Research Specialist Careers

A research specialist provides research and analysis for industry-specific labor and employee relations information. You should be able to contribute to other articles, train and oversee new researchers. Your duties include managing social media publications to spread awareness and notifications, collecting, sorting, and analyzing data. You will also assist in developing objectives and designing research projects and proposals, and prepare complete documentation for experimental procedures. Furthermore, you will plan and conduct a scientific experiment, respond to research questions, troubleshoot problems, recommend improvements, and contribute to and write research findings for publications, presentations, and other documents.

To be a research specialist, you must have a bachelor's degree in biology, business, or psychology, and at least three years' research-related experience. You must be computer literate and have strong analytical, and research skills. The average research annual salary is $23.74 per hour or $49.377 per year.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a research specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.74 an hour? That's $49,377 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 20% and produce 139,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Research Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many research specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, analytical skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a research specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.5% of research specialists included procedures, while 12.7% of resumes included research projects, and 6.4% of resumes included data collection. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the research specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most research specialists actually find jobs in the education and finance industries.

How To Become a Research Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a research specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 61.0% of research specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.7% of research specialists have master's degrees. Even though most research specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a research specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a research specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on research specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a research specialist. In fact, many research specialist jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many research specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or customer service representative.

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Average Salary for a Research Specialist

Research Specialists in America make an average salary of $49,377 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $66,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Salary
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Best Paying Cities For Research Specialists

Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range49k - 81k$64k$63,624
Seattle, WA
Salary Range49k - 80k$63k$62,950
Newark, NJ
Salary Range47k - 78k$61k$61,383
New Haven, CT
Salary Range47k - 78k$61k$60,784
Washington, DC
Salary Range47k - 77k$61k$60,669
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range45k - 79k$60k$60,473
Ashburn, VA
Salary Range47k - 77k$60k$60,410
Worcester, MA
Salary Range45k - 76k$59k$59,144
Austin, TX
Salary Range43k - 77k$58k$57,771
Ann Arbor, MI
Salary Range44k - 73k$57k$57,473
Columbus, OH
Salary Range44k - 73k$57k$57,246
Raleigh, NC
Salary Range41k - 70k$54k$54,167
Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range42k - 63k$52k$52,306
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range40k - 66k$52k$51,871
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range39k - 65k$51k$51,219
Urban Honolulu, HI
Salary Range42k - 59k$50k$50,310
Memphis, TN
Salary Range36k - 63k$48k$47,874
Chicago, IL
Salary Range36k - 58k$46k$46,212
Saint Louis, MO
Salary Range35k - 59k$46k$45,878
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range34k - 60k$45k$45,352

Recently Added Salaries

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Research Specialist D, Consortium for Policy Research In Education
University of Pennsylvania
Pre-Award & Research Specialist
University of Colorado
Data Science Research Specialist
University of Minnesota
Laboratory Research Specialist
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Phone Research Follow Up Specialist
Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc.
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Research Specialist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Research Specialist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Research Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Research Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Research Specialist Resume Examples And Templates

Research Specialist Demographics



56.8 %


35.6 %


7.6 %



68.5 %


13.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


44.5 %


11.6 %


7.0 %
Show More Research Specialist Demographics

Research Specialist Education


19.7 %
15.3 %



61.0 %


16.7 %


9.0 %

Top Colleges for Research Specialists

1. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
Show More Research Specialist Education Requirements

Online Courses For Research Specialist That You May Like

Research Data Management and Sharing

This course will provide learners with an introduction to research data management and sharing. After completing this course, learners will understand the diversity of data and their management needs across the research data lifecycle, be able to identify the components of good data management plans, and be familiar with best practices for working with data including the organization, documentation, and storage and security of data. Learners will also understand the impetus and importance of arc...

Survey Data Collection and Analytics

This specialization covers the fundamentals of surveys as used in market research, evaluation research, social science and political research, official government statistics, and many other topic domains. In six courses, you will learn the basics of questionnaire design, data collection methods, sampling design, dealing with missing values, making estimates, combining data from different sources, and the analysis of survey data. In the final Capstone Project, you'll apply the skills learned thro...

Data Management for Clinical Research

This course presents critical concepts and practical methods to support planning, collection, storage, and dissemination of data in clinical research. Understanding and implementing solid data management principles is critical for any scientific domain. Regardless of your current (or anticipated) role in the research enterprise, a strong working knowledge and skill set in data management principles and practice will increase your productivity and improve your science. Our goal is to use these mo...

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Top Skills For a Research Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.5% of research specialists listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and analytical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Research Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a research specialist. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, Oregon, Alaska, and New York. Research specialists make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $71,319. Whereas in Oregon and Alaska, they would average $64,884 and $63,938, respectively. While research specialists would only make an average of $63,398 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Research Specialist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Research Specialist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Delaware

Total Research Specialist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Research Specialists

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Top Research Specialist Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ research specialists and discovered their number of research specialist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Howard Hughes Medical Institute was the best, especially with an average salary of $49,321. University of Illinois at Chicago follows up with an average salary of $41,955, and then comes Directions Research with an average of $45,407. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a research specialist. The employers include Twitter, Mayo Clinic, and Freedom Mortgage

1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute
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2. University of Illinois at Chicago
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3. Directions Research
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4. Emory University
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5. University of Pittsburgh
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6. Chapin Hall Center For Children
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Research Specialist Videos

Updated August 18, 2021