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Working as a Social Scientist

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 $35.17 an hour? That's $73,161 a year!

What Does a Social Scientist Do

There are certain skills that many social scientists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed observation skills, critical-thinking skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a social scientist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 32.5% of social scientists included data analysis, while 16.5% of resumes included research projects, and 10.0% of resumes included data collection. 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 13.8% of social scientists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 49.4% 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 master's degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on social scientist resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or license 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 researcher.

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Average Salary$73,161

Social Scientist Jobs

Average Salary for a Social Scientist

Social Scientists in America make an average salary of $73,161 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $102,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $52,000 per year.
Average Salary
$73,161

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Palo Alto, CA
Salary Range70k - 123k$93k$93,304
Washington, DC
Salary Range67k - 118k$90k$89,584
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range65k - 114k$87k$86,731
Silver Spring, MD
Salary Range62k - 109k$83k$82,901
Chicago, IL
Salary Range57k - 100k$76k$75,744
Denver, CO
Salary Range55k - 99k$74k$74,080
$40k
$123k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
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
Social Scientist
National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
10/06/2019
10/06/2019
$142,44310/06/2019
$142,443
Social Scientist
Social Scientist
National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
09/20/2019
09/20/2019
$142,44309/20/2019
$142,443
Social Scientist
Social Scientist
National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
08/28/2019
08/28/2019
$142,44308/28/2019
$142,443
Social Scientist
Social Scientist
Economic Research Service
Economic Research Service
08/26/2019
08/26/2019
$75,19508/26/2019
$75,195
See More Recent Salaries

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Social Scientist Demographics

Gender

male

58.7 %

female

37.2 %

unknown

4.1 %

Ethnicity

White

77.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.9 %

Asian

5.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

21.1 %

French

15.5 %

Arabic

14.1 %
See More Demographics

Social Scientist Education

Majors

Degrees

Masters

49.4 %

Doctorate

31.0 %

Bachelors

13.8 %

Top Colleges for Social Scientists

1. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD

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

2. Duke University

Durham, NC

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

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

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

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

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

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

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

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

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

7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

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

8. Tufts University

Medford, MA

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

9. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

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

10. University of Washington

Seattle, WA

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

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Social Scientist

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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, 32.5% of social scientists listed data analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as observation skills and critical-thinking skills are important as well.

  • Data Analysis, 34.1%
  • Data Collection, 13.4%
  • Social Science Research, 11.9%
  • Research Projects, 11.7%
  • Quantitative Data, 8.4%
  • Other Skills, 20.5%
  • 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 Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Social scientists make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $92,576. Whereas in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, they would average $92,417 and $91,223, respectively. While social scientists would only make an average of $90,961 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. Massachusetts

Total Social Scientist Jobs:
456
Highest 10% Earn:
$153,000
Location Quotient:
1.97
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:
18
Highest 10% Earn:
$154,000
Location Quotient:
0.74
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. Connecticut

Total Social Scientist Jobs:
81
Highest 10% Earn:
$152,000
Location Quotient:
0.92
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
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$63,049
Social Scientists Hired: 
20+
2. United States Department of Defense
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$40,691
Social Scientists Hired: 
18+
3. BAE Systems
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$69,190
Social Scientists Hired: 
15+
4. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$51,026
Social Scientists Hired: 
14+
5. Educational Testing Service
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$47,286
Social Scientists Hired: 
4+
6. The Nature Conservancy
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$42,995
Social Scientists Hired: 
3+

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Recently Added Social Scientist Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020