What do you think of when you hear the term, “market research?” Most likely, you’re thinking about being a participant in online surveys, polls and/or focus groups.

The thing is, there’s much more to market research than being a participant.

There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of market research. Someone, somewhere must decide on a topic for participants to give their feedback on, ensure the reason for needing feedback on this topic is legitimate, create the questions or prompts for the market research and then find a way to distribute the market research to the correct participants.

It doesn’t stop there either. Once the market research has been distributed and completed by the participants, someone, somewhere must analyze the results.

As you can see, there are actually many moving parts to market research.

If the market research process interests you, but you want to be more involved than just being a participant who shares their feedback, there’s good news. The market research industry is currently booming as there is a new emphasis put on learning about consumer wants and insights to improve products and services around the world.

So, how can you get involved in the market research field without just being a survey participant? It’s all about doing your own research and finding jobs to apply to that interest you.

Find a Reputable, Established Company to Join

Believe it or not, there are many well-known market research companies out there that help major global companies with all their market research needs. You could always find an up-and-coming market research company to join, but it’s most likely a better move to find a reputable, established company to join.

How do you know which market research companies are reputable and established? A great place to find a list is The American Marketing Association’s website. Every year, the AMA creates a list of the top-50 research and data analytics companies in the United States.

In this list, the AMA links to each company’s website. Check the careers page on all the websites and you can see who is hiring. You can also check out the about pages for each company to help you learn a little more about each one. It may be time consuming, but if you really want to make a career jump into market research, the effort is worth it.

A handful of some of the most reputable and established market research companies include Nielsen, Ipsos, J.D. Power, YouGov, Maru/Matchbox and Hypothesis.

A bonus to choosing to apply to reputable and established market research companies is it will help ensure your job security if you’re hired. Usually, these types of larger companies won’t shut down or cut jobs if economic times get tough. You may not be able to say the same for smaller, less-established companies.

Types of Market Research Jobs

There are many different jobs that need filling in the market research industry. From specific, titled roles to more grunt work roles, you’re sure to find something that will interest you.

Market Research Data Analyst

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of market research data analyst jobs is set to expand by 18% from 2019-2029. This projected growth is much faster than the average job growth. The average salary of a market research data analyst is just over $63,000 per year.

A market research data analyst is someone who works with the results from market research. In general, this is a role for someone who will most likely enjoy working with numbers.

If you’re more of a numbers-driven individual, you’ll most likely fall into the sub-category of quantitative market research data analyst. This analyst looks at the data from survey responses to estimate percentages of populations that use a specific product or service.

If you’re more of a word-driven individual, you’ll most likely fall into the sub-category of qualitative market research data analyst. This analyst will read and draw conclusions from transcripts of in-depth interviews with survey participants.

Survey Researcher

If you’re creative and want to have more of a hand in creating market research, then becoming a survey researcher could be the job for you. Survey researchers design and conduct surveys and then analyze data.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the amount of survey researcher jobs is set to decline by 4% from 2019 to 2029, but this is most likely due to the fact that market research data analysts have similar functions in a company. Typically, the average salary for a survey researcher is just over $59,000 per year.

Survey researchers typically do more of the grunt work of the market research process as well. These are the people who actively provide participants with surveys, polls and focus groups, conduct face-to-face or over-the-phone interviews and provide product tests among other types of research.

Business Intelligence Analyst

After you’ve put in time as a market research data analyst or a survey researcher, one of the potential promotions you could receive could be to business intelligence analyst. This analyst takes the data provided by market research results and recommend ways to improve a company’s efficiency.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a BI analyst’s salary is typically around $85,000 per year and the field is set to grow by 11% between 2019 to 2029, which is also much faster than the average field.

A BI analyst helps companies make large-scale business decisions based on the data they receive from market research data analysts and survey researchers, so being a critical and analytical thinker is a must for a position like this.

Various Management Levels

The ceiling truly is sky-high once you get your foot in the door at a market research company as a market research data analyst or survey researcher. You could also move into other types of management-level positions such as market research manager/director or senior market research analyst, consumer insights director, senior data analyst or even an analytics manager/director.

Assistance in the Job Search

If you’re itching to make the jump into the market research field, but you couldn’t find a company to apply to that suits your needs from the AMA’s list of the top-50 research and data analytics companies, you can try other online job search engines such as Indeed.

Indeed allows you to create an applicant profile and search for jobs based on job title, keywords and location. This online job search engine can help you find both national and local market research companies in which you can send your resume and application.

With local market research companies, you could potentially receive more hands-on experience depending on the size of the company. This could allow you to expand your market research career even more in the future.

There are plenty of career options in the market research world to choose from and the number of available jobs is only going to grow in the next 10 years! If you’d like to make a career switch into market research, you now know where to begin your journey.