Editor’s note: Lindsey Bartlett is market research practice lead, at staffing and recruitment firm Smith Hanley Associates, Chicago and Southport, Conn. 

Salaries grew in 2019 for a number of reasons. Instead of only having backfill positions available, economic growth and low unemployment meant more new opportunities. Budgets are growing and there continues to be an abundance of work. Companies are responsive to being more competitive in the search for the best candidates. And, as candidates pursue multiple positions, companies must speed up the hiring process and be more flexible in matching job definitions and compensation packages to the available candidate pool. In addition, the continuing growth of salary laws by state prohibiting requests for information about a candidate’s past salaries is impacting salary growth. Offers are being made on predetermined ranges set by the company as well as the candidate’s expectations.

In this article I will break down the impact of increasing marketing research wages, providing a look at 2019 base salaries. Keeping these salary variables in mind, I will share tips for those looking to hire the best in marketing research and insight, as well as advice for those looking to step into new positions in 2020. 

Growth in market research graduate programs – in addition to strong certificate programs – is improving the number and depth of candidates with experience and foundational strength in qualitative and quantitative research methods. Entry-level salaries have to keep pace with these better prepared candidates.

The highest paying marketing research opportunities are within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. These industries are able to provide the most comprehensive offers to candidates with sign-on bonuses, long-term incentives and flexible work schedules. The technology industry is a close second in rising salaries.

The lowest ...