Individuals interested in studying and learning more about people and society often wonder what the salary potential is in sociology. This can be a difficult question because so many different careers are available to sociology professionals, including anthropologists, teachers, social workers, historians and statisticians to name just a few. Although most sociology graduates pursue careers as sociologists, there are many other career possibilities, and they each have very good salary potential.
What is Sociology?
Sociology is a social science that studies society and how people behave. It covers all areas of society from one person driving down the street to an entire population halfway across the globe. Sociology studies how people act, what makes them behave in a certain manner and the different stages they go through in their lives as well as the consequences of how they act and behave. Just about anything having to do with people in our society is covered under that field of sociology. There are seven stages of study, with each one offering something a little different than the one before:
• Social organization
• Human ecology
• Sociological Social Psychology
• Sociological Methods and Research
• Social Change
• Applied Sociology
• Population and Demographics
Career Outlook in Sociology
According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sociologists are expected to see employment growth of nine percent during the 2018-2028 decade. One of the biggest reasons why sociologists are so much in demand is for their abilities to use sociological research in other disciplines. An example is how they collaborate with educators in other social sciences such as psychologists, economists and survey researchers.
Sociologists study how different groups influence regulations about education, business, health, economics and even criminal justice. Aspiring sociologists may be hired for entry-level positions with a bachelor’s degree, but most sociologists have a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Sociologists with advanced degrees generally experience the highest salary potential.
Although sociologists work for a variety of industries, the majority of sociologists work for scientific research and development services. The BLS reports that there are about 3,000 sociologists employed in the United States. As of May 2018, sociologists earned an average annual wage of $90,290. Different factors can affect salary potential, and wages ranged from $46,170 to $140,430 according to the bureau.
Salary Information for Sociologists in Different States
Sociologist salaries can vary by factors such as degree level, work experience, employer and industry, but the factor that most affects their wages is geographic location. Here are the five top-paying states for sociologists followed by the three states where sociologists earn the lowest wages.
• Pennsylvania – $121470
• Massachusetts – $111,020
• New Jersey – $106,470
• California – $98,560
• North Carolina – $95,260
• Texas – $51,620
• Ohio – $61,880
• Georgia – $65,430
Related Resource: 15 Best Affordable Sociology Degree Programs
What Sociology Careers Pay the Highest Salary
The salary potential for sociology professionals varies depending on the field and the job. Here are the ten top-paying jobs for sociology graduates.
• Guidance Counselor
• Human Resources Representative
• Market Research Analyst
• Policy Analyst
• Public Research Specialist
• Survey Researcher
• Social Worker
The American Sociological Association indicates that a sociology degree opens up doors in a variety of careers and fields. In addition to offering many job possibilities, sociology also has an excellent salary potential for the right individual, making it definitely worth checking into this field.
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