A Career as a Market Research Director

Are you interested in seeing where a product will go in the market? Do you find yourself fascinated by both statistical and marketing principles? You could have an awesome career as a market research director!

Job Overview

Market research directors plan, carry out and study the results of research conducted to determine a product or service’s popularity and performance in the free market system. They oversee research staff, monitor trends and report study results to their clients.

Requirements and Qualifications

A Career as a Market Research Director

Market Research Directors oversee research staff, monitor trends and report study results to their clients.

In addition to educational and experience requirements, you can expect to have some long hours around difficult-to-schedule work and deadlines. Qualities you may want to expand on before pursuing a career include analytical, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, communication, social and interpersonal skills, being detail oriented, having integrity and dependability, and showing initiative, persistence and leadership abilities.

Typical Education

A market research director typically needs a master’s degree in order to obtain a directorship. A very limited number of individuals who have extensive experience are able to obtain a director’s position with a bachelor’s degree. Your degree should be in market research, marketing, statistics, computer science or mathematics, with coursework focusing on business administration, communications, statistics, economics, marketing, sociology and psychology being quite helpful.

Steps to Become a Market Research Director

You will want to pursue an internship while you are still working on your degree program, which will give you real-world job skills, experience and potential resume references. After you have completed your degree program and have undertaken over three years of work as a market researcher or related position, you may wish to pursue a Professional Researcher Certification as offered by the Marketing Research Association, in order to show your dedication to the field. Volunteering to take on more complicated tasks or responsibilities is another excellent way to show your leadership and planning potential.

Similar Jobs

It could be that you don’t want this much responsibility, or maybe researching product markets just isn’t your thing. That’s okay! Here are some related career paths you may find interesting:

  • Think you’ve got what it takes to keep an organization’s products and services in the public view? Advertising, promotions and marketing managers increase public awareness of a brand, service or product.
  • Good at figuring out the bottom line? Cost estimators determine the estimated cost of labor, materials, time and money involved in producing a product or project.
  • Are you fascinated by the movement of trade? Economists observe and predict how resources, products and services are produced and distributed.
  • Good at finding ways to trim excess in an organization’s daily activities? Operations research analysts study an organization’s activities and make suggestions to reduce waste.
  • Can you put a positive outlook on any happening? Public relations managers and specialists help organizations and important individuals create and keep up a good public image.
  • Do you grin when others groan about mathematics? Statisticians study and interpret information, drawing theories from it.
  • Are you great at figuring out people’s opinions? Survey researchers plan and direct surveys and analyze the information from them.


The average annual salary of a market research director was $119,480 in 2012, nearly four times the average annual pay of all career tracks. Most market research directors work full time, though there may be some overtime or long hours involved with limited scheduling options and deadlines approaching.

Job Outlook

Market research directors can expect to see a 41% increase in job opportunities over the next decade, almost three times the average increase of all career paths at 14% over the same time period. Opportunities will be highest for those who are familiar with how that social and digital media is changing the market and marketing strategies.

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