About the Industry

Career Paths


When it started out in 1998, MrWeb's job advertising set out a number of levels and functions for candidates to select between, narrowing down their job search according to their wants and experience. About a third of these relate to specific areas such as fieldwork, IT and data processing or sales; the remaining two thirds are typical stages in a market research career. They were very appropriate in 1998, and they're not bad now, so we'll take them as a starting point.

There are six levels of seniority in the hierarchy, one of which we split into two depending on whether jobs are on the supply or client side.

Here they are set out with UK and US job titles / descriptions:

Junior Research Exec / JRE / Trainee Research Assistant / Entry Level Associate
Research Exec (RE) Junior Analyst
Senior Research Exec (SRE) Analyst
Project, Research or Account Manager
(supplier side)
Research or Insight Manager (client side)
Associate Director / (Junior) Research Director Vice President / VP / Director
Director Level (and above, incl MD, CEO etc..) Senior Vice President (plus, EVP, CEO etc..)

The following section gives a quick summary of the way a traditional research career progresses (yes, still does, in many cases), and of what we look for when we code a job as one or more of the above, with the aim of getting it to roughly the right level of candidate. Note that there are 1,001 ways to do this (we've counted) and this is just one - but it's worked fairly well (lots of good feedback from candidates about how the links we send are more appropriate than other job sites), it will illustrate a possible career path, and it's a darn sight better than just looking at job titles, letting advertisers choose their own codes, or using keywords alone (whether analysed and coded by machine or human). We spend around 40 seconds on each job, which is long enough to scan a description and come to an informed view - and which when you multiply it by 135,000 jobs so far, is a lot of seconds.

Salaries and salary trends

Skills in the Sector

JRE / Entry Level
Research Exec
SRE / Analyst
Research or Project Manager
AD or Vice President
Director / SVP and above

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All articles in the 'About the Industry' section written by Nick Thomas of MrWeb during July - October 2017, and © MrWeb Ltd 2017. Thanks to GRIT, ESOMAR, the AMA and the MRS for stats and tables used.

About the industry - contents...

1. What is MR and how is it changing?

A comprehensive guide to what we do, how it's changing, and who else does similar stuff.

2. The global industry today

The supply side: revenues, rankings and company info, full listings.

3. Careers in MR

An introduction to the career ladder, activities, salaries and choices.