Career Choice: Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Career Choice: Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Opening Intro -

    Marketing campaigns are launched after much research with market research analysts and marketing specialists responsible for gathering the information required to manage same.


These professionals analyze local, regional and national trends, examining data to determine prices and sales, and to review what their competitors are doing. Various methods of reaching consumers or end users are put in place to achieve the stated goals.


Before a product is developed, marketing analysts determine what consumers want by conducting surveys, preparing reports and analyzing data. These professionals determine what products to bring to the market, the price to charge and the consumer demographic that will buy them.

Market research analysts and marketing specialists work across all industries and possess strong mathematical and analytical skills. These professionals are computer savvy and are comfortable working with data, including reports, charts, trade literature, surveys and related information. The professional monitors his or her industry, evaluates customer trends, forecasts projected trends and anticipates consumer needs.


Marketing professionals possess as least a bachelor’s degree with some holding master’s or doctoral degrees. An advanced degree is required for research positions.

These professionals possess a marketing background and may also have degrees in computer science, statistics or mathematics. Course concentrations include sociology, economics, communications and business administration. An MBA is common to those who have a master’s degree.


The median wage for market research analysts and marketing specialists was $60,300 as of 2012 reports the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS reports that professionals in the 10th percentile earned $33,500 per year on average to $43,900 per year for those in the 25th percentile. Those in the 75th percentile averaged $84,700 per year while those in the 90th percentile could expect to earn $112,600 annually on average.

The highest wages in the nation for these marketing professionals was in the state of Washington. The median wage in Washington as of 2011 was $74,700 per year. In Delaware the average was $73,200 annually and in New Jersey the average annual wage came in at $69,600. New York, California and Minnesota were among the other states with wages coming in well above the national average.

States placing below the national median included Louisiana averaging $41,200 per year. Mississippi at $44,400, West Virginia at $44,500, Iowa at $45,100 and Wyoming at $45,700 were among the other states where salary averages were well below the national average.

Job Outlook

Few careers offer the excellent outlook that market research analysts enjoy. According to BLS projections, a 41 percent job growth is expected from 2010 to 2020. That rate is nearly three times the growth rate for all jobs.

Companies seeking to gauge consumer behavior and to improve their marketing strategies are driving the demand for marketing professionals. A changing and expanding consumer base, a desire to cut waste and a need to stay ahead of the competition are among the factors for hiring new professionals.

Businesses large and small use marketing professionals, but so do social, civic and religious organizations. Colleges, universities and government agencies also require marketing analysts, making it possible for such professionals to find work across all industries.


O*Net OnLine: 13-1161.00 – Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Market Research Analysts

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Categories: Career Planning