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User Experience Researcher Salary (United States)

For User Experience Researchers, the fattest paychecks can be found in the Golden State; the three highest-paying cities in the field are Mountain View, San Jose, and San Francisco. Cash earnings for User Experience Researchers — including $18K in bonuses and $20K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $53K to $130K depending on individual performance. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by experience level, but geography and the individual firm are influential factors as well. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The majority of User Experience Researchers (63 percent) who took the survey are women. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
User Experience Researcher Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$53,505 - $120,058
(Median)
54K
67K
82K
99K
120K
MEDIAN: $81,541
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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User Experience Researcher Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$23.08 - $61.82
(Median)
23
29
39
45
62
MEDIAN: $38.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$53,505 - $120,058  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $18,257  
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $20,203  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$52,786 - $130,275  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 270
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$23.08 - $61.82  
   
Overtime
$47.75 - $69.19  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $18,257  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $20,203  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$52,786 - $130,275  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 45
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Job Description for User Experience Researcher

User experience researchers are in charge of researching user experience features in computer software and other applications. They investigate ways to improve the end-user interaction with computer programs to increase satisfaction, brand loyalty, and overall use. They create reports based on market trends and user surveys, analyzing the information and reporting observations to the user experience manager (or similar individual) in their organization.
Read More...
User Experience Researcher Tasks
  • Create user scenarios and stories to coordinate with other teams.
  • Design and lead user focus groups and data collection.
  • Interact with clients to determine requirements and set expectations.
  • Analyze and report on user data to inform design and deployment.

User Experience Researcher Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for User Experience Researcher

While select Microsoft Corp employees may bring in up to $156K, a median salary of only $90K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department.

Popular Skills for User Experience Researcher

Survey results suggest that User Experience Researchers put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in End User Requirements Research, Usability Testing, User Research, and User Interface Design are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Market Research as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Research Analysis and Data Analysis also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in Usability Testing indicates knowledge of User Interface Design.

Pay by Experience Level for User Experience Researcher

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $77K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $100K. For User Experience Researchers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $121K. User Experience Researchers who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $147K.

Pay Difference By Location

Mountain View
up arrow 32%
San Jose
up arrow 19%
San Francisco
up arrow 12%
Atlanta
up arrow 9%
up arrow 8%
National Average
$83,000
Redmond
up arrow 6%
Boston
up arrow 8%
up arrow 10%
Austin
up arrow 16%
Chicago
up arrow 22%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
There's tons of opportunity for User Experience Researchers in California, which is home to the top three paying cities in the field. Mountain View, San Jose, and San Francisco all offer salaries above the national rate. User Experience Researchers in Chicago earn salaries far below the national average by 22 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Austin and New York are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 16 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively.

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Experience Affects User Experience Researcher Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 77%
Experienced
up arrow 45%
National Average
$83,000

Skills That Affect User Experience Researcher Salaries

End User Requirements Research
up arrow 6%
Usability Testing
up arrow 2%
National Average
$83,000
User Research
up arrow 1%
User Interface Design
up arrow 3%
Data Analysis
up arrow 8%
Research Analysis
up arrow 10%
Market Research
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 45 votes.

Gender

Female
63%
female alumni
 
Male
37%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
57%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 75%
vision benefits Vision: 69% employee benefits None: 13%