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User researcher

User researchers collect, analyse and test data to design websites, software and applications based on user needs.

Annual Salary

£24,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

3.5%
Future employment

There will be 3.5% more User researcher jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

On a daily basis you could:

  • plan and design user research testing sessions
  • recruit users for testing sessions and carry out research
  • get an understanding of users' needs, motivations and any problems with a service or product
  • use research results to identify new product and design ideas
  • work as part of a large product development team
  • help colleagues understand user behaviours
  • present user insights to project stakeholders at all levels

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a client's business or from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme
University

You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • psychology
  • human computer interaction (HCI)
  • digital marketing
  • product design
  • graphic design

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You can volunteer at user research sessions to get some experience. This will be useful, especially if you do not have a degree.

You can also get involved in the online user experience (UX) community and find a mentor to help you.

Direct application

You can apply directly to user research or digital design companies, or go through a specialist agency.

To apply, you'll need experience in:

  • user-centred design practices
  • running user research sessions in person and online
  • different user research methods
  • presenting user research findings in different formats

Other routes

You could apply for a place on a user research or marketing company's graduate training scheme if you have a degree, for example in digital marketing or product design.

More information

Career tips

It will be useful if you have experience of working in agile project development.

You can find further information on what a user researcher does at the Government Digital Service.

It will also help if you have a portfolio to show examples of your work to employers.

Further information

You can find out more about working as a user researcher from the User Experience Professionals' Association and techskills.

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With experience you could move into a management role and supervise a team of user researchers. You could also work on larger, more complicated projects as a head of user experience or research.

You could become a business analyst, or product or service designer.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of English language
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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