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Sociologist  What They Do

Just the Facts

Studies human society and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions that people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations. May study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Counseling and Mental Health Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Prepares publications and reports containing research findings.
  • Analyzes and interprets data in order to increase the understanding of human social behavior.
  • Plans and conducts research to develop and test theories about societal issues such as crime, group relations, poverty, and aging.
  • Collects data about the attitudes, values, and behaviors of people in groups, using observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Develops , implements, and evaluates methods of data collection, such as questionnaires or interviews.
  • Teaches sociology.
  • Directs work of statistical clerks, statisticians, and others who compile and evaluate research data.
  • Consults with and advises individuals such as administrators, social workers, and legislators regarding social issues and policies, as well as the implications of research findings.
  • Collaborates with research workers in other disciplines.
  • Develops approaches to the solution of groups' problems, based on research findings in sociology and related disciplines.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Behavioral Scientist -- Studies the reasons people, as individuals and in groups, behave the way they do.
  • Policy Analyst -- Researches and compares possible solutions to a broad range of problems, from stemming school dropout rates and ensuring access to affordable health care to protecting the nation from terrorism and ensuring stable economic growth, and then markets their s
  • Social Scientist -- Performs many different research tasks to gain further insight on all societal aspects such as human behavior, history and group relationships.
  • Social Welfare Research Worker -- Plans, organizes, and conducts research for use in understanding social problems and for planning and carrying out social welfare programs.