You've probably been on the receiving end of unwanted calls asking you to partake in surveys in the past.
The individuals on the other end of these calls are known as pollsters, and while they may be annoying, they help provide the general public with a voice on a wide range of issues.
If you're interested in understanding the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of people through survey research, being a pollster may be the perfect career for you!
What Does A Pollster Do?
Pollsters oversee the survey research process from start to end.
Conducting background research by reviewing already published materials about a specific topic.
Writing survey questions that will generate clear responses from respondents.
Choosing the most effective method for the survey to be administered (e.g., phone, email, or in-person).
Analyzing, interpreting, and communicating the results of the survey.
Who Hires Pollsters?
Pollsters are typically employed by research-centered organizations such as polling and market research companies, educational institutions (e.g., universities), and think tanks.
As a part of these organizations, pollsters conduct research on behalf of political parties, governmental agencies, corporations, advocacy groups, and a whole lot more!
What Education Do You Need To Become A Pollster?
A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement.
While there isn't a specific major you're required to study, prospective pollsters tend to study political science, sociology, psychology, and other social science fields.
Whatever you decide to study, be sure to load up on math, statistics, and possibly even programming courses, as these will all prove useful to you as a pollster.
A graduate degree, specifically in an area such as survey research methods, will also prove very useful to you on the job market.
What Can I Expect To Earn?
In Canada, the average annual salary for a pollster is $82, 438 (CAD).
In the USA, the average annual salary for a pollster is $74, 530 (USD).
It Is Right For You If You...
Communicate well both through writing and speaking.
Are able to work both independently and collaboratively.
Are enthusiastic about research.
It May Not Be Right For You If You...
Don't get caught up in the details.
Aren't big on numbers and math.
Aren't interested in developing a deeper understanding of social issues.
Choose The Future Pollster
Has a degree in sociology
Was a part of several social justice advocacy clubs at school
Took additional courses in political science outside of his major
Excels at coming up with broad and big picture solutions to problems
Has a degree in psychology
Partook in various research projects at school relating to social issues
Took additional courses in statistics outside of her major
Cares a lot about the specifics when completing a task
Who seems like a better fit to be a pollster?
If the thought of being a pollster still seems exciting to you: