Sociologists

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About the Job

Study human society and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions that people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations. May study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members.

It is also Called

  • Urban Sociologist
  • Study Director
  • Sociologist
  • Social Welfare Research Worker
  • Social Scientist
  • Rural Sociologist
  • Research Specialist
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Coordinator
  • Research Center Director
show all

What They Do

  • Collaborate with research workers in other disciplines.
  • Develop problem intervention procedures, using techniques such as interviews, consultations, role playing, and participant observation of group interactions.
  • Consult with and advise individuals such as administrators, social workers, and legislators regarding social issues and policies, as well as the implications of research findings.
  • Observe group interactions and role affiliations to collect data, identify problems, evaluate progress, and determine the need for additional change.
  • Direct work of statistical clerks, statisticians, and others who compile and evaluate research data.
  • Develop approaches to the solution of groups' problems, based on research findings in sociology and related disciplines.
  • Present research findings at professional meetings.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate methods of data collection, such as questionnaires or interviews.
  • Teach sociology.
  • Plan and conduct research to develop and test theories about societal issues such as crime, group relations, poverty, and aging.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ASE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Artistic interests, but also prefer Social and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Independence and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $101,900 with most people making between $56,220 and $160,070

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 130 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 130 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 0 replacement openings for approximately 0 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education