If you’re a sociology majors graduate you can find a host of job opportunities in the government. Sociologists possess invaluable skills in qualitative research, quantitative thinking, and data analysis necessary in most local, state, and federal jobs.
You will most probably start with entry-level careers and as you gain experience you increase your chances of landing the best sociology positions in government.
Below, we will look at high-paying sociology jobs in government worth considering.
What are government jobs for sociology majors?
There are so many government job openings for sociology majors in the US, some giving you the opportunity to work overseas. We will explore 10 such opportunities for sociologists who wish to build their careers within government.
1. Policy analysts
The government needs policy analysts who will ensure operations run effectively. Policy analysts research, analyze data and use findings to advise the government in best practices regarding public policies.
You have an upper chance of landing the job with a sociology major as the course equips you with skills to understand diverse perspectives to develop policies that will improve the lives of citizens.
Policy analyst is a competitive government position. So, apart from the degree, you need to build work experience through volunteer or internship programs. Postgraduate research qualification in policy research, public policy, or social research is also a plus.
The mean annual salary for policy analysts in the US is $60, 552 and the highest-paid earn more than $85,000 per year.
2. Correctional program specialist
If you are interested in criminal justice, a degree in sociology can land you a job as a correctional program specialist in government.
Correctional program specialists work as prisoner managers in charge of transfer operations and holding methods. The work is purely administrative as you will not have hands-on experience with prisoners. However, you should commit to maintaining security and safety in your work environment.
Experience in counseling positions or social services plus a working knowledge of federal and state corrections program laws and practices will give you a better chance in the job market.
The mean annual salary for correctional program specialists in the US is $49,918. The highest earners getting $90,000, which makes this one of the best government jobs for sociology majors.
3. Child and youth specialist
The government needs child and youth specialists to work at military bases. The military bases have homes, schools, and recreational facilities which need family support services.
With a degree in sociology, you can therefore seek an opportunity with the federal or state to run child and family-focused programs and give social support to individuals.
You can build your experience through volunteer programs in youth centers to increase your chances of employment by the government. Areas such as mentorship, drug or alcohol misuse, advice and guidance, sport, and justice give you an upper hand.
The mean annual salary of child and youth specialists in the US is $52,370, with the potential to earn over $80,000.
4. Training officer
Training officer is one of the best sociology positions in government. They work mostly in military bases to train and improve the performance of the staff. They identify the potential of each employee to put them in the ideal career path that suits their intellect, character, and talents.
Training officers also come up with development interventions aimed at solving performance problems. A degree in sociology comes in handy as the trainers should understand human interactions to structure course content based on learners’ competencies.
Apart from a degree in sociology or any other relevant field, you will need some experience in training and development to have a high chance of government opportunities.
The mean annual salary for training officers in the US is $57,418, with the highest earners getting $94,000.
5. Urban planner
The government needs the services of an urban planner to help develop plans and programs for land use. Sociology majors are best suited for the job as they understand the social dynamics. They can identify community needs to come up with long and short-term plans adaptive to the changing population.
Urban planners research and analyze data in collaboration with interest groups to formulate strategies to address social, economic, and environmental issues affecting the community.
You can start as a junior planner and become an urban planner with experience. However, for direct entry as an urban planner, you will need a master’s degree in city planning.
The mean annual salary for urban planners in the US is $79,410. The highest-paid earn more than $118,000 a year, making this among the highest-paying government jobs for sociology majors.
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6. Foreign affairs officer
The US department of state works to advance American interests and pursue beneficial relations with other countries. For this, they require foreign affairs officers to do the groundwork. Graduates with a sociology major are best suited for the job as they better understand people’s cultures and customs.
The main responsibility of foreign affairs officers is to support prosperity, promote peace, and protect the interest of American citizens. You should be ready to work outside the country as most employees are deployed to US embassies worldwide. Nonetheless, you may start with domestic assignments for experience before being assigned overseas.
The position of foreign affairs officer is one of the high paying sociology jobs in government as they earn a mean annual salary of $90,500
7. Senior advisor
The Bureau of Global Talent Management is a government office in charge of recruitment, career development, discipline, promotion, assignment evaluation, retirement policies, and coming up with programs to support individual government employees.
Dealing with such a diverse and large group of people calls for the office to hire professionals from different fields. Among them are senior advisors who are mostly practicing sociologists as they understand the dynamics of the work environment.
As a senior advisor, you will provide advice and expertise in training programs and ensure good relations within the bureau, among other responsibilities. Work experience in a related work environment plus a degree in sociology gives you an upper hand in the job market.
The mean annual salary for senior advisors in the US is $97,679, making it one of the best government jobs for sociology majors.
8. Police officers
Police officers maintain law and order at the federal, state, and local levels. They improve the quality of life for people by preventing crime, protecting the public and their property, and reducing fear of crime.
The police departments in the US are mostly at the local levels, and they recruit both graduates and non-graduate. This is an entry-level job, but a degree in sociology major gives you an upper hand and an opportunity for career growth.
Nevertheless, once recruited, you will have to undergo training for a specified number of hours before being deployed to work at any level.
The mean annual salary for police officers in the US is $67,290, with the potential to earn over $113,860 per year as you rise in rank.
9. Special agents
Sociology major prepares you for a career as an FBI to defend your nation against threats. The government needs special agents who seek to understand the motivation and behavior of the terrorists. Sociologists are best suited for the job as they have the necessary skills to study and profile crimes and provide effective solutions.
As a special agent, you will help the government understand the role of community and organizations in mobilizing people towards or away from radicalization, preparing for catastrophic events, and identifying hostile intentions.
You need a degree in a relevant field such as sociology and at least two years of specialized work experience to become a special agent. Once recruited, you will also undergo at least 800 hours of intensive training before being deployed to work.
The mean salary for special agents in the US is $66,120, with a potential earning of $117,000 a year.
10. High school teacher
The government needs teachers to work in its educational institutions, including high schools. Sociology majors who also have a teaching subject major can apply for the job to teach learners aged 11-18 years.
As a high school teacher, you will plan, teach and undertake lesson assessments per the curriculum objectives. Your sociology skills come in handy in creating a conducive learning environment that cares for individual students’ needs and abilities.
After earning a degree, you will have to undertake a student teaching internship in your subject of interest. You should also complete and pass the subject area test for licensing before applying for open positions in educational institutions.
High school teachers’ salary varies from state to state in the US, but most earn a mean annual salary of $67,340. High earners get up to $102,000 per year, making this one of the high-paying government jobs for sociology majors.
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Best government jobs for sociology majors 2022
There are endless opportunities in government for sociology majors, but we have highlighted just a few. Most jobs require a degree in sociology or other related fields, with relevant experience giving you an upper hand. Identify your career interest, develop your work experience through volunteer or internship programs and send your application whenever there is a government job opening. With determination and handwork, soon you will get an invitation to one of the best sociology positions in government.