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Occupational Profile

Sociologist

Sociologists systematically study and analyze human societies. They use distinct sociological perspectives to understand and explain the causes and consequences of social interaction.

  • Avg. Salary $90,364.00
  • Avg. Wage $46.67
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Research Scientist, Social Scientist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Sociologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Sociologists
NOC code: 4169.8
INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to devise methods of collecting and analyzing data; and to interpret data and correlate findings with other research in the field of sociology and related fields

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting with governments and other organizations to report findings and bring forward recommendations; may teach sociology at advanced educational levels

METHODICAL

Interest in organizing data into forms suitable for application by governments and other organizations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2016

Sociologists carry out sociological research. They use various theoretical approaches (for example, functionalist, feminist, post-modernist, conflict) and research methods (for example, historical studies, surveys, interviews, experiments, document analyses, quantitative data analysis, observational studies) to examine:

  • the nature of the relationship between the individual and society
  • the attitudes, values and behaviour of people in groups (for example, families, schools, racial and ethnic communities, workplaces, cities, rural locales, societies, health-care organizations, sports venues)
  • the development and structure of groups, organizations and institutions (for example, law, education, marriage, religion)
  • behavioural patterns and relationships (for example, patterns of dating, gender roles, prison life, workplace behaviours)
  • areas of social concern such as crime, immigration, poverty, unemployment, health, aging, environment, social injustice and population change
  • social policy and legislation and its effects on society (for example, environmental policy, employment policy, same-sex marriage legislation, anti-terrorism legislation)
  • aspects of social change (for example, cultural change, urbanization, changes in family lifestyles, globalization, science and technology, trends in popular culture) and organized efforts to change the direction of social life (for example, the women's, Aboriginal, gay/lesbian, anti-racism, environmental, peace and anti-globalization movements).

In general, sociologists:

  • conduct studies, write reports and scholarly papers and give professional presentations
  • plan and administer social programs
  • review and interpret research and demographic data
  • identify social patterns and trends
  • develop and help to implement policies.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2016

Sociologists spend most of their time in offices, classrooms, libraries and computer laboratories. They spend many hours reading, analyzing data and writing reports. They also may teach or give public presentations relating to their work.

Sociologists sometimes travel to gather information in the field. They may visit a wide variety of settings, such as workplaces, child care centres, busy downtown street corners, sports arenas, low-income housing complexes, ethnic communities, health-care institutions or penitentiaries.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2016

Sociologists need the following characteristics:

  • an interest in studying human interaction and social life
  • good communication skills
  • good organizational skills
  • a commitment to conducting research in an ethical and unbiased manner
  • a curiosity and willingness to question assumptions about how society works.

They should enjoy organizing and integrating information to find innovative solutions to problems and consulting with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2016

The basic education requirement to work as a sociologist generally is a master's or doctoral degree in sociology. The entrance requirement for master's and doctoral degree programs is above average standing in the last 2 years of a 4-year bachelor's degree program, preferably an honours program.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Athabasca University

Concordia University of Edmonton

Grant MacEwan University

Mount Royal University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2016

Sociologists are employed by:

  • health-care and social services organizations
  • correctional services
  • consulting, marketing and polling firms
  • federal, provincial and municipal governments
  • non-governmental organizations such as community and social development organizations
  • universities and colleges
  • large corporations.

A doctoral degree generally is required to teach and conduct research at the post-secondary level. Some sociologists are self-employed consultants who work on a contract basis for private industry and government departments.

Sociologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4169: Other professional occupations in social science. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2016

Salaries vary considerably in this field depending on the employer, the responsibilities of the position and the sociologist's qualifications.

Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c.
NOC code: 4169

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $0.00 $0.00 $33.95 $36.66
Overall $0.00 $0.00 $46.67 $45.45
Top $0.00 $0.00 $56.10 $51.47

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

D: Lowest Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lowest Reliability, represents a CV of more than 33.00% and/or if fewer than 10 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 25% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

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Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

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Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

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2015 Vacancy Rate

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Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2016

Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) website: www.csa-scs.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 24, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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