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Sociology Major

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Sociology

30,608 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,418 Master's Degrees Annually
#18 in Popularity
$90,290 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Sociology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many sociology graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 30,620
Associate’s Degree 4,755
Master’s Degree 1,418
Doctor’s Degree 688
Basic Certificate 62
Undergraduate Certificate 41
Graduate Certificate 31

What Sociology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to sociology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Sociology Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in sociology should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Sociology Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to sociology:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Sociology Majors

As a sociology major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Sociology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with sociology:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Sociology Professors 9.5% $74,140

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology?

30,620 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
72% Percent Women
52% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen undergraduate majors. It is the 18th most popular in the country with 30,608 students graduating with a bachelor’s in sociology in 2018. The major attracts more women than men. About 72% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of sociology majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Sociology Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1,811
Black or African American 4,993
Hispanic or Latino 7,493
White 13,159
International Students 864
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,300

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Sociology, too. About 2.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Turkey

How Much Do Sociology Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology was $29,700 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,900 (25th percentile) and $32,200 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to sociology so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $83,310 to $115,590 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to sociology. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Sociology Major  ( 83310 to 115590 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with sociology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for sociology careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.2%
Some College Courses 0.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 33.4%
Master’s Degree 27.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.3%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.2%
Doctoral Degree 33.0%

Online Sociology Programs

In 2017-2018, 1,183 schools offered a sociology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 16 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 190 26
Bachelor’s Degree 16 2
Post-Baccalaureate 16 1
Master’s Degree 235 11
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 121 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Sociology Worth It?

The median salary for a sociology grad is $90,290 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 126% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,007,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to sociology.

Major Number of Grads
Economics 47,528
Political Science & Government 44,651
General Social Sciences 19,123
International Relations & National Security 14,908
Anthropology 12,008
Criminology 9,624
Geography & Cartography 8,717
Other Social Sciences 2,935
Urban Studies 1,524
Sociology & Anthropology 499
Archeology 335
Demography & Population Studies 76
Rural Sociology 33

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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