What are the Highest Paying Jobs in the Field of Sociology?

Choosing a major based on money alone isn’t wise, but you should be aware what the highest paying jobs in the field of sociology are before declaring the major. Sociology is a broad social science concerned with studying how human behavior shapes social relationships, institutions, and cultures. Many universities offer a bachelor’s or master’s degree in sociology for students to understand how social groups function and learn how communities can improve. Sociology was picked as the eighth worst college degree for return of investment with a median salary of $39,630. Most sociology jobs are concerned with bettering human relations, and goodwill isn’t usually rewarded with wealth. However, the following are four top-paying jobs where your sociology degree can pay off.


Sociologists are highly trained professionals at the master’s or PhD level who conduct research to broaden the field’s knowledge about key societal issues. They specialize in analyzing topics like gender, aging, homosexuality, addiction, politics, healthcare, crime, ethnicity, and poverty. Sociologists may study how public policies impact a certain social, religious, socioeconomic, or political demographic. They usually work for research institutes and government agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average yearly salary for sociologists is $82,100.

Sociology Professor

Those who enjoy teaching could become sociology professors at colleges, universities, and professional schools. Sociology professors focus on instructing students about the fundamental theories involved in the study of human relationships. Their job involves developing syllabi, planning lessons, leading lectures, assigning activities, assessing tests or papers, and helping students improve their progress. Many sociology professors divide their time between teaching and conducting research. Universities generally require faculty to achieve a PhD degree, but the mean annual wage is $76,750.

Social Service Manager

Social service managers are promoted to coordinate the delivery of public welfare programs that help improve the well-being of a target audience. For instance, they might supervise social services for disabled children, war veterans, homeless families, senior citizens, mentally ill teens, or the unemployed. Social service managers perform administrative duties like allocating a budget, writing grant proposals, attracting new donors, and marketing outreach. Having at least a bachelor’s degree in sociology or social work is required (please see: Best Top 10 Online Sociology Degree Programs). Social service managers bring home an average salary of $69,430 each year.

Urban Planner

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sociology who attend an accredited master’s program in urban planning could qualify for this high-paying job. Urban planners focus on designing land use proposals that meet the short- and long-term needs of communities. They conduct field investigations to better understand sociological factors that affect population growth or decline. Urban planners regularly meet with government officials and real estate developers to represent the public in talks of community projects. On average, urban planning jobs provide a yearly salary of $70,680.

Studying sociology is ideal for students who wish to better comprehend humankind by tracking patterns of societal and cultural events. Sociology programs produce active, informed citizens who can recognize how social forces will impact our lives. Skills gathered are in high demand because social services jobs are poised to grow by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024. Yet sociology graduates can find success in any discipline from business and education to criminal justice and political science. Now that you know what the highest paying jobs in the field of sociology are, you can chart your own career path.