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Summary Report for:
19-4061.00 - Social Science Research Assistants

Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social science research. May help prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management.

Sample of reported job titles: Graduate Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant, Project Director, Project Manager, Research Analyst, Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Specialist, Social Research Assistant, Survey Analyst

Also see: City and Regional Planning Aides

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  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

Tasks

  • Prepare, manipulate, and manage extensive databases.
  • Provide assistance with the preparation of project-related reports, manuscripts, and presentations.
  • Obtain informed consent of research subjects or their guardians.
  • Perform descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses of data, using computer software.
  • Verify the accuracy and validity of data entered in databases, correcting any errors.
  • Prepare tables, graphs, fact sheets, and written reports summarizing research results.
  • Edit and submit protocols and other required research documentation.
  • Develop and implement research quality control procedures.
  • Conduct internet-based and library research.
  • Present research findings to groups of people.
  • Perform data entry and other clerical work as required for project completion.
  • Design and create special programs for tasks such as statistical analysis and data entry and cleaning.
  • Code data in preparation for computer entry.
  • Provide assistance in the design of survey instruments such as questionnaires.
  • Screen potential subjects to determine their suitability as study participants.
  • Administer standardized tests to research subjects, or interview them to collect research data.
  • Recruit and schedule research participants.
  • Track research participants, and perform any necessary follow-up tasks.
  • Allocate and manage laboratory space and resources.
  • Supervise the work of survey interviewers.
  • Track laboratory supplies, and expenses such as participant reimbursement.
  • Perform needs assessments or consult with clients to determine the types of research and information required.
  • Collect specimens such as blood samples, as required by research projects.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — SAS Hot technology ; SPSS Hot technology ; StataCorp Stata Hot technology ; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Microsoft Access Hot technology
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Graphics software
  • Information retrieval or search software — Online library databases
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Video creation and editing software — Video development software

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Dictation machines — Transcription equipment
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
  • Scanners — Computer data input scanners
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
  • Tablet computers

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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.
  • 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.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

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Skills

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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).
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

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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.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • 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.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Develop technical or scientific databases.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys.
  • Conduct research on social issues.
  • Plan social sciences research.
  • Prepare information or documentation related to legal or regulatory matters.
  • Administer standardized physical or psychological tests.
  • Collect archival data.
  • Record research or operational data.
  • Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use.
  • Develop methods of social or economic research.
  • Manage scientific or technical project resources.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
  • Confer with clients to exchange information.
  • Collect biological specimens.

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Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 49% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 56% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 66% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 49% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 65% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 35% responded “Important.”
  • Letters and Memos — 49% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
46   Bachelor's degree
29   Master's degree
18   Associate's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: CI

  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • 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.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • 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.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $20.76 hourly, $43,190 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 32,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 15,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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