Researchers collect a lot of data. I mean, a lot of data. And all of that data goes toward solving a problem, tackling an issue and even predicting trends. Because of what they research, there are a lot of job opportunities for researchers. They're particularly important in many different industries.

From sociology and medicine to psychology and science, you could be any type of researcher you wanted to be. It all depends on what interests you. Probably, the most important skill needed for this job is being diligent in your research. That means, leave no book unread.

Research, research, and then research some more. But while you're discovering all of that information, you'll also be helping solve some problems along the way. And that's what makes this job so special. You'll be changing the world one article at a time.

What Does a Researcher Do

There are certain skills that many researchers 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 observation skills, communication skills and analytical skills.

Learn more about what a Researcher does

How To Become a Researcher

If you're interested in becoming a researcher, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 71.3% of researchers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.2% of researchers have master's degrees. Even though most researchers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Researcher

Researcher Career Paths

Average Salary for a Researcher

Researchers in America make an average salary of $67,145 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $119,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Researcher Salary
$67,145 Yearly
$32.28 hourly
$37,000
10 %
$67,000
Median
$119,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Researcher Education

Researcher Majors

13.6 %

Researcher Degrees

Bachelors

71.3 %

Masters

13.2 %

Associate

5.8 %

Top Colleges for Researchers

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

7. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

8. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

10. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

Top Skills For a Researcher

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, 10.3% of researchers listed python on their resume, but soft skills such as observation skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Python, 10.3%
  • Communication, 8.5%
  • Lab Equipment, 6.9%
  • Data Analysis, 6.8%
  • Research Projects, 6.6%
  • Other Skills, 60.9%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Researcher Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Researcher templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Researcher resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Researcher Demographics

Researcher Gender Distribution

Male
Male
51%
Female
Female
49%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among researchers, 49.1% of them are women, while 50.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among researchers is White, which makes up 56.6% of all researchers.

  • The most common foreign language among researchers is Spanish at 36.1%.

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Data Management for Clinical Research
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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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Best States For a Researcher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a researcher. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Researchers make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $101,894. Whereas in New Jersey and New Hampshire, they would average $98,688 and $93,502, respectively. While researchers would only make an average of $86,267 in Rhode Island, 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. New Jersey

Total Researcher Jobs:
727
Highest 10% Earn:
$178,000
Location Quotient:
1.49

2. Massachusetts

Total Researcher Jobs:
2,052
Highest 10% Earn:
$157,000
Location Quotient:
3.62

3. Connecticut

Total Researcher Jobs:
168
Highest 10% Earn:
$183,000
Location Quotient:
0.82
Full List Of Best States For Researchers

How Do Researcher Rate Their Jobs?

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3.0

Reseacher in IT departmentAugust 2020

3.0

Zippia Official LogoReseacher in IT departmentAugust 2020

What do you like the most about working as Researcher?

Exploring more about reseaching field by building knowledge in a certain subject of research and growing the wisdom and knowledge. Show More

What do you NOT like?

The struggle of not breaking a certain research topic. Show More

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Top Researcher 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 researchers and discovered their number of researcher opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that California Institute of Technology was the best, especially with an average salary of $80,077. Microsoft follows up with an average salary of $150,120, and then comes University of California Press with an average of $63,318. 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 researcher. The employers include Palo Alto Networks, Paramount, and Alcatel Networks Inc

Researcher Videos

Becoming a Researcher FAQs

How long does it take to become a researcher?

It takes about ten years to become a researcher. This time includes the years of schooling and research experience needed to work as a researcher.

To become a researcher, you will first need to complete a four-year bachelor's degree in the field you wish to research. For example, if you're interested in becoming a research psychologist, you will want to major in psychology.

Is a researcher a job?

Yes, being a researcher is a job. Working as a researcher can be an exciting career for anyone interested in applying the scientific method to better understand the world around us. Most people think of academia when they think of researchers. However, researchers are found across industries and fields.

What degree do you need to become a researcher?

The degree you need to become a researcher is a doctorate in the field you'd like to research. In some cases, a researcher can have just a master's degree and several years of work experience, depending on the industry.

What does a researcher study?

A researcher studies how to apply the scientific method within their chosen field. Researchers work to discover new information or to answer a question about how we learn, behave and function with the end goal of benefitting society. Some studies might involve simple tasks like completing a survey, observing people, or participating in a group discussion.

What is the role of a researcher?

The role of a researcher is to use the scientific method and research process to better understand the world around us. Researchers typically work for academic institutions or businesses. Researchers gather data during the project life cycle, analyze the data, and publish the findings to aid new research, enrich scholarly literature, and improve decision-making.

What qualifications do you need to be a researcher?

A researcher will almost always need a bachelor's degree. However, in many positions, a master's degree or another post-graduate degree may be necessary or preferred. Some positions will require as much as a doctoral degree.

Researchers must be up to date on their field and have demonstrable knowledge of current research best practices. A researcher must also have a solid understanding of research methodologies, ethics, and technologies.

Additionally, researchers may need some kind of research experience. Internships and laboratory experience throughout one's educational career can offer a significant head start to the prospective researcher.

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