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Summary Report for:
19-3041.00 - Sociologists

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Behavioral Scientist, Foundation Program Director, International Health Director (Health Science Administration), Policy Analyst, Research and Evaluation Manager, Research Associate, Research Center Director, Research Coordinator, Research Scientist, Social Scientist

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Prepare publications and reports containing research findings. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze and interpret data to increase the understanding of human social behavior. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Plan and conduct research to develop and test theories about societal issues such as crime, group relations, poverty, and aging. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect data about the attitudes, values, and behaviors of people in groups, using observation, interviews, and review of documents. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate methods of data collection, such as questionnaires or interviews. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Teach sociology. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct work of statistical clerks, statisticians, and others who compile and evaluate research data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collaborate with research workers in other disciplines. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop approaches to the solution of groups' problems, based on research findings in sociology and related disciplines. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Observe group interactions and role affiliations to collect data, identify problems, evaluate progress, and determine the need for additional change. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop problem intervention procedures, using techniques such as interviews, consultations, role playing, and participant observation of group interactions. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video recorders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners — Computer data input scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tablet computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Videoconferencing systems — Videoconferencing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — ATLAS.ti; SAS software; SPSS software; VERBI MAXQDA (see all 9 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Charting software — Microsoft Office Visio See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Microsoft Access; Qualtrics Research Suite; Thomson Reuters EndNote (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Information retrieval or search software — Online reference databases See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — R * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object oriented data base management software — Database management system DBMS software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Web editing software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Helios TextPad; Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpret research or operational data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Plan social sciences research. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Instruct college students in social sciences or humanities disciplines. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct research on social issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop methods of social or economic research. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise others on matters of public policy. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Design psychological or educational treatment procedures or programs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinate cross-disciplinary research programs. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 97% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 72% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 59% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 78% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 62% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 74% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 55% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 66% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 55% responded “Contact with others most of the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 45% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 48% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 52% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Public Speaking — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “High responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education 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).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
52   Doctoral degree
28   Master's degree
10   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IAS

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $35.01 hourly, $72,810 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 3,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 1,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Sociologists external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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