Salaries in Sociology

The field of sociology is fairly broad and sociologists across all fields enjoy rewarding careers and an attractive sociologist salary package. Sociologists study human behavior and society at large, and may be involved in large-scale research projects and studies that analyze various behaviors and the effects on groups, organizations or society as a whole. When you are learning about your career options with a sociology degree, you may be wondering what the typical sociologist salary is and what type of sociologist salaries you can expect in different fields.


In most cases, you won't have a chance to discuss your sociology salary with a prospective employer until the advanced stages of the interview. Still, it's a good idea to compare sociology salaries for various types of positions because this information can help you negotiate for your salary after your interview with prospective employers.

What is the Average Sociology Salary?

Salaries for individuals with a sociology major can vary widely by field and organization. Not all sociology majors become sociology researchers or sociologists, because many educational institutions, government organizations, public administration offices and private clinics hire sociologists to work in positions that are not necessarily sociologist positions.

If you are interested in becoming a professional sociologist, you will need to obtain at least a master’s degree in the field and have completed some research work. Sociologists typically take more research-focused or data and analyst-type jobs where they can apply some of the core sociology principles and theories.

The average sociology salary varies by industry, and the total pay for a sociologist position ranges from $21,000 to $99,000.

The job outlook for a sociologist is expected to be much faster than average through 2018 when compared to other vocations and industries. Demand for experienced sociologists with advanced degrees will increase, as more sociology professionals will be needed for research projects. Many sociologists find attractive opportunities outside of the research field, including jobs in marketing, policy analyst positions and public administration. Some companies hire sociologists on a contract basis to perform market research studies or to do consulting work. Whatever the case may be, you'll find that sociology salaries for these positions vary widely by industry and the type of position. Almost all high-paying jobs in this industry require at least a master's degree or a doctorate degree in the field.

Range of Sociology Salaries

Sociologists aren't limited to only working in a research facility or for a college or university. Sociologist salaries do vary widely by industry, and those who work in the public health research field or on a contract basis for a research organization typically command the highest salaries in the industry.

The range of sociology salaries for different industries is as follows:

  • Education (College or University): $28,000 to $77,000
  • Healthcare: $28,000 to $80,000
  • Public Health Research: $28,000 to $81,000
  • Social Work: $26,000 to $71,000
  • Contract Research Organization: $28,000 to $81,000

The most popular cities that hire sociologists include Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York; and Santa Monica, California.