Finding a great job is important, and will influence everything in your life – from your overall happiness to your finances and beyond. And while there are numerous options out there, deciding to become a survey researcher is one choice that could offer you some very real benefits. This is particularly true in the scientific and health related survey research fields, but any survey researcher will enjoy a lot of advantages like great pay and good job security.
The field is very data oriented, and involves some very specialized training. If you’re considering entering a position as a survey researcher, you’ll want to learn more about what they offer. Keep reading to learn more about what a survey researcher offers.
What Is a Survey Researcher?
A survey researcher works with numbers, and their primary goals are to design surveys, gather data from those surveys, and analyze the data gained from it to help influence future decisions about research, policy, and even marketing. They may also focus on more existential issues, like trying to gain a greater understanding about preferences or beliefs. Common job duties for a survey researcher include the following.
- Develop surveys that focus on answering various questions in a specific area
- Conduct research into the different survey topics prior to administering surveys
- Test surveys prior to their implementation to ensure they are easy for respondents to understand
- Oversee the coordination and the implementation of designed surveys
- Compile data gained through the survey and use different software programs and techniques to analyze the information
- Use the data to develop tables, graphs, and reports that can help explain the results clearly to those with little knowledge about statistical data analyzation
- Evaluate the overall results of surveys and use the information to modify future research survey designs
In short, these are the professionals who develop, initiate, and review surveys. They may focus on political issues, health issues, and much more, and the information that they gather can have a major impact on the future of communities, policy, marketing, and much more depending on how it is used.
A few personal traits will have an impact on your ability to work well in this position. The following characteristics are worth having if you want to be a survey researcher.
- Strong Math Skills – Working with numbers is the main focus of the job, and you’ll want to have very strong math skills in order to thrive in the position.
- Good Communication – Since the job involves coming into contact with the public and consulting with colleagues, good communication is vital.
- Disciplined – You’ll often work on your own, and you’ll need to have good self-discipline and strong motivation in order to excel in the role.
Nature of the Work
The overall work environment will vary depending on your specific position. Office work is the primary focus here, and while you may involve yourself in contacting members of the public, meeting clients, and conducting one on one in person interviews, a larger amount of your time will be spent on the phone in a typical office environment. The specifics nature of the job will depend largely upon your employer and the situation at hand, however.
Employers include government agencies and private companies, and survey researchers regularly find work in a wide range of different environments. As such, there is no easy way to pin down the specifics of what your employment may involve.
Education and Training
Entering the job market as a survey research will usually require possession of a master’s degree. Some employers may have a bachelor’s degree listed as their bare-minimum requirement, but a preference will always be given to those with a more advanced degree. Studies should focus on subjects like statistics, survey methodology, and research methods. Additionally, specialized courses in business or health will matter as well if you’re looking to enter a specialized area of the survey research field.
Salaries for those in the field of scientific survey research earn about $60,200 annually – the highest in the survey research field. However, those in other specialized areas still earn an average of $54,000 annually, with a median salary of about $45,000 for all fields within survey research. The job outlook is strong, and demand is expected to grow about 18% over the next several years.