Quirk’s did a very interesting salary survey of their subscribers in the summer of 2017.  It confirmed that compensation is higher for corporate researchers than for those that work as research suppliers.  The interesting part was how close the entry level base salaries were. Let’s dig into the Market Research Analyst position a bit more. (Take a look at the survey for more information on additional compensation beyond base salary.)


The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has the most comprehensive employment statistics for the United States, reported that market research analysts earned a median salary of $62,500 in 2016. This is 8% higher than the Quirk’s survey reported. The highest paid market research analyst made $121,720 (wow!) while $33,950 was the lowest market research analyst salary reported.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that three of the top five best paying cities for market research analysts are in California. San Jose’s average salary for a market research analyst was $111,380, San Francisco was $94,430 and San Rafael came in fifth at $88,920. This is a high cost of living state heavily populated by the industries that pay market research analysts best: aerospace and computer technology.

California, Maryland was the second highest paying location for market research analysts at $103,360. Where, you ask? This town is on the Delmarva Peninsula near the Chesapeake Bay and about an hour and a half south of Washington D.C. What companies are here? Boeing, Lockheed Martin and assorted aerospace suppliers have significant operations here.

Framingham, Massachusetts was the fourth highest paying location for market research analysts at $91,190. One half hour from downtown Boston and home to International Data Corporation and 63 other information technology companies makes it a hotbed for good compensation for market researchers.

Interested in discussing your compensation or options for you in the market research job market? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research Practice Lead, Lindsey Bartlett, at or 312.589-7586.


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