Market research executive

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Salary range: £20,000 to £60,000

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How to become a market research executive

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies
  • an internship
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University

For quantitative market research work, you may find it useful to get a degree in:

  • maths
  • statistics
  • business
  • management
  • economics

For qualitative jobs, you may find it helpful to have a degree in:

  • psychology
  • sociology
  • geography
  • social sciences
  • anthropology

Also useful are degrees in English, marketing, and sciences, or engineering for some specialist industrial jobs.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills you need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Marketing
  • Level 4 Diploma in Professional Marketing

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

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Apprenticeship

You could do a marketing executive higher apprenticeship, which includes training in market research.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

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Work

You could work as a market research assistant, or interviewer, with or without a degree. You’ll still need very good communication skills, and ability with numbers and IT programs.

You could also start as a research assistant in an agency, and get promotion to executive or account manager as your experience grows. You’ll usually be expected to take further qualifications.

Other routes

You could get your first job as a market research executive through one of the graduate training schemes that some larger employers run for new recruits.

You could also do specialist courses through professional bodies, like The Market Research Society’s Certificate in Market and Social Research.

You may be able to get a paid internship with a company, where you’re given a project to complete. This will allow you to develop your skills and show an employer what you’re able to do.

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Career tips

Being able to speak different languages could be an advantage for international work.

Whatever your qualifications, you’ll find it useful to have experience in marketing, sales or advertising, or as a market research interviewer.

Further information

You can find out more about market research careers from The Market Research Society.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • meeting clients to discuss research projects
  • creating plans or proposals and presenting them to clients
  • managing a budget
  • designing questionnaires and organising surveys
  • briefing interviewers and researchers
  • monitoring the progress of surveys
  • analysing data and presenting results to clients
  • advising clients how they can best use the research

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a client’s business.

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Career path and progression

You could move into management, or become a self-employed market research consultant.

You could also work in advertising or marketing promotions.