Best Jobs in America

CNNMoney/PayScale's top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work.

11. Research Analyst
Research Analyst
11
"It's fascinating to look at patterns of behavior and how people respond in a similar fashion to certain product concepts or advertising," says Ted Donnelly, managing director at marketing research firm Baltimore Research.
Median pay: $68,300
Top pay: $109,000
10-year job growth: 41.2%
Total jobs*: 282,700

What they do all day? A market research analyst might test a TV show for the entertainment industry one day and interview health care professionals about a new medication the next. To gain insight into consumer behavior, analysts may do anything from running small focus groups to reviewing masses of data from large surveys.

How to get the job? Social research and statistics skills are good to have in the tool belt. The ability to think outside the box is valuable as well.

What's great? What's not? Jumping from project to project, research analysts gain deep knowledge in many industries. But sometimes they meet resistance from people who are protective of their privacy and don't want their data collected. --G.W.

What they do all day? A market research analyst might test a TV show for the entertainment industry one day and interview health care professionals about a new medication the next. To gain insight into consumer behavior, analysts may do anything from running small focus groups to reviewing masses of data from large surveys. --G.W.

Quality of life ratings:
  • Personal satisfaction: B
  • Benefit to society: C
  • Flexibility: B
  • Low stress: A
Subscribe to Money Magazine

*Total jobs is estimated number of people working in broader BLS 'job family.'

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNNMoney research

Do Research Analysts have great jobs, or what? Are these great jobs, or what?
It's still a tough job market, so when CNNMoney, in partnership with data from PayScale.com, set out to find America's Best Jobs this year, first and foremost we looked for professions that offer great growth opportunities.

Other big factors: pay (how strong it is now, and how fast it's growing), overall job satisfaction, and how many jobs are in the field overall.
More

Comments? E-mail the editors

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.