Dec 11

Earn money as a market researcher

Reading Time: 7 mins

Do you love interacting with people? Consider getting involved in the field of market research.

A great way to make a living, or to supplement another income, market research involves the gathering and analysing of information on consumers, in order to help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

It’s not only limited to what you buy in the shops and supermarkets, but also includes areas such as the running of utilities, workplace relations and government policies. Sure, the analysing side of market research is certainly a more specialised profession, but the collection of data simply requires someone who finds it easy to get on with people, and enjoys doing it!

To Do: talk to strangers

If you think that you’d enjoy talking to strangers, and getting their opinions about various products and services, read on for our simple four-step Q&A to getting started.


What does a market researcher job involve?

Girl with clipboard

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a market researcher’s tap on the shoulder on the street, knock on the door or phone call. Typically, we tell them we’re happy to answer a few questions, and they fire away while we give our honest responses which are duly noted.

So, depending on the role you take on, you might be approaching people in the street, door-to-door or on the phone. Once you’ve been employed as an interviewer, you’ll typically receive a few days’ training and you should be accompanied by an expert on your first outing into the big wide world.

  • Knock-knock: If you’re going door-to-door you may be allocated a few roads to cover with a set quota of interviews to do.
  • Pre-selected lists: Alternatively you may have a pre-selected list of addresses to contact, often with a specific person to speak to. Pre-selected interviews are often paid more as they’re harder to carry out.

What you need to know

  • Be polite and approachable, and to make people want to listen to what you’re asking by explaining what the research is about and what it’ll be used for.
  • Be certain to record the answers. Take down the answers on the spot and, once the results are collated, they’re passed back to the organisation you’re working for.
  • Be aware of how you’ll be paid. Researchers are paid per completed interview, but you may find that your pay is topped up in the first few weeks as you learn the ropes. Rates may be better in London and the south-east than elsewhere in the country. Some companies will also reimburse fares and mileage and there may be bonuses available for those who meet their quotas.


Different types of market research

Types of marketing research

There are two types of research that could be undertaken, quantitative and qualitative:

Quantitative research

Quantitative research is based on the quantities or numerical statistics collected by surveys and questionnaires to find out how many people act, buy or think in a certain way.

Qualitative research

Qualitative research is based on more in-depth questions, determining people’s actions and thoughts by researching their attitudes and opinions. This type of research often takes place in focus groups, where an environment is created where interviewees are led to reveal their opinions in a spontaneous, natural fashion as opposed to direct questioning which might affect their honest emotions.

Take Note: While our article focuses on making cash by being a market research interviewer, if you gain sufficient experience in the industry and find yourself enjoying the work, you could also get involved with designing the questionnaires that interviewers use, analysing the data and reporting on the results of the data.


Could I be a market researcher?

Market research clipboard

Can you listen well?

There are no standard set of entry requirements to become a market researcher, but you do have to have the right personality for the job. You need to be a people person and, essentially, a great listener, as the job involves interacting with strangers and being interested in whatever it is they have to say.

Are you persistent?

Good market researchers use positive, action-focused language and make it easy for participants to complete their survey (of course, some company incentives work a charm in this regard too). You need to be able to hold their interest for the whole survey and keep the results honest – in other words; not adding your own spin or bias to their response. You’ll need to also be fairly thick-skinned when approaching respondents, and give it a good go before allowing potentially rude people to shrug you off.

Do you have basic computer skills?

Basic computer knowledge may be needed for collating data, and, if you go on to a more senior level, you’ll need good analytical skills to find the story in the statistics.

Do you enjoy getting out?

Most of all, it’s important to enjoy what you do and have fun getting out in the world and listening to what everyday people have to say.
Experience is an advantage

It tends to be a popular job amongst younger people with a decent school record or degree, those with some relevant employment experience tending to have a better chance of securing work.

Flexible hours

There is no upper age limit on being a market researcher, though, and it can be a flexible option for those with other commitments, including mums.


What do I need to work as a market researcher?


Assuming you have the personality for the job, there’s no standard set of entry requirements to become a market researcher.

It tends to be a popular job amongst younger people with a decent school record or degree, those with some relevant employment experience tending to have a better chance of securing work.

There’s no upper age limit on being a market researcher, though, and it can be a flexible option for those with other commitments, including mums.


Where can I find market research jobs?

The Market Research Society is the professional association for the sector and you’ll find its research job finder with job listings on the website.

The MRS also publishes its industry magazine, Impact, which you could also browse for vacancies. Of course for more informal roles, job boards such as Indeed and Gumtree are often updated with work suitable for a wide variety of people, including foreign language speakers, those with limited time or those who don’t mind being out and about in inclement weather.

Graduate recruitment websites and weekly magazines like Campaign and Marketing Week often advertise roles, while you could try going direct to companies such as these:


How much does market research pay?

Woman holding money

So, how much can you expect to earn as a market researcher, you ask?

Working the phone

The joy of having a telephone-centric job is that you can be based anywhere. So jobs are available at home or at a call centre. Most home-based jobs require slightly more experience, and so are slightly higher paying, and we’ve seen jobs advertised at about £10 an hour. At call centres, your hourly rate generally starts at £7.


Doing field research in London is certainly more profitable at £12.25 per hour. Outside London, the rate is between £8.50 and £9. Look out for companies that sponsor travel time, some also allow an expense allowance for each assignment.


What training can I take in market research?

Business workshop

If you want to improve your earnings as a market researcher, think about taking some training, which may also open the way to more interesting roles.

Attending workshops

The MRS runs workshops and courses, and there are networking events to help develop your careers, so keep a regular eye on their website

Studying towards qualifications

They also offer various qualifications, including a MRS Certificate in Market and Social Research which gives a comprehensive grounding in the basic principles and practices of effective market and social research. From there you can work towards Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and even Masters Degrees which will obviously put you in a completely different league and earnings bracket.

Gaining experience

This kind of training is obviously not necessary for the entry-level interviewer, where experience on the job is probably the best way to hone your skills, and get into the position where you’re offered regular work.


Why not also try make money answering surveys?

Woman answering questionaire

If after reading this you decide that this isn’t a way that you’d like to make some extra cash, then you could always opt to be on the other side of the fence, and be a respondent to market research surveys.

We have an article here on doing online surveys for money as we think that they’re a good way to make a bit of extra cash without having to put too much effort in. Think of it as small deposits in that summer holiday savings account – it all adds up!


get yourself a market research job now

Use this handy tool from ZipRecruiter and you could get a market research job down your street (literally) right now. Just put your area in the box below and see what’s up for grabs!


Sign Up – Newsletter


Leave a Reply

Notify of

Interesting article with some good advice on market research.


If mums want to earn money taking part in research and focus groups (they are a key part of how we carry out our research) they can sign up at MumPanel

age spot removal
age spot removal

Kudos for posting this info, I don’t know about anybody else, but I could totally make use of it.


Sorry Hilary, that’s Saros Research. That’s where you take part in a focus group. Check out sarosresearch.

Related Articles


Make Money and Save Money

ideas for everyone

Send this to a friend