What Is The Typical Salary For Someone With a Social Science Degree?

Social science salaries vary depending on the specific degree one obtains. There are many different social sciences and each of them have their own expected earning potential. In general, social science majors make about 55,000 dollars a year. However, there is great variation in these salaries. Whereas economic majors make roughly 70,000 dollars a year, sociologists make about 45,000. Therefore, if one is deciding on a social science major based on earning potential, one needs to strongly consider which major to choose. 

Most Lucrative Social Science Degrees

According to a report by Georgetown University, the three most lucrative social science majors are economics, applied statistics, and political science. On average, economics majors make 70,000 dollars, applied statistics majors make 67,000 dollars, and political science majors make 59,000 dollars. According to the report, roughly 40 percent of all social science majors earn a graduate degree and receive a 57 percent earnings boost as a result. Therefore, if one is broadly interested in a social science major but also wants to have a high earning potential, any of these three fields should be a good choice. Though, economics is by far the most lucrative.

Least Lucrative Social Science Degrees

The least lucrative social science majors are criminology, interdisciplinary social science, and sociology. On average, criminology majors make 48,000 dollars, interdisciplinary social science majors make 48,000, and sociology majors make 45,000 dollars. Despite lower earning potential, these careers boast higher than 90 percent employment rates. In addition, the highest paid criminologists, interdisciplinary social scientists, and sociologists (those in the 75th percentile) make upwards of 65,000 dollars a year. Therefore, one need not be discouraged by the lower earning potential if one has a passion for any of these fields. Another important thing to note is that these expected salaries are not deterministic and the precise salary one ends up with is determined by a number of factors such as the degree-granting university and the job opportunities that are available.


The social sciences are broad and encompass fields such as economics, political science, criminology and sociology. To determine the earning potential of a social science major, this diversity cannot be discounted because each of these fields have their own respective expected salaries. As discussed, economics, applied statistics, and political science are among the most lucrative social science degrees. These fields are associated with salaries greater than 55,000 dollars a year. The least lucrative fields are criminology, interdisciplinary social science, and sociology. Individuals with degrees in these areas should expect to make anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 dollars a year. It is important to note that these salaries are only expected salaries and these salaries themselves will differ depending on the individual. Nonetheless, as a rough guide for how much one should expect to make, these social science salaries can be useful if one cannot decide between majors and is interested in maximizing earning potential.