A survey researcher designs or conducts surveys about people and their opinions. They work for corporations, government agencies and political candidates.
There were 19,600 survey researchers employed in 2008.
Entry-level survey researchers usually need a bachelor's degree. Their college coursework should include business, marketing, consumer behavior, economics, psychology, sociology, mathematics, statistics, sampling theory and survey design, and computer science. A master's degree, usually in business administration, marketing, statistics or communications is required for more technical positions.
A survey researcher must be detail-oriented, have good communication skills and be patient and persistent.
With experience, continuing education and an advanced degree, a survey researcher may be promoted to a more responsible position.
The job outlook for survey researchers is excellent. This occupation is projected to experience faster growth, through 2020, than other occupations requiring a bachelor's degree (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Survey researchers earned a median annual salary of $36,050 in 2010 (U.S.).
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a Survey Researcher currently earns in your city.
A Day in a Survey Researcher's Life:
On a typical day a survey researcher's tasks might include:
- conducting surveys and collecting data by interviewing people, administering questionnaires, conducting focus groups and reviewing literature.
- overseeing the work of staff members
- identifying survey needs and specific requirements of clients
- using statistical software to analyze data from surveys, old records or case studies
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Survey Researchers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/survey-researchers.htm (visited April 03, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Survey Researchers, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/19-3022.00 (visited April 03, 2012).