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The average salary of a sociologist

Sociologists are research social scientists who study how groups of people interact with each other. They work most commonly in academia, in government, in youth services and in the field of forensic criminology.

Salaries by Type of Degree

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the starting wage for sociologists with just a bachelor's degree was £22,617 in 2006. In 2007, sociologists with a master's degree started at £28,191, and with a doctorate, the median starting wage was £34,392. In 2008, the most recent year for which BLS data is available, the median wage for all sociologists was £44,375.

Salaries by Location

Sociologists' wages are higher in areas of the country where prevailing wages tend to be higher. In 2008, according to the BLS, the high average salary for a sociologist was £68,737 in New Jersey, with the low average by state occurring in Idaho at £36,445. Cities employing the most sociologists are New York, Atlanta, Santa Monica, Dallas, Baltimore and Chicago.

Salaries by Field of Work

According to the American Association of Sociologists, sociologists working in the academic field earn an average £57,159 as full professors, and £34,998 as assistant professors. Forensic criminologists earn between £23,400 and £39,975. Top-paying professional fields for sociologists include scientific research, social advocacy, academia and local governments. The average salary for a sociologist working for the federal government was £65,535 in 2009, according to the BLS.