Survey researchers design and conduct surveys and analyze data. Surveys are used to collect factual data, such as employment and salary information, or to ask questions in order to understand people’s opinions, preferences, beliefs, or desires.
Most survey researchers work in research firms, polling organizations, nonprofits, corporations, colleges and universities, and government agencies. The majority work full time during regular business hours.
How to Become a Survey Researcher
Many research positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D., though a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some entry-level positions. In addition, employers generally prefer candidates who have previous experience performing research, using statistics, and analyzing data.
Employment of survey researchers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment is expected to grow as organizations increasingly rely on data and information acquired through research. Job prospects should be good for those with an advanced degree.
This occupation supported 18,000 jobs in 2012 and 16,700 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 7.2%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 17.8% in 2022 to 21,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 18,600, compared with an observed value of 16,700, 10.2% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 11.1% in 2024 to 18,700 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 21,800 jobs for 2024, 16.6% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.