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Market Research Analyst: Job Duties, Requirements & Career Info

Market research analysis requires strong skills in communication and data analysis. Those interested in this career should be prepared to gather information and present it to clients. Read on to learn what it takes to be a market research analyst and what professionals in this field typically do.

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Market Research Analyst Job Duties

Market research analysts help companies and organizations understand their competitors' activities and their customers' wants and needs. Determining which goods and services are in demand and the best rate or price to charge for these products is a core function of the job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS indicates that surveys are a big part of determining what customers want and that market research analysts work to develop and oversee the distribution and completion of these surveys (www.bls.gov).

According to O*Net, market research analysts are also typically responsible for presenting survey findings to their clients (www.onetonline.org). This includes translating complex numerical survey results into a package that is easy to understand. Graphs and text translations of the findings are commonly used to help clients understand survey results. In addition to taking surveys, market research analysts can be responsible for keeping track of client industry trends and general marketing trends. According to New York State's Career Zone, market research analysts can also be responsible for analyzing trends in specific regions (www.nycareerzone.org).

Market Research Analyst Requirements

According to the BLS, bachelor's degrees are the standard educational credential for market research analysts. Master's degrees may be necessary for some jobs in the field. The BLS recommends that aspiring market research analysts take classes in business, marketing, social sciences, math, economics, computer science and statistics.

An internship with a market research firm can be a good way for students to gain some professional experience in the field. Working as a survey taker may be another good way for students to gain experience. Being detail-oriented and having good quantitative abilities are important skills for market research analysts to have.

Market Research Analyst Career Information

Certification from organizations like the Marketing Research Association (MRA) is voluntary, but the BLS advises that this can be a career booster. The MRA offers a credential called the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) that requires the candidate to pass an examination, seek continuing education and renew the certification every two years. There are two levels to PRC: practitioner and expert.

Between 2010 and 2020, the BLS projects a positive forecast for job opportunities in the market research analyst field, with 41% employment growth expected. The increase in jobs will be driven by organizations' growing desire for data and market research to better evaluate the effectiveness of business and marketing plans. As of May 2012, the BLS reports that market research analysts earn a median annual income of $60,300, with the top ten percent earning in excess of $110,000.

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