How Long Does It Take To Become A Sociologist

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

Hi, thank you for coming to learn about people like me who are budding sociologists. You may be asking yourself, how long does it take to become a sociologist, or how much does an entry-level sociology position pay? Or maybe, what classes do I need to take? This will not take very long because our goal is to educate you in a short amount of time, so that you can go out and succeed in your career.

  Sociology degrees can be quite long and tough. So we’ll discuss how long it really takes to become a sociologist, along with basic information about what you will learn in each year of school.

The amount of time it takes to become a sociologist depends on the type of degree you have and where you’d like to teach after studying sociology. Additionally, it’s possible to complete a master’s degree as your first step and take entry-level positions in sociology, with your bachelor’s degree potentially helping secure you a job.

To become a Sociologist, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree. If your undergraduate degree is in Sociology, it will normally take two or three years of full-time education to obtain your degree. If your undergraduate degree is in another subject, you may be able to obtain a combined Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program which allows you study for degrees in two subjects at the same time. If you are unsure, please check with the university you plan to attend.

Becoming a sociologist has a very specific set of requirements that take a lot of time and effort to complete. While you’re going through the process of becoming a sociologist, it can be helpful to understand not only what you need to do, but how long it will take.

Becoming a sociologist isn’t like becoming a financial analyst or an astronaut. A lot of the steps are similar but there are some that are different. This infographic breaks down what you need to know to become a sociologist with statistics and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and

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Scope of Sociology- Best Social Science Career in 2020 - Leverage Edu

How Long Does It Take To Become A Sociologist

The length of time it takes to earn a sociology degree varies, depending on your personal educational aspirations and career goals. Personal circumstances and obligations such as family, finances and work commitments will also affect the length of time required to complete your degree. A thorough self-evaluation will clarify your decisions regarding the type of sociology degree program that best suits your needs and the length of time it will take to earn your degree.

How to Become a Sociologist: Coursework and Career Paths

Associate Degree in Sociology

An associate degree in sociology enables you to grasp the basic fundamentals of sociology. Generally, an associate degree takes two years or four semesters to complete. Many students select the associate degree route to jumpstart their career or gain authentic experience in academia before tackling a four-year degree program. After earning this initial academic credential, graduates may choose to continue their education at a four-year educational institution or explore career options.

Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist?

Under normal circumstances, a bachelor’s degree is sociology will take four to five years to complete. Students enrolled in college part-time may take a bit longer to complete their academic programs. A bachelor’s degree in sociology allows students to develop significant insight into the discipline. Students focus their studies on specific areas such as family, race, urban studies, gender or gerontology. This sociology degree prepares students for graduate school opportunities or employment in various professional environments including education, social services and government.

If you want to become a sociologist, you will have to spend at least four years of education in college. If you plan on going through graduate school and completing a doctorate, a minimum of six years is recommended. It is important that you make your decision to pursue this degree because there are so many requirements that some may surprise you.

Master’s Degree in Sociology

A master’s degree in sociology offers students the chance to conduct intensive research in the field of sociology. Full-time graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in sociology can expect to spend approximately two to three years studying advanced sociological theories and concepts. In many cases, the master’s degree in sociology is a stepping stone to a Ph.D., the terminal sociology degree. A graduate degree in sociology is the prerequisite for careers as community college faculty as well as college or university instructors. In addition, graduates often seek research careers and management level positions in social services and government.

The Terminal Sociology Degree

Students can expect to complete a sociology doctorate in six to eight years. Ph.D. programs are extremely research-focused. Doctoral level sociology students are required to complete a considerable amount of research and write a dissertation. The Ph.D. prepares students to teach at the university level. Many Ph.D. graduates conduct research related to their area of expertise and publish their work in books and academic journals.

What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

PhDWe did a survey to ask other Sociologists what degree they had when they became a Sociologist. Here are the results.PhD77.27%

Master’s Degree22.73%

Less than a High School Diploma0%

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become sociologists or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Sociologists what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods
Demography and Population Studies
Urban Studies

You’ve discovered the most popular Sociology learning website and a leading expert in all things sociology. Paul Melamud has been researching, teaching and writing about the human condition for over 25 years. The average American adult didn’t even finish high school. Becoming an expert takes hard work, determination, and a lifelong journey through the wilderness of ideas. 

Most Sociologists jobs require a master’s degree or Ph.D. Many bachelor’s degree holders find positions in related fields, such as social services, education, or public policy.

Featured Sociology Schools

How hard is it

DifficultyVery Hard

You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be a sociologist. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, a surgeon must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Careers in this difficulty category may need some on-the-job-training, but most of these careers assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, and work-related experience and training. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, neurologists, and veterinarians.

Related work experience required1 to 2 years1 to 2 years31.82%

4 to 6 years22.73%


Job trainingNoneNone50%

Up to 1 month22.73%

2 to 4 years9.09%

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certificationNot required

No license or certification required for Sociologists

Skills required

We asked other Sociologists if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Reading Comprehension
3.Active Listening
5.Critical Thinking

 = Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Sociologists are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Sociology and Anthropology
2.English Language
5.Education and Training

This application takes approximately 18 months (4 Semesters) to complete. This includes online classes, online proctored exams, and some hands on work with the exception of a face to face interviewing class.

A sociologist requires a master’s degree or Ph.D. There are two types of pathways one can take to earn their master’s degree. One is a traditional program in sociology and is designed for those wanting to go onto earn a Ph.D. afterwards. The other pathway is an applied, clinical, and professional master’s degree program which prepares one to enter into the workforce. These programs oftentimes teach analytical skills to perform research in a professional environment. Courses in statistics and research methods are highly recommended for both levels of education.

Many of these programs offer internship opportunities. During this time, you can apply your educational training in addition to gaining experience prior to entering this career field. A sociologist is also expected to have strong communication, analytical, written, and critical thinking skills. These skills are all needed when interacting with research participants, colleagues, and conducting research.

Sociology Careers | BestColleges

Job Description of a Sociologist

Many sociologists study human behavior, interactions, and organizations though they usually specialize in a wide variety of social topics. These social topics include health, families, crime, gender, poverty, education, aging, racial issues, ethnic relations, and population. Therefore they work in a variety of settings. However, no matter what setting a sociologist works in they collect information through surveys, interviews, or observations and then draw conclusions from their data. They also give presentations detailing their research and prepare articles and reports.

A sociologist examines social influences and how it affects groups of people or individuals. A sociologist sometimes follows the growth and origin of these interactions and groups. An example may include the effect of a new policy or law in a particular demographic. A sociologist often researches using statistical analysis programs, quantitative measures, and qualitative methods.

Sociologists work regular hours and usually on a full-time basis. They often work in offices and work on computers. The largest employer according to the Bureau Labor of Statistics are organizations that develop and research social services and humanities followed by educational services and then federal and local governments. There is a slower than average growth in this career field, therefore those with a Ph.D. have better job opportunities, though it will still be competitive due to the limited positions.

How to Become a Sociologist | Career Girls - Explore Careers

Sociologist Career Video Transcript

When people interact, form a group, or work together, they create relationships, and eventually – culture. Sociologists study interactions between groups of people, how human behavior changes over time, and what makes organizations and cultures succeed or fail. Sociologists collect survey data, make observations, and perform interviews to test their theories about human social interactions. They analyze the data and present their findings in written reports or presentations.

These social scientists may collaborate with and advise policymakers, other social scientists, or groups that seek answers to sociological issues. Sociologists may focus their research and study efforts on one of many social topics, including health, education, racial and ethnic relations, the labor market, families, gender, poverty, crime, or aging. Sociologists typically work in an office full time. They may travel to conduct research or present their results at conferences.

Most positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D. Applied, clinical, and professional master’s degree programs prepare graduates to perform sociological research in a professional setting. Many students who complete a Ph.D. in sociology become college-level instructors. Other Ph.D. graduates lead research for non-profits, businesses, or government. More entry-level positions in related fields, such as social services, education, or public policy… may be obtained with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

What Do Sociologists Do: Explore the Dynamics of this Profession

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