According to the Strong Interest Inventory® and its associated assessment, a position as a Sociologist is considered an Artistic career. Since its initial publication nearly a century ago, this tool has served as a compass for thousands of job seekers by helping them find a career that is both fulfilling and leverages their proclivities. The assessment works by matching individuals’ interests to careers whose current professionals share those interests and are quite satisfied within their position. For example, Sociologists and other Artistic careers enjoy flexible work environments that allow them space to be creative. For Sociologists, this takes the form of having the flexibility to find and research topics of interest to them.

Sociologists study sociology, the study of human social behavior, including human institutions and group dynamics. Subfields of sociology include the study of religion, politics, business, education, and race, as well as how these human institutions come to be and how they influence and are influenced by individuals. Sociologists have many different professional responsibilities. Sociologists with teaching-focused responsibilities may need to create curricula and lesson plans, grade student work, document attendance, and fulfill all over classroom management duties. Sociologists with research interests conduct research by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to gain a better understanding of human social behavior. Sometimes this research is also used to measure the effectiveness of specific interventions, such as new educational or social programs.


Read about a career in Sociology including information such as a Sociologist salary, daily tasks and other career information.

The first step of conducting research is to develop a specific research question and obtain the necessary approvals to begin work. Then, Sociologists have to develop a strategy and methodology for research. For example, methods of data collection may include ethnographic observation, interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, written documents, and more. Sociologists need to prepare any necessary interview questions or questionnaires and then implement them. After their data is collected, the next step is analysis. Sociologists conduct statistical analyses and sometimes even work directly with economists and statisticians to evaluate research data. Then, they prepare publications, reports, or presentations to disseminate research findings to other professionals, stakeholders, or the community at large. Sociologists may also be involved in developing new initiatives or intervention procedures based on their findings. Doing so may require them to work with researchers in related fields, like social workers, educators, or even law makers. Their goal is to use their data and deep sociological knowledge to motivate positive social change in the world around them.

Sociologists use many different kinds of tools and technologies, from standard office hardware and software (e.g., computers, smartphones, Microsoft Office Suite, web browser software, etc.) to specialized tools for data collection (e.g., audio and video recording devices, cameras, video conferencing systems, etc.). They also use many kinds of software for data analysis and presentation (e.g., Tableau, SPSS, Dedoose, NVivo, etc.)

Almost all Sociologists hold a graduate degree. Roughly 77% hold a Ph.D., while the remaining 23% hold a master’s degree. They need to have a foundation in sociology, anthropology, and statistics, as well as strong written and oral communication skills. Sociologists are generally highly organized and detail-oriented and must be able to synthesize large amounts of information into concise presentations and essays. In addition, they need to be able to work closely with other professionals and function within a university or other professional hierarchy. That said, because their work hours may be flexible, they also need to be able to manage time and resources effectively and independently.

Sociologists are compensated well above average income in the United States. The median national Sociologist Salary is just over $80,000, with the median in some states, such as Pennsylvania, being over $120,000. That said, the median salary in South Dakota is just under $39,000, and the lowest 10% in that state earn a mere $31,900 per year. Nonetheless, Sociologists’ employment is expected to rise steadily across the country, with growth projected at 7-10% in the next decade. California, New York, and Wisconsin are projected to add nearly 200 jobs between them, which for Wisconsin is a 22% growth in just a decade.

Below are some employment trends for Sociologists:

  • Sociologist Salary: $39.45/hour; $82,050 annually
  • Employment: 3,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2018-2028): Faster than average (7-10%)
  • Projected job openings (2018-2028): 400
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections