Careers in Research


Looking for an entry level job or internship in research? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

Earlier this year an awesome app called ZOMBIES, RUN! was funded through crowd-sourcing on Kickstarter. It’s an ultra-immersive game for the iPhone where you help rebuild civilization after a zombie apocalypse. By going out and running in the real world, you can collect medicine, ammo, batteries, and spare parts that you can use to build up and expand your base – all while getting orders and clues through your headphones. This game is one of many being designed to help prevent weight gain and even inspire weight loss. Currently a number of researchers are helping to determine the effectiveness of these digital games and game technologies that promote health by gathering data and analyzing it to establish facts.

Research Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user The World According to Marty

Research Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Researcher Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Researcher
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Researcher
  4. Best Locations for Researchers
  5. Pros and Cons of Being a Researcher
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Research
  7. Research Resources
  8. Careers Related to Research
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Research

What a Researcher Does

A researcher is somebody who searches for knowledge and investigates to establish facts. To accomplish this they make detailed observations, analyze data, and interpret results. Because research is needed in a wide range industries for different purposes, researchers can work in academic, industrial, government, and private institutions.

A Typical Day for a Researcher

The typical day for a researcher depends upon the type of research you’re involved in, but might involve any number of these tasks:

  • Working with a team of researchers team from a variety of different backgrounds
  • Giving a lecture
  • Writing grants
  • Meeting with a client to have a briefing
  • Deciding objectives of a project
  • Creating a design for the research
  • Writing a proposal
  • Setting the project up: writing a screener for recruitment purposes, as well as a fieldwork schedule, discussion guide or questionnaire
  • Running the field work (for qualitative research this involves being out of the office running groups and interviews, for quantitative research this involves inviting people to complete the questionnaire online)
  • Compiling results and preparing technical reports and documentation of outcomes
  • Presenting findings to client

Salary and Career Progression for a Researcher

A Researcher’s average yearly salary is $23,000. You can also specialize in different topics for example you could be a Tax Researcher (average yearly salary is $28,000), Court Researcher (average yearly salary is $22,000), User Researcher (average yearly salary is $80,000), Internet Researcher (average yearly salary is $22,000), Quantitative Researcher (average yearly salary is $111,000) Library Researcher (average yearly salary is $25,967), Market Researcher (average yearly salary is $49,999), or a Research Scientist (average yearly salary is between $39,000 and $114,299).

Best Locations for Researchers

Here are some hot spots for researchers:

  • Mountain View, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • Seattle, Washington
  • San Francisco, California
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • New York, New York
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Pros and Cons of Being a Researcher

  • Can work in a variety of fields
  • Getting deeply involved in one topic
  • Help others make decisions based on data
  • It can take a while for your hard work to pay off
  • Lower pay than many other job functions
  • May spend a lot of time trying to secure funding

What You Need to Know for a Career in Research

It is generally necessary to have a college degree and typically even a Master’s or PhD to be a Researcher. Possible relevant degrees might include marketing, psychology, anthropology, sociology, biology, chemistry, business, or statistics. A lot of the training that researchers receive is on the job training from more senior staff, but you should also be familiar with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Beyond that helpful characteristics to have include being curious, good critical analysis, verbal and written communication skills, persistence, motivation and ability to cope with delayed gratification and even rejection.

Research Resources

If research still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Research

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K & B National Research Dallas, TX
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Position A Paso Robles, CA
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Phoenix Children's Hospital Phoenix, AZ

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Research

CompStak Logo

CompStak - CompStak is based in NYC and creating "transparency in commercial real estate by gathering information that is hard to find, difficult to compile or otherwise unavailable.”

See the complete CompStak profile

ListenLogic Logo

ListenLogic - ListenLogic is a Conshohocken, PA based company that extracts “insights from unstructured big data to drive business outcomes.”

See the complete ListenLogic profile

The Wirecutter Logo

The Wirecutter - The Wirecutter is a site that offers “a list of the best electronics and gadgetry" that will help you make the absolute best purchasing decision.

See the complete The Wirecutter profile

Noom Logo

Noom - Noom is an NYC based company that makes healthy living easy by using "cutting-edge technology to accurately monitor your progress and provide expert advice and analysis."

See the complete Noom profile

Natural Areas Conservancy Logo

Natural Areas Conservancy - Natural Areas Conservancy is an NYC non-profit that “works with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation to protect, restore, and manage expansive natural areas."

See the complete Natural Areas Conservancy profile

Advanced Telemetry Systems Logo

Advanced Telemetry Systems - Advanced Telemetry Systems is an Isanti, MN based company that provides "researchers and managers in ecology and biology with animal tracking and monitoring products."

See the complete Advanced Telemetry Systems profile

Wholesome Wave Logo

Wholesome Wave - Wholesome Wave is a Bridgeport, CT based non-profit with a mission “to empower people in underserved urban and rural communities to make healthier food choices.”

See the complete Wholesome Wave profile

ProQuest Logo

ProQuest - ProQuest is an Ann Arbor, MI based company that “is committed to empowering researchers and librarians around the world.”

See the complete ProQuest profile Logo - is a San Francisco, CA based lobbying organization that promotes "policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy."

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Callaway Logo

Callaway - Callaway is a Carlsbad, CA based golf company that aims to "deliver the best performing products the game has ever known."

See the complete Callaway profile

Institute For The Future Logo

Institute for the Future - Institute For The Future is a Palo Alto, CA based “independent, non-profit research organization" that helps "all kinds of organizations make the futures they want.”

See the complete Institute for the Future profile

TVI Logo

TVI - TVI is a New York, NY based “award winning digital agency that designs leading brand experiences."

See the complete TVI profile

Old Sturbridge Village Logo

Old Sturbridge Village - Old Sturbridge Village is the “largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast” and it “depicts a rural New England town of the 1830s.”

See the complete Old Sturbridge Village profile

Digital Promise Logo

Digital Promise - Digital Promise is a Washington, DC based organization that “supports comprehensive research and development to benefit lifelong learners."

See the complete Digital Promise profile

GoPro Logo

GoPro - GoPro is a San Mateo, CA based company that has built a huge business by offering “the world’s most versatile camera.”

See the complete GoPro profile

Hanley Wood Logo

Hanley Wood - Washington, DC based Hanley Wood is “the premier media, event, information and strategic marketing services company serving the residential and commercial design and construction industries.”

See the complete Hanley Wood profile

Center for Talent Innovation Logo

Center for Talent Innovation - The Center for Talent Innovation is an NYC non-profit that conducts "research that leverages talent across the divides of gender, generation, geography and culture."

See the complete Center for Talent Innovation profile

Invoca Logo

Invoca - Invoca is a Santa Barbara, CA based company whose "marketing tools empower you to generate better leads, higher conversions, smarter spends and greater revenue.”

See the complete Invoca profile

The Marine Mammal Center Logo

The Marine Mammal Center - The Marine Mammal Center is a Sausalito, CA non-profit “veterinary research hospital and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehab of marine mammals."

See the complete The Marine Mammal Center profile

Food Allergy Research & Education

Food Allergy Research & Education - The Food Allergy Research & Education is a McLean, VA based non-profit that “works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies."

See the complete Food Allergy Research & Education profile

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Logo

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a DC based non-profit that “conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies."

See the complete Center on Budget and Policy Priorities profile

Updater Logo

Updater - Updater is a New York, NY based company that aims "to simplify the way we move" with regards to address changes.

See the complete Updater profile

Pure Branding Logo

Pure Branding - Pure Branding is a Northampton, MA based consultancy that “builds leading brands for values-based companies in the natural products industry.”

See the complete Pure Branding profile

American Skin Association Logo

American Skin Association - The American Skin Association is an NYC based non-profit that brings people together to “to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and disease.”

See the complete American Skin Association profile

The Center for Effective Philanthropy

The Center for Effective Philanthropy - The Center for Effective Philanthropy is based in Cambridge, MA and San Francisco, CA and helps "philanthropic funders better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness."

See the complete The Center for Effective Philanthropy profile

newBrandAnalytics Logo

newBrandAnalytics - newBrandAnalytics, a D.C. based company, has developed “a social media monitoring and online reputation management tool" to deliver operational social intelligence.

See the complete newBrandAnalytics profile

National Alliance to End Homelessness Logo

National Alliance to End Homelessness - The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a Washington, DC based non-profit that, as its name indicates, is working to end homelessness.

See the complete National Alliance to End Homelessness profile

Museum Hack Logo

Museum Hack - Museum Hack is a New York, NY based upstart that developed a “tour to turn one of New York’s most spectacular cultural institutions into a totally unique experience.”

See the complete Museum Hack profile

The National Center on Time & Learning Logo

The National Center on Time & Learning - The National Center on Time & Learning is a Boston, MA non-profit that “is dedicated to expanding learning time to improve student achievement."

See the complete The National Center on Time & Learning profile

Kelton Logo

Kelton - Kelton is an NYC and LA based consulting firm that is “passionate about listening to your customers and translating their stories into innovative solutions.”

See the complete Kelton profile

Siegel+Gale Logo

Siegel+Gale - Siegel+Gale is an NYC based agency that aims to “deliver brand experiences that stimulate the senses, engage the emotions and help clients realize their potential.”

See the complete Siegel+Gale profile

Videology Logo

Videology - Videology is a a Baltimore, MD based company whose technology "works across all video screens to connect brands with those consumers they most want to reach.”

See the complete Videology profile

Pixie Scientific Logo

Pixie Scientific - Pixie Scientific is a New York, NY based startup that is developing “smart diapers" to identify health issues in young children and older adults.

See the complete Pixie Scientific profile

Beyond Meat Logo

Beyond Meat - Beyond Meat is a Manhattan Beach, CA based company “focused on perfectly replacing animal protein with plant protein" to create "nutritional value at lower cost.”

See the complete Beyond Meat profile

Global Footprint Network Logo

Global Footprint Network - Global Footprint Network is an Oakland, CA based non-profit that is focused on “measuring human impact on the Earth so we can make more informed choices.”

See the complete Global Footprint Network profile

Goodmouth Logo

GoodMouth - GoodMouth is a White Plains, NY based startup that wants to help “people, and their dentists, revolutionize the way oral care is done.”

See the complete GoodMouth profile

The Culinary Edge Logo

The Culinary Edge - The Culinary Edge is a San Francisco, CA based consulting firm that helps restaurants strengthen their brands, extend their reach, and increase their profitability.

See the complete The Culinary Edge profile

Institute for Educational Leadership Logo

Institute for Educational Leadership - The Institute for Educational Leadership is a Washington, DC based non-profit that does research, leadership development, and policy work in the area of education.

See the complete Institute for Educational Leadership profile

Riskive Logo

Riskive - Riskive is a Baltimore, MD based company that provides " technology dedicated to identifying, monitoring and preventing risk across the socially connected enterprise.”

See the complete Riskive profile

Center for Clean Air Policy Logo

Center for Clean Air Policy - The Center for Clean Air Policy is a Washington, DC based non-profit that is “a recognized world leader in climate and air quality policy."

See the complete Center for Clean Air Policy profile

BrainJuicer Logo

BrainJuicer - BrainJuicer is a U.K. based market research firm (with offices in NYC, LA, and Chi) that aims “to inspire brave clients to do great marketing."

See the complete BrainJuicer profile

Pulmonary Hypertension Association Logo

Pulmonary Hypertension Association - Pulmonary Hypertension Association is a Silver Spring, MD based non-profit that is working to “to find ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension

See the complete Pulmonary Hypertension Association profile

Bailard Logo

Bailard - Bailard is a Foster City, CA based “employee-owned investment firm that has served institutions and private investors for over forty years.”

See the complete Bailard profile

Sartori Logo

Sartori - Sartori is a Plymouth, WI based “fourth-generation family owned and operated” cheese company that is known for its high quality Italian cheeses.

See the complete Sartori profile

The Rockefeller Foundation Logo

The Rockefeller Foundation - The Rockefeller Foundation is based in New York, NY and is putting its $3+ billion endowment to work promoting "the well-being of humanity throughout the world.”

See the complete The Rockefeller Foundation profile

Bright Power Logo

Bright Power - Bright Power is a New York, NY based company that “provides practical energy management and solar energy solutions that save building owners energy, money and time."

See the complete Bright Power profile

CB Insights Logo

CB Insights - CB Insights is based in NYC and “helps you track the world’s most promising private companies, their investors, their acquirers and the industries they compete in.”

See the complete CB Insights profile

Lumi Logo

Lumi - Lumi is a Los Angeles, CA based company that has developed “a revolutionary photographic print process for textiles and natural materials.”

See the complete Lumi profile

Edmunds Logo

Edmunds - Edmunds is a Santa Monica, CA based company was has become “one of the most beloved and well-known automotive resources of the 21st century.”

See the complete Edmunds profile

PitchBook Logo

PitchBook - PitchBook is a Seattle, WA based company that provides “clients with the highest-quality PE and VC data, news and information."

See the complete PitchBook profile

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