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Social Science Careers

Comparing Careers in Social Science


Anthropologist Cesare Marino on the grave of Conte Carlo C. Di Rudio (1832–1910)
Franco Folini/Flickr
Social scientists study societies and the interactions of individuals within them. There are many different careers one can have in the social science field. We will explore several of them here


Anthropologists study the ways of life, languages, archaeological remains and physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world. Aspiring anthropologists must earn at least a master's degree. To teach in a college or university, a PhD is required. Anthropologists earned a median annual salary of $53,460 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming an Anthropologist


Archaeologists recover and examine evidence including tools, cave paintings, the ruins of buildings and pottery in order to learn about earlier civilizations. To work as an archaeologist in most settings, one must first earn a master's degree. Those who want to teach in colleges and universities need a PhD to do so. Archaeologists earned a median annual salary of $53,460 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming an Archaeologist


Geographers study the land, features, inhabitants and phenomena of a specific region or area of the earth. While a master's degree will suffice for most jobs, a PhD is required for geographers who want to teach in colleges or universities. Geographers earned a median annual salary of $71,470 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming a Geographer


Psychologists study the human mind and human behavior. To work as a clinical or counseling psychologist one must have either a PhD or a PsyD degree. School psychologists need a specialist degree in school psychology. Those earning a PhD must write a dissertation. Aspiring psychologists usually need to complete internships. All states require psychologists who deliver patient care to be licensed. Counseling and school psychologists earned a median annual salary of $66,040 in 2009 while industrial and organizational psychologists earned a median salary of $83,260.
Learn More About Becoming a Psychologist

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers design or conduct surveys about people and their opinions. A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level jobs and a master's degree is needed for more technical positions. Survey researchers earned a median annual salary of $35,380 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming a Survey Researcher

Urban and Regional Planner

Urban and regional planners, sometimes called city planners, help communities decide how to best use their land and resources with an eye toward future growth and revitalization. Employers usually prefer to hire urban and regional planners who have earned master's degrees. Certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners can help with career advancement. Urban and regional planners earned a median annual salary of $61,820 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming an Urban or Regional Planner

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ and
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/ (visited February 9, 2011).

Explore more Careers By Field or Industry

Comparing Careers
 Minimum EducationLicenseMedian Salary
Archaeologist Master'snone$53,460
Anthropologist Master'snone$53,460
Geographer Master'snone$71,470
Psychologist PhD or PsyDrequired to deliver patient care$66,040 (counseling & school)/ $83,260 (industrial & organizational)
Survey ResearcherBachelor'snone$35,380
Urban And Regional PlannerMaster'snone$61,820

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