Survey Researchers

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Also known as:  Pollster, Survey Methodologist, Survey Questionnaire Designer, Survey Researcher

ABOUT SURVEY RESEARCHER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
One of the freedoms that Americans cherish is the right to express an opinion. The people responsible for gathering many of those opinions are survey researchers. These researchers create questionnaires designed for specific purposes.

For example, clients may want to find out what people thin ...
k about certain products, services, or even political issues. The next step is to get the public to respond to the questionnaire. There are many ways survey researchers achieve this. Some conduct interviews, either face-to-face or on the telephone. Here, a clear speaking voice and polite, pleasant manner are essential.

Surveys are also conducted on the internet or through the mail. Whatever method is used to elicit responses, the researcher must organize and interpret the information gathered. This usually requires writing highly detailed reports supported by charts and graphs.

Employers look for survey researchers who have advanced college degrees in marketing, statistics, and/or business administration. Good communication skills, patience, persistence, attention to detail, and the ability to work well with others are also valuable traits to have.

Most survey researchers work under tight deadlines. They might need to put in long hours to get the job done. Travel may be necessary as well. And there's another ingredient to success in this career: it certainly helps to be truly interested in what other people are thinking, because it's your job to find out.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Plan, develop, or conduct surveys. May analyze and interpret the meaning of survey data, determine survey objectives, or suggest or test question wording. Includes social scientists who primarily design questionnaires or supervise survey teams.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
MED
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Monitor and evaluate survey progress and performance, using sample disposition reports and response rate calculations.
Direct updates and changes in survey implementation and methods.
Conduct surveys and collect data, using methods such as interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, market analysis surveys, public opinion polls, literature reviews, and file reviews.
Consult with clients to identify survey needs and specific requirements, such as special samples.
Prepare and present summaries and analyses of survey data, including tables, graphs, and fact sheets that describe survey techniques and results.
Write training manuals to be used by survey interviewers.
Support, plan, and coordinate operations for single or multiple surveys.
Determine and specify details of survey projects, including sources of information, procedures to be used, and the design of survey instruments and materials.
Hire and train recruiters and data collectors.
Produce documentation of the questionnaire development process, data collection methods, sampling designs, and decisions related to sample statistical weighting.
Review, classify, and record survey data in preparation for computer analysis.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
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