If it's not the most interesting job in the world, it's certainly one of them. AIRINC Cost-of-Living Surveyors travel all over the world for roughly six months of the year to collect pricing data. On the surface, this is the dream job for anyone that thrives on challenging global travel – the kind that takes grit and determination to grind through as you move cities on a seemingly daily basis. Instead of touring from site to site though, you move from store to store and source to source in each location, collecting data to populate a market basket of goods, services, housing, and hardship data.
Having worked as a surveyor for AIRINC, I can tell you it is one of the most unique and fascinating jobs in the world. On the surface, this is the dream job for anyone that thrives on challenging global travel – the kind that takes grit and determination to grind through as you move on a seemingly daily basis. Instead of touring from site to site though, you move from store to store and source to source, collecting data to populate a market basket of goods, services, housing, and hardship data.
Over my fifteen years of cost of living surveys, I’ve traveled by taxi, subway, commuter rail, and ferry to collect data. Once, while pricing a supermarket in China, I noticed bicycles were under 140 CYN (20 USD). Tired of crawling through traffic in taxis, I bought a bike and completed the survey riding around the city. I really enjoyed the freedom a biking survey provided but assumed it was an isolated event.
Below is a video series taken by AIRINC Surveyor, Zenab Tavakoli, during her recent cost of living survey in Rome, Italy. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into survey life and the world of Global Mobility!
While AIRINC has an international survey team that travels globally each quarter to collect data, we as a company are all travelers. To share and connect as a group, we host a photo contest annually and hang the winner’s picture in our Cambridge headquarters, helping to decorate our still new-feeling office at 675 Massachusetts Ave.
Andrew Morollo, AIRINC’s most seasoned international cost-of-living surveyor, visited his 200th unique survey city in 2018. To honor this milestone, Andrew tells us about his career, and the lessons he’s learnt from 15 years of surveying, and a lifetime of travel.
Cost-of-Living Surveyors at AIRINC spend approximately half their time on the road, collecting prices and qualitative information about goods & services and housing. Surveyors are constantly on the move, required to navigate markets, auto shops, salons, grocery stores, and malls in different countries.
Despite the grueling schedules, AIRINC surveyors delight in their opportunities to travel worldwide.
AIRINC surveyors spend roughly half of the year traveling the globe to collect cost of living data.
Jotting down the price of peanut butter at a supermarket in Rome, Italy. Waiting in line at a utility company in New Delhi, India, to get electric rates. Meeting a realtor in Caracas, Venezuela, to discuss expatriate rental inflation.