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Social Scientist Careers

Social Science is the study of man and the physical, social, and cultural development related to society. Social scientists study past events, man's achievements, behavior, and relationships among groups.

A social scientist designs and conducts research studies. These studies make it possible to know the different ways that individuals, groups, and institutions make decisions, express power, and change.

They study the data collected, reanalyze old data and information, analyze historical records and documents, and interprets how the location has affected culture and other aspects of society. A social scientist might have to go into the field to synthesize and analyze data.

A social scientist must have a master's or a Ph.D. degree in psychology, history, anthropology, or sociology. However, a degree in mathematics may also make work easier. You must also possess communication skills. Notable social scientists include Wiliam Du Bois, Max Weber, Auguste Comte, and Karl Marx.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a social scientist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $30.79 an hour? That's $64,050 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 10,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Social Scientist Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a social scientist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 34.3% of social scientists included data analysis, while 13.5% of resumes included data collection, and 11.9% of resumes included social science research. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the social scientist job title. But what industry to start with? Most social scientists actually find jobs in the non profits and technology industries.

How To Become a Social Scientist

If you're interested in becoming a social scientist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.7% of social scientists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 24.3% of social scientists have master's degrees. Even though most social scientists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a social scientist. When we researched the most common majors for a social scientist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on social scientist resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a social scientist. In fact, many social scientist jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many social scientists also have previous career experience in roles such as consultant or adjunct faculty.

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Average Salary
$64,050
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
30,983
Job Openings

Average Salary for a Social Scientist

Social Scientists in America make an average salary of $64,050 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $100,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $40,000 per year.
Average Salary
$64,050
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range60k - 103k$79k$79,099
Palo Alto, CA
Salary Range59k - 100k$78k$77,656
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range53k - 91k$70k$69,842
Silver Spring, MD
Salary Range50k - 87k$67k$66,778
Chicago, IL
Salary Range49k - 89k$67k$66,629
New York, NY
Salary Range48k - 83k$63k$63,396
$37k
$103k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Research Social Scientist
Research Social Scientist
Department of The Interior
Department of The Interior
05/28/2021
05/28/2021
$112,40005/28/2021
$112,400
Interdisciplinary Supervisory Industry Economist/Supervisory Social Scientist, Zp
Interdisciplinary Supervisory Industry Economist/Supervisory Social Scientist, Zp
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
03/26/2021
03/26/2021
$157,61503/26/2021
$157,615
Social Scientist (Program Evaluation)
Social Scientist (Program Evaluation)
DHS Headquarters
DHS Headquarters
12/23/2020
12/23/2020
$121,31612/23/2020
$121,316
Social Scientist/Evaluator
Social Scientist/Evaluator
American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
04/24/2020
04/24/2020
$147,45804/24/2020
$147,458
Social Scientist Project Manager
Social Scientist Project Manager
The American Bar Foundation
The American Bar Foundation
12/09/2019
12/09/2019
$61,29812/09/2019
$61,298
See More Recent Salaries

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Social Scientist Demographics

Gender

male

58.7 %

female

37.2 %

unknown

4.1 %

Ethnicity

White

71.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.7 %

Black or African American

7.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

21.1 %

French

15.5 %

Arabic

14.1 %
See More Demographics

Social Scientist Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

52.7 %

Masters

24.3 %

Doctorate

17.2 %

Top Colleges for Social Scientists

1. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

8. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,382
Enrollment
5,597

9. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

10. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Social Scientist That You May Like

Studying Cities: Social Science Methods for Urban Research
coursera

Welcome! Are you looking to learn more about how to conduct scientific research, specifically in an urban or local context? Then you have found the right course: Studying Cities: Social Science Methods for Urban Research by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam. During the course you will gain more insight in the different steps of the research cycle, and build a firm foundation for your own future research endeavors. Before any (urban) resea...

Survey Data Collection and Analytics
coursera

This specialization covers the fundamentals of surveys as used in market research, evaluation research, social science and political research, official government statistics, and many other topic domains. In six courses, you will learn the basics of questionnaire design, data collection methods, sampling design, dealing with missing values, making estimates, combining data from different sources, and the analysis of survey data. In the final Capstone Project, you'll apply the skills learned thro...

The Data Science Course 2021: Complete Data Science Bootcamp
udemy
4.5
(92,686)

Complete Data Science Training: Mathematics, Statistics, Python, Advanced Statistics in Python, Machine & Deep Learning...

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Top Skills For a Social Scientist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 34.3% of social scientists listed data analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and observation skills are important as well.

  • Data Analysis, 34.3%
  • Data Collection, 13.5%
  • Social Science Research, 11.9%
  • Research Projects, 11.8%
  • Quantitative Data, 8.4%
  • Other Skills, 20.1%
  • See All Social Scientist Skills

Best States For a Social Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a social scientist. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Social scientists make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $79,013. Whereas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they would average $75,589 and $75,127, respectively. While social scientists would only make an average of $74,077 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Social Scientist Jobs:
1,284
Highest 10% Earn:
$131,000
Location Quotient:
1.54
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Social Scientist Jobs:
154
Highest 10% Earn:
$126,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Social Scientist Jobs:
238
Highest 10% Earn:
$125,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Social Scientist Employers

1. RAND
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$89,118
Social Scientists Hired: 
20+
2. BAE Systems
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$89,972
Social Scientists Hired: 
15+
3. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$63,652
Social Scientists Hired: 
14+
4. Educational Testing Service
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$81,083
Social Scientists Hired: 
4+
5. The Nature Conservancy
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$61,646
Social Scientists Hired: 
3+
6. World Bank
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$127,304
Social Scientists Hired: 
3+

Social Scientist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020