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Social Science Research Assistant

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All About Social Science Research Assistants

Career 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.

Life As a Social Science Research Assistant

  • Present research findings to groups of people.
  • Recruit and schedule research participants.
  • Collect specimens such as blood samples, as required by research projects.
  • Conduct internet-based and library research.
  • Perform data entry and other clerical work as required for project completion.
  • Provide assistance in the design of survey instruments such as questionnaires.

Skills Needed to be a Social Science Research Assistant

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.

Other Social Science Research Assistant Job Titles

  • Research Specialist
  • Data Analyst
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Market Research Interviewer
  • Laboratory Assistant

Are There Job Opportunities for Social Science Research Assistants?

In the United States, there were 34,000 jobs for Social Science Research Assistant in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 4,100 job openings in this field each year.


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 typical yearly salary for Social Science Research Assistants is somewhere between $25,370 and $78,470.


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Social Science Research Assistants in different U.S. states.

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 do Social Science Research Assistants Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Social Science Research Assistants may use on a daily basis:

  • 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 to Become a Social Science Research Assistant

What education is needed to be a Social Science Research Assistant?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Social Science Research Assistants?


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.


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

Career changers with experience as a Social Science Research Assistant sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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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