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Sociology Major

37,481 yearly degrees
#33 in popularity
$90,000 median salary

Sociology is a major that typically falls into the Social Sciences category.

There are 190 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in sociology, 999 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 235 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 121 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Sociology Degree?

This is one of the most frequently chosen college majors. It is the 17th most popular in the country with 30,700 students graduating with a bachelor’s in sociology in 2017. This major is dominated by women with about 71.8% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 5.9%
  • Black or African American: 16.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 24.5%
  • White: 43%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.8%
  • Other Races: 7.5%
Sociology Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in sociology. About 2.8% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending sociology majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Canada.

What Will You Learn as a Sociology Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to sociology to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Sociology Majors

Sociology majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Sociology Majors

Skills for Sociology Majors

Sociology majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Sociology Majors

Abilities for Sociology Majors

A major in sociology will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for sociology Majors

What Can You Do With a Sociology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with sociology:

Careers Related to Sociology
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Compliance Managers



Regulatory Affairs Managers



Sociology Professors






Investment Fund Managers



Sociology Major Salary

Sociology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $83,000 to $116,000. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Sociology Major  ( 83000 to 116000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Sociology Major Jobs

Some careers associated with sociology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Sociology
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Sociology Programs

There are 999 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in sociology, with 75 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Sociology Major Worth It?

The median salary for a sociology grad is $90,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 132% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,027,800 after 20 years!

sociology salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Kontos via License

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