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Social Science Research Assistant

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Life As a Social Science Research Assistant

Job Description: Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social science research. May help prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management.

What Do Social Science Research Assistants Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Prepare, manipulate, and manage extensive databases.
  • Track research participants, and perform any necessary follow-up tasks.
  • Provide assistance in the design of survey instruments such as questionnaires.
  • Collect specimens such as blood samples, as required by research projects.
  • Conduct internet-based and library research.
  • Present research findings to groups of people.

Social Science Research Assistant Required Skills

When polled, Social Science Research Assistants say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

  • Research Analyst
  • Research Interviewer
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Graduate Research Assistant
  • Project Coordinator

Job Demand for Social Science Research Assistants

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 34,000 jobs in the United States for Social Science Research Assistant. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.4% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,500 new jobs for Social Science Research Assistant by 2026. There will be an estimated 4,100 positions for Social Science Research Assistant per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Social Science Research Assistants in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Social Science Research Assistant are Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Connecticut, New Jersey, or Tennessee. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Social Science Research Assistant Make?

The salary for Social Science Research Assistants ranges between about $25,370 and $78,470 a year.

Salary Ranges for Social Science Research Assistants

Social Science Research Assistants who work in New Jersey, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.

How much do Social Science Research Assistants make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Arizona $54,960
Arkansas $52,990
California $49,630
Colorado $52,320
Connecticut $42,880
District of Columbia $65,410
Florida $51,090
Georgia $52,880
Hawaii $53,200
Illinois $49,570
Iowa $40,950
Kentucky $47,130
Maine $49,030
Maryland $55,260
Massachusetts $55,310
Michigan $43,360
Missouri $50,970
Nebraska $48,800
Nevada $54,200
New Hampshire $53,410
New Jersey $58,480
New York $49,000
North Carolina $46,050
North Dakota $47,200
Ohio $46,560
Oklahoma $43,450
Oregon $48,870
Pennsylvania $43,710
South Carolina $56,720
Tennessee $45,640
Texas $49,230
Utah $45,560
Vermont $47,320
Virginia $50,950
Washington $47,300
West Virginia $46,000
Wisconsin $48,350

What Tools & Technology do Social Science Research Assistants Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Social Science Research Assistants:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Database software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • R
  • Graphics software
  • StataCorp Stata
  • ESRI ArcGIS software

How do I Become a Social Science Research Assistant?

Are there Social Science Research Assistants education requirements?

Social Science Research Assistant Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Social Science Research Assistant?

Social Science Research Assistant Work Experience

Where do Social Science Research Assistants Work?

Social Science Research Assistant Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Social Science Research Assistants work:

Social Science Research Assistant Industries

Those thinking about becoming a Social Science Research Assistant might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Social Science Research Assistant in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Manfred Werner (Tsui) via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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