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Career Profile: Sociologists

Study human society and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions that people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations. May study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 3,000 people employed as sociologists in the United States. The median annual salary is $86,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $52,640 per year and senior employees earn approximately $143,020 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Analyze and interpret data to increase the understanding of human social behavior.
  • Collect data about the attitudes, values, and behaviors of people in groups, using observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Prepare publications and reports containing research findings.
  • Plan and conduct research to develop and test theories about societal issues such as crime, group relations, poverty, and aging.
  • Teach sociology.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate methods of data collection, such as questionnaires or interviews.
  • Present research findings at professional meetings.
  • Develop approaches to the solution of groups' problems, based on research findings in sociology and related disciplines.
  • Direct work of statistical clerks, statisticians, and others who compile and evaluate research data.
  • Observe group interactions and role affiliations to collect data, identify problems, evaluate progress, and determine the need for additional change.
  • Consult with and advise individuals such as administrators, social workers, and legislators regarding social issues and policies, as well as the implications of research findings.
  • Develop problem intervention procedures, using techniques such as interviews, consultations, role playing, and participant observation of group interactions.
  • Collaborate with research workers in other disciplines.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
3,000
Annual Openings:
300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
5%
Annual Salary Range:
$52,640 - $143,020
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher