"The Fed in the months ahead will begin to say a long goodbye to its extraordinary monetary accommodation, keeping its exit more a process than an event, hoping throughout to keep markets and the economy stable,'' Pimco's Tony Crescenzi wrote in response to the survey.
More than 40 percent of the 37 respondents, who include economists, fund managers and strategists, see the Fed at this week's meeting dropping the reference to "considerable time" for not raising rates. The language referred to the time the Fed would wait from when it stopped buying bonds to when it would first increase rates. But 24 percent don't see the phrase being dropped until October and another 24 percent see it occurring as late as December.
Read MoreMarket reaction to Fed hinges on these two words
"The press have done the Fed's job of preparing the markets for a change in policy so the FOMC should take advantage of the opening by signaling a tightening could come sooner rather than later,'' said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors.
The outlook for a somewhat more hawkish Fed comes with a more upbeat view on the economy. In the first meaningful upgrade to the economy in nine months, Fed survey respondents now see year over year growth in the U.S. at 2.3 percent in 2014, up from 1.9 percent in the last survey, and 2.9 percent in 2015, up from 2.75 percent. The chance of recession in the next 12 months remains a slim 15 percent, the second lowest in the history of the survey. The inflation outlook is stable at 2 percent for this year and 2.27 percent for 2015.