How to become a Sociologist

Sociologists study the development, structure, social patterns and interrelationships of social groups and human societies.

Personal requirements for a Sociologist

  • Able to remain objective
  • Sensitivity to and interested in social issues
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Aptitude for research
  • Able to work independently

Education & Training for a Sociologist

To become a sociologist you usually have to complete a degree in arts, humanities or social science at university with a major in sociology. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Duties & Tasks of a Sociologist

Sociologists:

  • Observe and investigate social groups and subjects such as family, community, education, industrial relations, crime, politics, minority and ethnic relations, poverty and mass communications
  • Research, collect and analyse data, generally using computers
  • Record and interpret facts and figures, and write reports using the data
  • Undertake systematic interviews of selected individuals
  • Live in the community being studied to assist their own understanding.

Tasks

  • Assembles historical data by consulting sources of information such as historical indexes and catalogues, archives, court records, diaries, newspaper files and other materials..
  • Organises, authenticates, evaluates and interprets historical, political, sociological, anthropological and linguistic data..
  • Undertakes historical and cultural research into human activity, and prepares and presents research findings..

Working conditions for a Sociologist

Sociologists may be required to travel to conduct research and consult with other social scientists.


Employment Opportunities for a Sociologist

Sociologists are usually employed as academics and consultants. They may also work as independent authors of both academic and mainstream articles and books. Sociology graduates find employment in a number of related fields of social research, planning, and policy development and evaluation. The private sector is increasingly employing sociologists in the areas of survey research, consultancy, equal opportunity and human resources. Sociology is relevant to a career in social work, ethnic and social justice affairs, health sciences and correctional and other community services. Students who wish to pursue an academic career should aim to achieve good results in an honours degree, followed by a higher degree by research. Social problems such as unemployment and juvenile crime create demand for sociologists' skills. Demand is also affected by government funding in the public service, education and scientific research areas.


Specializations

Sociologist

Sociologists study the development, structure, social patterns and interrelationships of social groups and human societies.

  • Average age
    Average age
    40 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    60% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,942
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    54% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    2,700 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 5.2%
    NSW: 32.1%
    NT: 2.7%
    QLD: 15.4%
    SA: 4.6%
    TAS: 1.8%
    VIC: 27.5%
    WA: 10.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 6.7%
    20-24: 6.9%
    25-34: 22.1%
    35-44: 22.6%
    45-54: 19.2%
    55-59: 8.5%
    60-64: 6.6%
    65 and Over: 7.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 4.4%
    Bachelor degree: 29.8%
    Certificate III/IV: 4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 44.4%
    Year 10 and below: 4.8%
    Year 11: 1.3%
    Year 12: 11.2%
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