Sociologists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

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.

  • 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.
Read more about what does a Sociologist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$90290 per year

Average hourly wage
$43 per hour

Sociologists with little to no experience tend to make between $46170 and $63610 while the more experienced ones can earn over $110680 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
PA $58 $121,470
MA $53 $111,020
NJ $51 $106,470
CA $47 $98,560
NC $46 $95,260

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Sociologist is to move to a higher paying state like PA. Right now, the highest paying states for Sociologists are PA, MA, NJ, CA and NC.

However, a higher pay at PA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at PA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Sociologist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Doctoral degree

We asked other Sociologists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a PhD followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods
Demography and Population Studies
Urban Studies/Affairs
Read more about how to become a Sociologist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Sociologist.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Not suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

78% of Sociologists said they were satisfied with their job and 76% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Artists

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Learn more about Sociologists

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