What Does A Postsecondary Sociology Teacher Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

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

Sociology Professors

Sociology Professors teach courses in sociology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Salary
$85180
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Doctoral degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Sociology Professors teach courses in sociology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

  • Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.
  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as race and ethnic relations, measurement and data collection, and workplace social relations.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Sociology Professors maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records. They keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.

A typical day for a Postsecondary Sociology Teacher will also include:

  • Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
  • Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as race and ethnic relations, measurement and data collection, and workplace social relations.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
  • Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Sociology Professors also maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students. They may also serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Sociology Professors initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions. They might also evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.

In addition, they Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as race and ethnic relations, measurement and data collection, and workplace social relations.

To some Sociology Professors, it is also their responsibility to participate in campus and community events.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

83% said they were satisfied with their job and 83% said they found their job meaningful.


Chris Drew, PhD

I’m a professor in educational sociology (Ph.D. in Sociology of Education) and have been published in journals such as Sociology of Education.

A typical day for me is a 50/50 split between teaching and research. The research aspect of my job is really fascinating. We look at demographic trends to identify inequalities in the data – for example, a lot of my recent work has been around why working-class children do poorly at school.

The core responsibility for my job is the teaching. I will usually wake up and check emails to see if my students have been in touch. I will prioritize my research students and then also answer emails from my undergraduate students as soon as possible. I teach face-to-face 16 hours a week which is about normal for a professor. That comes to about 3 hours a day. I’m teaching online this year for obvious reasons, so I’ll set up the Collaborate online class and welcome students to the class as they slowly file in. I’ll teach a class, take questions, and assign homework. Usually, students will hang back after class to ask questions about the assessment tasks as well.

Once classes are over I will usually turn my attention to my research. I will usually be working on one major study at any one time, plus supporting my Ph.D. students on their projects. So, day to day, the research may involve conducting detailed literature reviews (so – a lot of reading and note taking!), putting together grant applications, or contacting potential research participants to actually conduct primary research. This all depends on the stage the project is at.

The daily schedule is never the same because there are meetings being booked all the time and classes are on at different times on different days. I do like to put aside one full day per week (usually Friday) to focus entirely on my research projects or else they get crowded out by teaching and faculty meetings.

Pros

The main positive I get out of my role is the sense that there’s a higher purpose. Sociology and social justice are very closely connected. Sociologists essentially generate the data that identifies where and how injustices occur.

I also spend a lot of time helping people. You’re at core a teacher, and there is a great sense of achievement when a student submits their final thesis or completes a course and you can see their progress. For the sociology research component, the biggest positive is that it involves working on issues that are important to society. The research in sociology is regularly focused on finding ways to improve society to make it more inclusive or equal and remove structural barriers that exist all around us.

I also like that it is very autonomous. While we have a lot of pressure to win research grants and publish papers on our results regularly, we also have a fair bit of freedom to control what we do and when we do it. I can control when I set meetings, when my classes are, and so on.

Cons

On the flip side, it can be frustrating to see a lack of progress once you have completed your research. Often the problems we identify as sociologists are baked into our social structures, so progress to address problems we identify is very slow to come about. Research projects run for many years and, once completed, you need to get the data you have gathered into the hands of people who can influence public policy. Academics will often go to conferences to share their research, write books, and meet with policymakers to provide input on policy. But, at the end of the day, our influence on policy is quite low in this highly political and partisan world.


Pros

Suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Very good salary.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skills, knowledge, and experience are required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$85180 per year

Average hourly wage

$* per hour

Entry-level Sociology Professors with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $38,910 to $55,490 per year or $* to $* per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $145,990 $*
Senior (Top 25%) $103,670 $*
Median $75,610 $*
Junior (Bottom 25%) $55,490 $*
No experience (Bottom 10%) $38,910 $*

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Sociology Professors based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $87720 $*
Junior Colleges $77960 $*

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Sociology Professors work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Sociology Professors including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 9940 $87720 $*
Junior Colleges 3470 $77960 $*

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
22%

40 hours
13%

More than 40 hours
65%

Working schedule

57%

3%

40%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
2%

Every day
98%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
43%

Every day
11%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
31%

Every day
67%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
2%

Once a year
2%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
69%

Every day
28%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
8%

Slightly competitive
2%

Moderately competitive
21%

Highly competitive
27%

Extremely competitive
41%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
5%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
90%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
86%

Once a year or more
14%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
92%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
7%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
86%

Once a year or more
14%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Very Hard
You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge, and experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require graduate school and more than five years of experience. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include Pharmacists, Lawyers, Astronomers, Neurologists, and Veterinarians.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
23%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
77%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Sociology

A program that focuses on the systematic study of human social institutions and social relationships. Includes instruction in social theory, sociological research methods, social organization and structure, social stratification and hierarchies, dynamics of social change, family structures, social deviance and control, and applications to the study of specific social groups, social institutions, and social problems.

Applied/Public Sociology

A program that focuses on the application of sociological theory, methods, skills, and research to resolve particular issues in real-world settings. Includes instruction in data collection, group and organizational dynamics, participatory action research, program evaluation, sociological research methods, and sociological theory.

Rural Sociology

A program that focuses on the structure and function of rural societies. Includes instruction in sociological theory, research methods, statistics, sociology of agriculture, community development, social and economic development, demography, rural poverty, gender roles in rural societies, and environmental sociology.


Sociology and Anthropology

A program that combines sociology and anthropology to study how society is organized, the origins and development of social institutions, social change, social organizations, race, class, gender and culture.

Demography and Population Studies

A program that focuses on the systematic study of population models and population phenomena, and related problems of social structure and behavior. Includes instruction in population growth, spatial distribution, mortality and fertility factors, migration, dynamic population modeling, population estimation and projection, mathematical and statistical analysis of population data, population policy studies, and applications to problems in economics and government planning.


Applied Demography

A program of study that focuses on the practical application of demographic methods and materials for decision-making in business, education, health, and government. Includes instruction in statistics, research methods, geographic information systems, and demographic methods and techniques.

Survey Research/Methodology

A program that focuses on survey research design to gather data about behaviors, demographics, opinions, and data analysis to answer complex questions. Includes instruction in the analysis of survey data, cross-cultural and multi-population survey methodology, data collection methods, modes of survey analysis, quantitative analysis, questionnaire design, research design, sampling, survey error, and structural equation modeling.


Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
12%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
1%

1 to 2 years
11%

2 to 4 years
37%

4 to 6 years
9%

6 to 8 years
25%

8 to 10 years
1%

Over 10 years
5%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
29%

1 month
20%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
17%

1 to 2 years
18%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
16%

Over 10 years
1%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Helper

People with this personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.

The Builder
14%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
71%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
57%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
100%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
33%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
38%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

They also like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
81%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
74%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
76%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
76%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
38%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
81%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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