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Social Science Research Assistant

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All About Social Science Research Assistants

Occupation Description Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social science research. May help prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management.

Life As a Social Science Research Assistant

  • Track laboratory supplies, and expenses such as participant reimbursement.
  • Develop and implement research quality control procedures.
  • Recruit and schedule research participants.
  • Screen potential subjects to determine their suitability as study participants.
  • Prepare, manipulate, and manage extensive databases.
  • Prepare tables, graphs, fact sheets, and written reports summarizing research results.

Skills Needed to be a Social Science Research Assistant

Social Science Research Assistants state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Types of Social Science Research Assistant Jobs

  • Research Interviewer
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Call Center Manager
  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Research Coordinator

Job Demand for Social Science Research Assistants

There were about 34,000 jobs for Social Science Research Assistant in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.4% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,500 new jobs for Social Science Research Assistant by 2026. The BLS estimates 4,100 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Social Science Research Assistant are Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Connecticut, New Jersey, or Tennessee. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Social Science Research Assistants Salary

The typical yearly salary for Social Science Research Assistants is somewhere between $25,370 and $78,470.


Social Science Research Assistants who work in New Jersey, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.

How much do Social Science Research Assistants make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Arizona $54,960
Arkansas $52,990
California $49,630
Colorado $52,320
Connecticut $42,880
District of Columbia $65,410
Florida $51,090
Georgia $52,880
Hawaii $53,200
Illinois $49,570
Iowa $40,950
Kentucky $47,130
Maine $49,030
Maryland $55,260
Massachusetts $55,310
Michigan $43,360
Missouri $50,970
Nebraska $48,800
Nevada $54,200
New Hampshire $53,410
New Jersey $58,480
New York $49,000
North Carolina $46,050
North Dakota $47,200
Ohio $46,560
Oklahoma $43,450
Oregon $48,870
Pennsylvania $43,710
South Carolina $56,720
Tennessee $45,640
Texas $49,230
Utah $45,560
Vermont $47,320
Virginia $50,950
Washington $47,300
West Virginia $46,000
Wisconsin $48,350

Tools & Technologies Used by Social Science Research Assistants

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Social Science Research Assistants:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Database software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • R
  • Graphics software
  • StataCorp Stata
  • ESRI ArcGIS software

How to Become a Social Science Research Assistant

What education or degrees do I need to become a Social Science Research Assistant?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Social Science Research Assistant?


Where Social Science Research Assistants Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Social Science Research Assistants employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Social Science Research Assistant may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Social Science Research Assistant sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Manfred Werner (Tsui) via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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