Common Market Research Jobs and Career Paths

Market research professionals are typically concerned with the potential sales of a product or service. Collecting statistical data on competitors and examining prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution, researchers predict future sales. Collectively, market researchers devise methods and procedures for obtaining the data they need--often designing telephone, mail, in-person or online surveys to understand consumer preferences.

Once the data is collected, researchers interpret the results and make recommendations based upon their findings. Typically, researchers provide a company’s management with information needed to make decisions on the promotion, distribution, design, and pricing of products or services. The information also may be used to determine the advisability of adding or modifying product lines, approaches to advertising and sales or other critical business decisions.

Most career professionals within the industry began with a market research job as a Project Director. The graphic below shows the traditional career path within the industry.

Typical career path within the market research industry

Below are example marketing research job descriptions and the typical salary range for common positions within the market research industry.

Job Title

Typical Salary Range*

Project Director

$30,000 to $50,000

Senior Project Director

$40,000 to $60,000

Market Research Analyst / Marketing Research Analyst

$50,000 to $80,000

Research Manager / Research Director

$50,000 to $70,000

Senior Research Manager / Senior Research Director

$60,000 to $90,000


$90,000 to $110,000

Account Executive/Account Manager

$50,000 to $70,000

Senior Account Executive

$70,000 to $100,000

Vice President


*Excludes bonuses, commissions or other non-salary compensation

According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment opportunities are expected to grow faster than average for all market research positions. Job growth will be driven, in part, by retiring workers, shifting of job skills toward computers and quantitative methods, a growing economy and the need for companies to operate in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.