The following article discusses the career path of Research Associate. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Research Associates.
Research associates carefully look at data, using this to produce reports for their employers. This means they can translate the meaning of data, check that the data is correct, and use this to validate theories and ideas. When they do not verify or examine information, they work with senior officers to showcase the lessons learned from the data and how the business can use this in future.
These professionals can work in public and private sectors. Most financial businesses needs research associates in order to be successful. Depending on the field and company they work for, these professionals often focus on data on a number of different subjects. They also rarely work alone, instead working in a team of other analysts, validating each other’s findings.
Other job duties of a research associate are:
- To use different sources in order to analyze and research topics, essentially becoming an expert
- To work with quantitative data, collecting and analyzing it
- To provide written and spoken presentations on findings
- To interview team members and clients in order to better understand their information needs and how those should be delivered
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 595,400 market research analysts in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: 12%
- Finance and insurance: 10%
- Wholesale trade: 9%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 8%
- Publishing industries (except Internet): 3%
How to Become
A research associate usually has at least a bachelor’s degree, most of the time in a major related to business or accounting. They also often complete additional education relevant to their particular industry or niche. They are also trained on giving presentations.
A research associate usually has to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to market research as a minimum. Many have majored in communications, social sciences, business administration, computer science, math, or statistics. This shows the variation of work and knowledge related to this profession.
It is generally expected that a research associate has completed courses in marketing, research methods, and statistics at least. Social sciences (consumer behavior and economics in particular) and communication courses are also important.
In some cases, a research associate is expected to hold a master’s degree. There are a number of relevant graduate programs, including marketing research. However, most complete the master of business administration (MBA), with concentrations in marketing or statistics. These degrees are particularly important if someone wants to take on a leadership or management position.
Research associates are not legally required to complete certification, but it does make them more in demand because it shows they have professional competency. The PRC (Professional Researcher Certification) is offered by the Marketing Research Association, for instance. A research associate must meet the necessary admission requirements for this, including additional education. The certification must be maintained through continuous education courses.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective research associates have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
- Great critical thinking skills
- Detail oriented
The national average salary estimate for Research Associate was $46,919. This number is estimated from over 1,768,924 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $24.44 and monthly of $3,910.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Research Associate salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Connecticut had the largest quoted salary of $70,953 while Nevada had the smallest quoted salary of $20,400.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Research Associate. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP||New York||$160,000|
|Bank of America Merrill Lynch||New York||$143,362|
|Deutsche Bank||New York||$141,101|
|Morgan Stanley||New York||$138,734|
|AQR Capital Management||Connecticut||$136,342|
|Goldman Sachs||New York||$133,437|
|Credit Suisse||New York||$129,850|
|Susquehanna International Group, LLP||Pennsylvania||$127,294|
|Dimensional Fund Advisors LP||Texas||$125,515|
|CLSA Americas LLC||New York||$123,277|
|JPMorgan Chase||New York||$116,590|
|U.S. Air Force||Ohio||$115,782|
|Dodge & Cox||California||$109,402|
|Leerink Partners LLC||Massachusetts||$108,890|
|William Blair & Company, LLC||Illinois||$108,031|
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Personal Banking Manager||$51,369|
|Public Relations Manager||$51,303|
|Social Media Manager||$50,861|