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Career profile Survey Researcher

Also known as Data Analyst, Field Interviewer, Market Survey Representative, Methodologist, Public Opinion Analyst, Research Associate, Research Fellow, Research Interviewer, Survey Research Consultant, Telephone Interviewer

Survey Researcher

Also known as Data Analyst, Field Interviewer, Market Survey Representative

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$33,970 - $110,910 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Mathematics
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Review, classify, and record survey data in preparation for computer analysis.
  • Monitor and evaluate survey progress and performance, using sample disposition reports and response rate calculations.
  • Produce documentation of the questionnaire development process, data collection methods, sampling designs, and decisions related to sample statistical weighting.
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What does a Survey Researcher do?

Survey Researchers plan, develop, or conduct surveys.

In addition, Survey Researchers

  • may analyze and interpret the meaning of survey data, determine survey objectives, or suggest or test question wording,
  • includes social scientists who primarily design questionnaires or supervise survey teams.

What kind of tasks does a Survey Researcher perform regularly?

Survey Researchers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Review, classify, and record survey data in preparation for computer analysis.
  • Monitor and evaluate survey progress and performance, using sample disposition reports and response rate calculations.
  • Produce documentation of the questionnaire development process, data collection methods, sampling designs, and decisions related to sample statistical weighting.
  • Prepare and present summaries and analyses of survey data, including tables, graphs, and fact sheets that describe survey techniques and results.
  • Determine and specify details of survey projects, including sources of information, procedures to be used, and the design of survey instruments and materials.
  • Consult with clients to identify survey needs and specific requirements, such as special samples.
  • Conduct surveys and collect data, using methods such as interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, market analysis surveys, public opinion polls, literature reviews, and file reviews.
  • Support, plan, and coordinate operations for single or multiple surveys.
  • Conduct research to gather information about survey topics.
  • Direct and review the work of staff members, including survey support staff and interviewers who gather survey data.
  • Analyze data from surveys, old records, or case studies, using statistical software.
  • Direct updates and changes in survey implementation and methods.
  • Write training manuals to be used by survey interviewers.
  • Write proposals to win new projects.
  • Collaborate with other researchers in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of surveys.
  • Hire and train recruiters and data collectors.

The above responsibilities are specific to Survey Researchers. More generally, Survey Researchers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

What is a Survey Researcher salary?

The median salary for a Survey Researcher is $59,870, and the average salary is $66,960. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Survey Researcher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Survey Researchers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Survey Researchers earn less than $33,970 per year, 25% earn less than $44,680, 75% earn less than $81,830, and 90% earn less than $110,910.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Survey Researchers is expected to change by 3.9%, and there should be roughly 1,200 open positions for Survey Researchers every year.

Median annual salary
$59,870
Typical salary range
$33,970 - $110,910
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
3.9%

What personality traits are common among Survey Researchers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Survey Researcher are usually higher in their Investigative, Conventional, and Enterprising interests.

Survey Researchers typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Survey Researchers typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Survey Researchers typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Survey Researcher tend to value Independence, Achievement, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Survey Researchers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Survey Researchers moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Survey Researchers moderately value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Survey Researchers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Survey Researchers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Survey Researchers need?

Many Survey Researchers have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Survey Researchers may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Survey Researchers

  • 0.7% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 1.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 6.0% completed some college coursework
  • 4.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 32.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 38.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 16.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Survey Researchers

Survey Researchers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mathematics, customer and personal service, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Survey Researchers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.

Important Abilities needed by Survey Researchers

Survey Researchers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Survey Researchers need abilities such as written comprehension, written expression, and inductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Survey Researchers, ranked by their relative importance.

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Survey Researchers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Survey Researchers frequently use skills like critical thinking, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Survey Researchers, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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