Survey Researchers: Salary Overview
Survey researchers design surveys and analyze data in order to understand people’s opinions or to collect factual data such as employment and salary information.
Their job description typically includes conducting background research on the topics that will be included in the survey, planning and designing the surveys, testing surveys to make sure that the questions are clear, coordinating the work 0f interviewers, analyzing data using specialized software, summarizing data, and evaluating the surveys.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for survey researchers was $59,170 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned more than this amount while half earned less.
Salaries in this field vary widely, depending on the field of expertise, experience level, education, the industry of employment, and many other factors.
The top 10 percent earned more than $108,860 per year while the lowest 10 percent made less than $32,150.
Survey Researcher Salary by Industry
According to the data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, survey researchers held about 12,600 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them working in the field of other professional, scientific, and technical services and in scientific research and development services.
They typically work for research firms, polling organizations, corporations, or nonprofits.
The average annual wage reported by survey researchers in the field of other professional, scientific, and technical services was $60,420.
Survey researchers employed in the field of scientific research and development services earned $79,500 per year while those who worked for colleges, universities, and professional schools reportedly made $64,640 per year on average.
The average annual wage was $64,210 for survey researchers who were employed in the field of management, scientific, and technical consulting services and $63,930 for those who worked for business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations.
The report shows that the highest-paying field for this profession was the field of grantmaking and giving services, where workers in this occupation made $107,630 per year, on average.
There are many other factors that determine a survey researcher’s salary, including the level of education.
Although a bachelor’s degree may be enough for some entry-level positions, getting a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in the field can be a requirement for career advancement and it may help you earn a higher salary.
Although licensing is not a requirement in this field of work, earning a certification can help you advance in your career.
One such credential is the Professional Researcher Certification for survey researchers offered by the Insights Association.
To apply for this certification, you need at least 3 years of experience working in marketing research or a related field and you must also pass an exam and be a member of a professional organization.
Salaries for survey researchers also vary depending on the region of employment and the local economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-paying states for this profession were Maryland, New Jersey, and Iowa – where survey researchers reported annual salaries of $92,860, $86,000, and $83,000 respectively, on average.
Survey researchers in West Virginia, on the other hand, reportedly earned $30,780 per year, on average, less than those who were located in other states.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for survey researchers is projected to show little or no change in the next decade.
They will be needed to provide useful insights for the media, the government, nonprofits, and other organizations but also to design surveys for businesses.
Job opportunities will be best for those who have a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in market research or a related field.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Survey Researchers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.