How to Become a Survey Researcher

Written by

Beatrice Harrison


August 14, 2014


Surveys are essential to the success and evaluation of many companies and organizations. Survey researchers are trained professionals that design methods to gather a variety of public opinions of many different topics.

What does a survey researcher do?

Survey researchers focus on developing and conducting surveys to obtain information about people and what they think. They gather information to assist in a variety of tasks such as policy decisions, improvement of customer satisfaction, and measuring the effectiveness of programs. They may carry out research to determine the attitudes of the public on various topics. Survey researchers use many different mediums in conducting surveys such as questionnaires sent through the mail, telephone interviews, and surveys sent via Internet . They design surveys in a variety of formats depending on the topic, research, and collection method. Survey researchers often work for many different clients such as large companies, political candidates, and government organizations.

What kind of training does a survey researcher need?

Survey researchers must have at least a bachelor degree, but many employers prefer candidates with graduate degrees. Survey researchers typically complete courses in marketing, consumer behavior, business, sampling theory and survey design, psychology, statistics, and economics. Many aspiring survey researchers complete internships while completing their education to gain practical experience in the field. Many survey researchers obtain professional certification to remain competitive in the field. The Marketing Research Association offers certification programs such as the Professional Researcher Certification. Certified survey researchers must complete continuing education to maintain their certifications. All survey researchers must stay up to date with advancements in the field and keep their skills current. They often participate in additional training seminars and conferences throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a survey researcher?

Employment of survey researchers is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 30% through 2018 (1). The increase use of public opinion research and the growing demand for market and opinion research will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be very good especially for survey researchers with advanced education and extensive experience. The best job opportunities will stem from the growth in the public opinion polling and market research industries.

How much do survey researchers make?

As of 2012, the average annual salary for market researchers is $64,000; average annual survey researcher salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a survey researcher is a great choice for people with a strong interest in developing and conducting a variety of surveys. Survey researchers must have a solid understanding of various survey techniques and ability to apply them to a variety of situations. Strong quantitative skills, detail orientation, persistence, patience, and good problem solving are necessary characteristics. Survey researchers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They must able be able to effectively work independently as well as part of a team.

Becoming a Survey Researcher Requires Skills & Training Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Survey Researcher? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Course Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Beatrice Harrison

Educated at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Beatrice Harrison has extensive professional experience in career counseling, having helped a growing number of job seekers find fulfilling and meaningful careers in a variety of fields and disciplines.

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