Sociologists essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $74,960
- 2012, number of jobs: 2,340
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 18 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
Sociologists; what they do:
If learning about how issues such as race, religion, class, gender and sexuality play a role in shaping people’s lives and experiences, then a sociology career is in your future.
Sociologists give “people watching” a whole new meaning. They study human behavior and society through researching groups and social organizations. A sociologist career may include examining many religious, political and social organizations and the interactions and influence of these groups both historically and in present day situations.
Academics in this occupation truly promote a greater understanding of human behavior and relationships through spending their entire sociologist career doing the following work: organizing and completing research projects that test theories about social issues; gathering and analyzing data through interviews, surveys and other sources and drawing important conclusions from the information collected; and presenting their findings to other sociologists and social scientists through presentations and conferences.
A sociology career may include working with policy makers, clients and other special groups to advise them on present day sociological issues.
Sociologist job titles:
- Medical Sociologist
- Research Scientist
- Child Sociologist
- Applied Sociologist
- Behavioral Scientist
- Social Scientist
- Policy Analyst
- Sports Sociologist
- Research and Evaluation Manager
Sociologists Education, Certification and License Requirements
Sociologists typically need a master’s degree (Master of Science, MS) or Ph.D. to enter the field. There are two paths in sociology master’s degree programs: traditional programs and clinical or professional programs. Traditional paths allow students to enter a doctoral program. Clinical and professional programs prepare students for professional employment.
Many programs in the field of sociology offer internships in research and analysis to better prepare people seeking a sociology career. Ph.D. graduates typically become teachers and professors and many enter research positions in areas such as business, nonprofit and government.
If a student decides not to pursue a master’s degree, they can still have a sociology career in areas such as assistants in research, administration, social services and management.
Sociologist programs cover subjects such as:
- Social-economic theory
- Urban economics
- Gender policy
- Immigration policy
- Race, ethnicity and community
- Health and illness
- Nonprofit management
- Health policy
- Nonprofit organizations
- Evaluation research
Sociologists Job Outlook
Forecast: 18 percent employment growth for sociologists from 2010 to 2020, faster that average for all occupations. This increase is due to a growing interest in the areas of political, social and business organizations and the social issues and program problems each of these institutions face.
The need for sociological research will also continue in other disciplines such as health and education. However, sociologists can expect a healthy dose of competition in this field as many graduates continue to apply and fight for research positions.
Candidates who possess an advanced degree and strong statistical skills have the best employment opportunities.
- 2012 median annual wage: $74,960
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $96,850
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $57,080
- Research and development in physical, engineering and life sciences
- Research and development in social sciences and humanities
- Colleges, universities and professional schools
- Local government