How To Become A Sociologist

The role of the sociologist is to analyze the social and societal behavior processes of cultures, organizations, groups, and social institutions. Through research, surveys, theories, and projects, sociologists are able to collect and compile data on the behavior processes of a society.

The interactions and behaviors of human beings within a large spectrum of the social, economical, and political environment are crucial to a sociologist. A sociologist examines the activity and behavior of social influences on a society or culture and how it affects the individuals. If you have a passion for solving social issues, exemplary communication skills, and strong analytical abilities, you may want to pursue a career in sociology.

Why Become A Sociologist

The work of a sociologist is analytical and intense, as you will be trying to understand why human beings do the things that they do. A sociologist can specialize in a variety of social topics, such as education, health, crime, families, racial and ethnic relations, gender, poverty, population, and aging.

It is the responsibility of the sociologist to observe what is happening within a social or societal situation, and whyit is happening. It is the role of the sociologist to understand the correlation between the society and beliefs, and how it affects individual behavior. It takes an outgoing, intuitive, and analytical individual to pursue a career in sociology.

Essential Qualities & Skills For A Sociologist

If you are seeking employment within the field of sociology, it is imperative that you possess the following skills in order to obtain a sociologist position.

  1. Communication Skills – As a sociologist, you must have strong communication skills with dealing with individuals. Throughout your job, you will most likely conduct interviews, present your research and findings, and collaborate with co-workers.
  2. Analytical Skills Sociologists must be able to analyze data, research, and statistical information when testing their sociological theories or data.
  3. Writing Skills – As a sociologist, you will be creating reports of your data, research, and various findings. It is crucial that you have exemplary writing skills when creating detailed reports or compiling information.
  4. Problem-Solving Skills – Sociologists often focus on understanding, analyzing, and identifying sociological issues, therefore, it is imperative that you understand how to solve the issues at hand.
  5. Critical-Thinking Skills – As a sociologist, it will be your responsibility to think critically when trying to understand a specific group or society. Sociologists must compile their data or findings, process their findings, and analyze the information in order to formulate conclusions about the specific society or community they are trying to understand.

Sociologist Work Environment

Sociologists work within university, college, or professional school settings. Furthermore, sociologists are employed in research facilities, government facilities, and hospitals. A sociologist may work within an office setting, but find the majority of their work outside of the office in order to observe and interview individuals or groups.

Sociologist Salary

The Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed the mean annual wage in May 2012, of sociologists, is $74,960.

Average Sociologist Annual Salary


The average annual salary for sociologists is $86,130 a year. Salaries start at $38,710 a year and go up to $141,450 a year.

Average Sociologist Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a sociologist is $41.41. Hourly wages are between $18.61 and $68.01 an hour.

Stats were based out of 2,770 employed sociologists in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Sociologists

Top Paying Cities For Sociologists

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Sociologist Career Outlook

The career outlook for a sociologist looks to grow faster than other career areas, with a projected increase of 15% from 2012 to 2022. The sociological field is quite a small profession and due to this, it is projected there will be approximately 400 new job opportunities within the next decade. The future employment of sociologists will be determined by the need for sociological research. In order to truly understand human social situations, interactions, and society, sociologists are a necessity.

Sociologist Degree

In order to become a professional sociologist, you must obtain a Master’s or PhD degree in sociology. If you wish to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in sociology, you may find employment within the fields of education, social services, and public policy. If you decide to pursue a Master’s of PhD degree, you will need to specialize within clinical or traditional sociology programs.

A Master’s degree in traditional sociology will help prepare you to enter a PhD program, whereas a clinical program will prepare you to analyze and perform sociological research. If you choose to pursue your PhD degree, you may find employment within the educational, teaching, non-profit organizations, or government.

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