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What Is the Average Salary of a Sociologist?

Find out the average annual salary for sociologists. Explore factors that can influence a sociologist's salary, including the industry he or she works in and the state where he or she is employed.

Salary Overview & Job Description

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sociologists earned an average annual income of $90,290 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov). The top ten percent of earners made $140,430 or more per year, while the bottom ten percent made $46,170 or less annually.

As a sociologist, you'll study political systems, along with culture, group behavior and other aspects of human society. You'll examine people's daily interactions to determine how individuals act or react in different political, social, economic and religious situations. You'll also perform studies, surveys and other research to acquire and catalog information that can be used for scientific, political and business purposes.

Important Facts About Sociologists

Median Salary (2018) $82,050
Entry-level Education Most positions require a master's or doctoral degree
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 1%
Work Environment Offices in general

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary by Industry

The BLS reported in May 2018 that the majority of sociologists were employed in scientific research and development services. This industry employed nearly 1,300 workers and paid the highest mean wage of $100,800. State government agencies came in second, employing 400 individuals with a mean wage of $87,550.

Salary by Location

In May 2018, sociologists in Pennsylvania earned a yearly average of $121,470, which well exceeded the average of the next closest state - Massachusetts- at $111,120. Rounding out the top paying states for this occupation were New Jersey, California and North Carolina, which all had annual averages of more than $95,000. The lowest paying states included Utah, South Dakota, and Ohio.

Teaching Salaries

If you hold a doctoral degree in sociology, you could find work as a post-secondary instructor. The American Sociological Association (ASA) reported that sociologists in professor positions made an average annual salary of $104,048 in 2017-2018 (www.asanet.org). Sociology associate professors made $77,196 during the same time, while new assistant professors made $61,914 on average.