Sociologists: Salary Overview
Sociologists examine groups, cultures, organizations, institutions, and processes to study society and social behavior.
They can work at all kinds of levels, from studying groups and small organizations to examining entire cultures and social institutions.
As a sociologist, you will collect data through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and then analyze and draw conclusions from that data.
Your job requires a good understanding of statistics and research methods.
If you are interested in human nature and human behavior and relationships then this is a career for you.
You will use empirical investigations to get to the bottom of our social problems, to find solutions, to help implement and evaluate public policies, to understand the rhythm of change in our modern societies.
You will learn how groups and societies develop and organize themselves.
Sociologists can investigate a large range of topics, from issues about crime, and law to poverty, education, social mobility.
They may work for youth development, in counseling and therapy, in education and politics.
Sociologists usually specialize in one field, such as education and health, crime and poverty, families and population, and gender, racial, and ethnic relations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for sociologists was $83,420 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries vary based on a wide range of factors, including the sociologist’s level of experience, education, the field of expertise, and the industry of employment.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $46,920 a year while the highest 10 percent made more than $141,770.
The same report shows that 75 percent of all sociologists earned more than $62,460 a year.
Sociologist Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sociologists held approximately 3,000 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them working in the field of research and development in the field of social sciences and humanities and in the industry of educational services.
The mean annual wage reported by sociologists who worked in the field of scientific research and development services was $100,730 in 2019- this is also the highest-paying field for this profession.
Sociologists who worked for state governments reported an average annual wage of $87,540.
The mean annual wage was $76,170 for sociologists who worked for colleges, universities, and professional schools and $69,080 for those employed in the field of management, scientific, and technical consulting services.
Salaries for sociologists also vary based on the region of employment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest average annual wages were reported by sociologists in Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Jersey, and North Carolina- states where the mean annual wages for sociologists were over $110,000.
Sociologists in South Dakota and Minnesota, on the other hand, earned less than $60,000 a year, on average.
So, as a sociologist, you can improve your earning prospects by relocating to an area that offers better job opportunities for you.
Earning a Ph.D. may also improve your earning prospects.
Completing an internship in college will likely improve your employment prospects in this field.
Bonuses and Additional Benefits
Along with a fixed salary, sociologists may also earn bonuses or a share of the company’s profit.
According to a report published by payscale.com, on average, sociologists earned $3,052 in bonuses as of April 2020 and $4,000 in profit sharing.
These values also vary depending on the sociologist’s level of experience and education but also on the field of employment.
According to the same report, approximately 73 percent of all sociologists received medical insurance and 67 percent of them had dental insurance.
In conclusion, although becoming a sociologist requires many years of training, it can lead to a career that is both professionally and financially rewarding.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Sociologists. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.