A survey researcher creates surveys and analyzes the data in order to provide useful information businesses can be decisions from. They must be skilled in crafting the right questions and giving the survey to the right populations in order to provide a survey with valid, accurate data.
Watch a video to learn what a survey researcher does:
How to Become a Survey Researcher
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a master’s degree is often required by employers though you can gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree. This seems to be backed up by O*NET OnLine’s statistics stating that close to 50% of survey researchers hold a master’s degree. However, close to 40% hold a bachelor’s degree. Degree programs needed would include those with statistics and marketing or survey research. When in school, it’s also advised to take an internship to gain experience in the field. This can provide a blend of experience and education necessary to land a job.
Job Description of a Survey Researcher
A survey researcher will plan and design surveys in order to help a business or organization make better decisions based on the data collected. They often collaborate with others to identify the objective of the survey and then work to distribute the survey to the most appropriate audience.
Along with surveys, a survey researcher may also recommend and collect data through other means such as focus groups and interviews. Once survey researchers collect the information necessary, they must then begin to analyze the data. They would draft also reports highlighting their findings to share with others at the business or organization.
Survey Researcher Career Video Transcript
These days, talk of big data and internet algorithms can give you the sense that we already have all the information we need. In reality, it also takes the skills of survey researchers to gather and interpret data so that accurate and representative information is available. Survey researchers design surveys, conduct interviews and focus groups, and analyze data. The data they collect varies, from employment and salary information to public opinion on a product or proposal.
Survey researchers regularly use communication skills, both to gather information and to present results to clients. They must know how to choose the right method to gather accurate data on a particular topic, fine-tune surveys to solve any design problems, and be detail-oriented so they don’t miss anything in their analysis. Survey researchers are employed by research firms, polling organizations, non-profits, corporations, colleges and universities, and government agencies. They usually work alone in an office, though some work on teams and may travel to meet clients or to reach a targeted group for their research.
Usually survey researchers work regular full-time business hours, but deadlines may sometimes call for extra time. Many positions require a graduate degree in a related field, such as marketing, survey research, statistics, or the social sciences. A related bachelor’s degree qualifies a candidate for some entry-level positions. Experience performing research, using statistics, and analyzing data, increases employment prospects.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Survey Researchers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 19-3022.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.