California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* in San Diego County

May also be called: Business Development Specialists; Client Service and Consulting Managers; Communications Specialists; Market Analysts; Market Research Consultants; Market Research Managers; Product Line Managers; and Project Managers

What Would I Do?

Whenever you go to the store, watch a commercial on television, or have a sip of your favorite beverage, there is a good chance that hundreds of hours of research have gone into developing those products so that you may find them appealing. Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists are responsible for creating surveys, conducting focus groups, and analyzing the data that is gathered. Market Research Analysts help their employer or client understand the wants and needs of consumers. Consumers can tell them the products they like, the products they want, and how much they would be willing to pay for them. Consumers can also provide Market Research Analysts with feedback on advertising and political campaigns, allowing the Analysts to refine television or print ads in order to appeal to larger audiences.

Market Research Analysts use qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect data. Qualitative research methods consist of focus groups or interviews. During a focus group, the Market Research Analyst presents a group with a specific product or advertisement and leads a discussion on their likes and dislikes for that product. The data collected from focus groups allow the Analyst to identify areas where the product or advertisements need improvement. Quantitative research generally consists of surveys or laboratory experiments. When using quantitative research methods, Market Research Analysts use statistical procedures to analyze the data. In addition to analyzing the data, Market Research Analysts are also responsible for creating and running the surveys or laboratory experiments.

Regardless of type of research method used, Market Research Analysts need to be able to effectively communicate with groups of people and have the people skills necessary to facilitate group discussions. Once the data have been collected and analyzed, Market Research Analysts write reports and give presentations of their findings.

Tools and Technology

Market Research Analysts use a variety of tools and technology in the course of their work. They use personal computers, tablet computers, and smart phones. They also use statistical analysis software, word processing software, e-mail, and spreadsheet software. Market Research Analysts also conduct telephone conference calls and online surveys.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Prepare reports of findings, illustrating data graphically and translating complex findings into written text.English Language
Seek and provide information to help companies determine their position in the marketplace.Customer and Personal Service
Gather data on competitors and analyze their prices, sales, and method of marketing and distribution.Inductive Reasoning
Collect and analyze data on customer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits to identify potential markets and factors affecting product demand.Critical Thinking
Devise and evaluate methods and procedures for collecting data, such as surveys, opinion polls, or questionnaires, or arrange to obtain existing data.Complex Problem Solving
Monitor industry statistics and follow trends in trade literature.Written Comprehension
Measure the effectiveness of marketing, advertising, and communications programs and strategies.Judgment and Decision Making
Measure and assess customer and employee satisfaction.Deductive Reasoning
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Market Research Analysts generally work indoors. They may spend time away from their office recruiting participants for surveys or focus groups. They may also travel to conference halls or meeting centers to conduct market research or present their findings to clients. Interviews and focus groups require Market Analysts to interact with the public. Market Research Analysts may work alone, writing reports and preparing presentations. They may also work in groups as part of a research team. Most Market Research Analysts work a standard 40-hour week, but can expect occasional evening, weekend, and holiday work to meet deadlines.

Unionization is not common in this occupation.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Market Research Analyst may appeal to those who enjoy working with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking and searching for facts. This occupation often requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges with little or no supervision. Market Research Analysts need to have excellent communication skills, both written and oral, as well as strong listening skills in order to interpret research results. In addition, a Market Research Analyst should be patient and persistent in order to complete research studies, write reports, and present their findings.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Wages for Market Research Analysts in California differ widely depending on job duties, work experience, and location of the work. Wages for Market Research Analysts may also depend on the size of the research firm they work for and the number of clients using the research firm’s services.

Wages

The median wage in 2015 for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* in California was $71,008 annually, or $34.14 hourly. The median wage for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* in San Diego County was $61,152 annually, or $29.41 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2015Low
(25th percentile)
Median
(50th percentile)
High
(75th percentile)
California$49,573$71,008$101,863
San Diego County$42,800$61,152$91,227
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2015 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas

Benefits

Benefit packages vary from company to company. Market Research Analysts generally receive health insurance, vacation and sick leave, and holiday pay. Self-employed Market Research Analysts need to purchase their own insurance.

What is the Job Outlook?

Employment growth is projected for Market Research Analysts. Job prospects will be best for those with a master's degree or higher. Those with a bachelor's degree and strong quantitative skills may find entry-level positions, but advancement opportunities may be limited.

Employment for this occupation may be subject to fluctuations in the economy. Workers in this field may experience periods of unemployment or reduction in hours during economic downturns.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* are expected to increase by 40.2 percent, or 28,500 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

In San Diego County, the number of Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* is expected to grow much faster than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* are expected to increase by 49.1 percent, or 3,120 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists*
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Estimated
Employment
Projected
Employment
Numeric
Change
Percent
Change
Additional Openings
Due to Net
Replacements
California
(2012-2022)
70,90099,40028,50040.29,700
San Diego County
(2012-2022)
6,3609,4803,12049.1870
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 2,860 new job openings per year is expected for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists*, plus an additional 970 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 3,830 job openings.

In San Diego County, an average of 312 new job openings per year is expected for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists*, plus an additional 87 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 399 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists*
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
California
(2012-2022)
2,8609703,830
San Diego County
(2012-2022)
31287399
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

A bachelor’s degree, preferably in business, social science, or mathematics, is generally the minimum education requirement for entry-level Market Research Analysts. However, a master’s degree or higher is usually needed for advancement into more technical positions. Individuals interested in becoming Market Research Analysts should also take courses in research methodology, statistics, and computer science.

Early Career Planning

High school students who are interested in the job of Market Research Analyst should take classes in English, social science, business, mathematics, statistics, and computers. Courses in public speaking, communication, and theater arts can help students learn how to communicate more effectively. Training programs are also available through Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) in areas such as marketing fundamentals and marketing, sales, and services. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.

Work Study Programs

Some colleges and universities help students find work-study programs or internships. Internships are usually paid and are an opportunity for the sponsoring organization to recruit future employees.

Continuing Education

While continuing education is usually not required, it is important for Market Research Analysts to stay current with industry trends. Professional associations, like the American Marketing Association, offer seminars and publications that provide members with additional information regarding the field. In addition, many companies require employees to complete employer-mandated training programs in order to perform their job.

Certification

Market Research Analysts can obtain voluntary certification, such as the Professional Certified Marketer, from the American Marketing Association. Certification is granted to individuals who meet the minimum education and work experience requirements and who are able to pass an examination. Certification from any of the professional organizations can be useful for promotional reasons. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

  • Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Consumer Merchandising, Marketing Research, and Retailing Management.
  • Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Management & Technical Consulting Svc 9.7%
Computer Systems Design and Rel Services 8.7%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 7.2%
Advertising and Related Services 7.1%
Other Professional & Technical Services 4.2%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. College placement offices, company recruiting events, job fairs, and online job search sites are also good places to look. Career associations sometimes offer job openings on their websites. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists*.

  • Market Research and Analysis
  • Marketing Consultants
  • Marketing Programs and Services

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

As Market Research Analysts gain experience, they may carry out assignments with limited supervision, take responsibility for specific clients, advance to supervisory and managerial roles, and run their own consulting firms. It is common for Market Research Analysts to advance in rank and pay by changing employers several times throughout their career. Market Research Analysts with a master’s degree or higher increase their opportunities to advance to more technical or lead positions after gaining work experience.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists* with links to more information.

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Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SystemCode
SOC - Standard Occupational Classification13-1161
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists13-1161.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)IEC
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Economics, General 450601
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Economics220400