Finding Focus Group Jobs
By Eric Hammer
Focus group jobs are not strictly jobs in the classical sense
of the term. These kinds of projects are meant to be a chance
to get together and talk to others about your opinions of a particular
product (more on that in a moment) and, in order to ensure that
you come for the group, they'll pay you for your time.
So why do some people refer to this as "focus group jobs"?
The reason is quite simple - A number of people actually make
their living from going to focus groups to share their opinions.
While the groups rarely want you if you are a "professional
focus grouper," the reality is that if you can play the
game, you can earn a real living doing this.
The idea is that you will go and sit with a group of other
men or women and comment on various products. Companies want
to know what you think and they are hoping you will like their
product. While you are of course free to share what you really
feel, in most cases, those who go to focus groups say that the
best idea, if you want to be called back repeatedly is to simply
confirm for the company whatever it is they already want to believe.
How Much Can You Make?
Focus groups can pay as little as $20 or as much as $300 for
a single session. Sometimes, they will give you rewards of things
other than money, though that is rare and usually offered only
for groups that don't require a large time commitment. The official
rules for most focus group companies say that you can only participate
once every six months, however, you can often get away with doing
them more often.
Finding focus group jobs simply requires a bit of research.
Check the resources below for several places that regularly list
focus groups looking for participants. Beyond that, look at Craigslist
and your local newspaper classifieds to find out where focus
groups will be held in your area.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
While focus groups theoretically should relate to honest opinions
and have a range of opinions about a product, at least one person
who goes to focus groups all the time suggests that they really
just want to hear confirmation of their own opinion.
The company arranging for a focus group generally wants homogenous,
stereotypical people who will act like every other person rather
than the individual who may actually think for him or herself.
Therefore, if you are a truly opinionated person, look for something
other than focus group jobs or keep your opinions to yourself
and just agree with the general feeling in the room.
If you are interested in trying out some focus group jobs
but don't want to travel, several such programs are available
online, including places like e-rewards and AOL's survey service.
The catch is that these places always pay with "prizes"
such as gift certificates for bookstores or FTD.com. Some however
do offer small cash payments via PayPal.
Qualifications / Requirements
Officially, in order to get focus group jobs, you need to
breathing and that's pretty much it. Unofficially, certain demographics
are highly prized by companies and so it helps if you are in
the 18-34 year old range and single. Both men and women in this
age range are considered primary targets for advertisers. Beyond
that, senior citizens are often popular with focus groups as
are moms. Basically, the focus group companies want people who
have plenty of disposable income and the power of the purse in
Start by filling out online applications for as many focus
group companies as you can find (check the resources below for
several places to look). Then, keep an eye on the local paper
and craigslist and call in for additional focus groups as they
appear. Be ready to go with only a day or two notice as many
focus groups will contact you on the weekend to ask if you are
available for some time during the week.
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about focus
New York Magazine: Group Thinker - A slightly
tongue in cheek look at how to get lots of focus group jobs.
Findfocusgroups - A Twitter feed that regularly updates with
links to focus groups looking for participants.
Focus Room - An example of a focus group company looking