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What does a
Sociologist do?

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Other common names for this position: Behavioural Scientist, Career Analyst, Clinical Sociologist, Criminologist, Disability Statistics Assistant, Evaluation Manager, Family Sociologist, Foundation Program Director, Medical Sociologist, Penologist, Policy Analyst, Program Evaluator, Rural Sociologist, Social Scientist, Urban Sociologist


Sociology is a branch of the Social Sciences that focuses its studies on the behaviour of a designated society, its origins, organization, networks, and institutions. Sociologists employ several methods of empirical investigation, evidence that can be analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, to establish theories about social phenomena, order, disorder, and change.

Most Sociologists focus their work on one of two endings: using their research as ground for social policies and welfare, providing advice and expertise to Politicians, Educators, and Legislators on how to resolve social issues; or refining the theories and knowledge of social processes. The former are usually employed by municipal governments and community centres, while the latter tend to work for academic and educational institutions where research is carried out.

Traditionally, Sociologists used to focus their studies on subjects that included social stratification, social classes, social mobility, religion, secularization, and laws. However, as human societies advanced and evolved, so did the field of Sociology, and it now focuses on more modern subjects that affect and shape society, including Education, Healthcare, the military, and even the internet as a social phenomenon.

Sociologists and Anthropologists share many traits and are often confused with one another by people that are unfamiliar with the difference between the two. While they both focus their studies on human societies and their behaviour through time, Sociologists tend to put more emphasis on the study of societies, always taking into account their history and origins, of course. Whereas Anthropologists focus more on the study of human culture in a specific time or moment of history.

Primary Responsibilities

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Sociologists are required to complete.

  • Planning and conducting research studies and experiments to test and validate theories about societal issues (e.g. crime, group relations, and poverty):
  • Developing and implementing methods of data collection (e.g. questionnaires, observation, and interviews);
  • collecting data regarding attitudes, values, and behaviour of people;
  • observing group interactions and role affiliations to collect data, identify problems, and develop a solution;
  • analyzing and interpreting data in order to understand human social behaviour; and
  • preparing publications and reports based on research findings.
  • Directing and coordinating a team of Statistical Clerks and Statisticians to compile and evaluate research data and present it in a numerical format.
  • Consulting and advising Administrators, Social Workers, Legislators, and Politicians regarding social issues and policies:
  • Developing approaches and solutions to the problems of social groups based on research findings and data analysis;
  • designing problem intervention procedures; and
  • liaising with colleagues and other research workers in other disciplines in order to provide a broader interpretation of issues.
  • Sharing research findings with colleagues and other Scientists by publishing papers, holding conferences, and collaborating in the advancement of their branch of Social Sciences:
  • Maintaining an updated knowledge of the latest theories and reports developed by the international community of Sociologists.
  • Teaching Sociology to college and university students.

Daily Tasks

  • Conducting investigations to better understand the behaviour of societies.
  • Collecting data through surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observation.
  • Compiling and analyzing data to draw conclusions.
  • Coordinating a group of Statisticians to analyze and present data in a numerical format.
  • Developing and designing plans and solutions for social problems.
  • Providing advice and counselling to governments, companies, and Legislators regarding social issues.
  • Documenting findings and research data for later studies.
  • Teaching Sociology to college and university students.

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Required Skills and Qualifications
  • Outstanding knowledge of sociological studies and theories:
  • Being able to conduct research on sociological data;
  • knowing how to collect and sort data and findings from surveys, questionnaires, and research; and
  • analyzing and documenting data.
  • Excellent research and project development skills:
  • Being able to translate ideas into practical goals and to define hypotheses on social issues;
  • designing and administering data collection tools (e.g. surveys, interviews, and observation sheets);
  • applying theoretical approaches to social problems; and
  • presenting results in a numerical format.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and assessment skills:
  • Easily and efficiently identifying societies’ needs and issues (e.g. poverty, social stratification, and crime);
  • being an active listener and displaying a strong sense of empathy and compassion; and
  • displaying strong rapport building, as well as the inherent ability to make others feel cared about.
  • Analytical, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills:
  • Using creativity and imagination to develop new theories and to apply new solutions to problems.
  • Organizational and time management skills:
  • Strategically structuring and customizing interview materials and observation sheets; and
  • prioritizing and planning work activities so as to use time efficiently while managing a high volume, diverse workload.
  • Exceptional professionalism and strong work ethic:
  • Being trustworthy enough to handle sensitive/confidential information.

Job opportunities for Sociologists can be found in several social institutions, municipal government offices and agencies, and foundations. The educational requirements for a job in this field is having at least a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from an accredited college or university. Further studies into branches and specializations in the field of Sociology in the form of a master’s degree are also greatly encouraged.[1]

Sociologists work to help and improve communities by understanding their issues and problems and coming up with solutions. Working for the benefit of others requires a great sense of compassion and empathy. Therefore, employers tend to look for applicants with extensive background and experience in volunteering jobs helping communities and getting in touch with them. The usual requirement is that candidates have at least 2 years of experience working in the field whether by volunteer jobs or internships.[2]

Job Offers
There are currently "2" available job offers for the Sociologist position on Below is a list of available jobs, based on Canada's most populated metropolitan areas.