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What They Do

Sociologists Career Video

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:

  • Analyzes and interprets data to increase the understanding of human social behavior.
  • Collects data about the attitudes, values, and behaviors of people in groups, using observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Prepares publications and reports containing research findings.
  • Plans and conducts research to develop and test theories about societal issues such as crime, group relations, poverty, and aging.
  • Teaches sociology.
  • Develops, implements, and evaluates methods of data collection, such as questionnaires or interviews.
  • Presents research findings at professional meetings.
  • Develops approaches to the solution of groups' problems, based on research findings in sociology and related disciplines.
  • Directs work of statistical clerks, statisticians, and others who compile and evaluate research data.
  • Observes group interactions and role affiliations to collect data, identify problems, evaluate progress, and determine the need for additional change.

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:

  • Research and Development Manager (R&D Manager)
  • Research and Evaluation Manager
  • Research Associate
  • Research Center Director
  • Research Coordinator
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Specialist
  • Social Scientist — Performs many different research tasks to gain further insight on all societal aspects such as human behavior, history and group relationships.
  • Study Director