion surveys can cover many different topics, including political, social, economical, or health issues. Surveyors who work in this field try to gather and interpret information about how people feel about particular topics.

The survey methods that researchers use can be in many different formats. Interviews, telephone calls, email, focus groups, and questionnaires are common methods of collecting survey data.

While some surveys (such as population or employment surveys) survey the entire population, most focus on a particular segment. Segments can include gender, age, geographic location, political preference, or many other factors.

Work Environment and Schedule

Survey researchers commonly work for government agencies, polling organizations, marketing firms, nonprofit agencies, and colleges and universities. Many other types of businesses hire survey researchers as well, so don’t limit your job search to just those types of organizations.

Most survey researchers spend the majority of their time in an office environment, but those who conduct interviews with the public are frequently required to spend time out of the office. Interviews can consist of focus group sessions or one on one interviews.

This can be a lonely occupation at times, as survey researchers often need to work on their own while analyzing data and designing surveys.

The majority of survey researchers work full time, though overtime may be required as deadlines approach. People in this occupation are normally able to maintain a regular schedule during normal business hours.

How to Become a Survey Researcher

While there are some survey researcher positions available to those with a bachelor’s degree, most require a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Survey researchers come from many different academic backgrounds, but a strong mathematical skillset is required. Experience analyzing data, using statistical methods, or conducting surveys is required for positions in this field.

If you want to pursue a career in this field, you should strongly considering getting an internship or other form of work experience while you’re in college. There are many marketing firms that hire interns for these positions, and the opportunities will provide you with the experience you need to get a job in this field.

If you’re interested in an internship, you should stop by your college or university’s career counseling center for help. Many employers reach out directly to the career centers, and opportunities may be available that you otherwise never would have known about.

Certification is rarely required for survey researcher positions, but becoming certified can help demonstrate competency to potential employers.

The Professional Researcher Certification is offered by the Marketing Research Association. To become certified, you will need to have 3 years of working experience, pass an exam, and be a member of a professional organization.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 19,600 survey researchers in the United States, with 990 new survey researcher job openings created each year.

Survey Researcher jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Survey Researcher Salaries

Overall Salaries

Survey Researcher salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most survey researchers make between $23,900 – $55,800 per year, or $11.49 – $26.82 per hour.

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