Jobs with a Human Dimension

You may feel like you're already an expert in what makes families tick, from the ups and downs of day-to-day life to the larger dynamics of extended family. Families are just one area that sociologists study, however. They also analyze the roles of health, education, population and other areas in society. Because the discipline is so diverse, range of careers are possible for those with a Master's degree in sociology, from community services to health care

Many jobs in sociology require employees to have a Master's degree or even a Ph.D. Courses often focus on research methods and statistics, in addition to sociology, and many students take applied or clinical degree tracks.

Community Services

Many nonprofits and government agencies employ those with a Master's degree in the field to better understand the dynamics of the populations they serve. Jobs might be in urban planning, early childhood education, environmental protection and community development.

Education for Sociologists

Most of those who teach sociology at the high school level typically have a Master's degree. This degree, particularly paired with a focus on youth, can be helpful in teaching at the elementary and middle-school levels, as well as in special education. Those with a graduate degree in education can use their knowledge of how populations of students learn. This knowledge is important in a variety of education-related jobs, from school admissions to advising to development and fundraising.

Social Services

With their knowledge of how populations behave and interact, those with a Master's in social work can work in a number of jobs, ranging from drug counselor to geriatric case worker to child protective services. Many of these jobs are with local, state and federal government offices.

Health Care

A Master's in sociology prepares students to work in areas of public health, as well as in private health care settings. Jobs range from substance abuse counseling and rehabilitation, to family planning, to hospital admissions.


The median annual salary for sociologists (at all degree levels) is $79,750, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median means that half of those in the profession earn less, and half earn more. Those who perform research and development in the social sciences and humanities make the highest salary, $101,460. The lowest salary area is in educational services, where the annual pay is $56,610.

Career Outlook

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the number of jobs for sociologists will remain steady from 2016 to 2026, the number of sociologists who are in jobs directly related their degree is relatively small at about 3,500. That means there will be strong competition for jobs, and those with a Master's degree or Ph.D. will be in the best position to get hired.

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