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What Are the Requirements for a Career IN Sociology?

The type of sociology career you're interested in pursuing dictates the level of degree you must earn. Some careers require only a bachelor's degree, while others require graduate education. Read on for more information about beginning a career in the field of sociology.

Education Overview

The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), Payscale.com, and the sociology departments of various universities offer insight into some of the careers available to sociology majors and the educational requirements.

Important Facts About Careers in This Field

SociologistHuman Resources SpecialistPostsecondary Sociology Teacher
Median Pay (2018)* $82,050$60,880$74,140
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 1%7%10%
CertificationNone needed Available, usually voluntaryNone needed
Work EnvironmentFull-time in an office setting or in settings where field work is conductedFull-time in an office environment; some travel may be requiredPart-time, flexible schedule is typical; class time and office hours must be spent on campus

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Sociology can lead to a variety of career opportunities. Additionally, many bachelor's degree programs include training that allows students to enter graduate school to continue their education. Example programs include a background in business, law, journalism, politics, or public relations. The following careers require a bachelor's degree in sociology:

  • Case worker
  • Market researcher
  • Probation or parole officer

Master's Degree

A Master of Arts or a Master of Science in Sociology opens the door to several career opportunities. A master's degree is required if a student wishes to pursue a research position in sociology or related area. Earning a master's may allow individuals to advance in careers in social work or education. A master's typically takes about two years to complete or five years part-time. Possible careers for students with a master's degree in sociology include:

  • Research assistant
  • Human resource specialist
  • Sociological researcher

Doctoral Degree

A Ph.D. in Sociology may give candidates in previously mentioned careers the opportunity to advance. In addition, earning a Ph.D. can open doors to becoming a:

  • College professor
  • Sociologist