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Career profile Social Science Research Assistant

Also known as Clinical Research Assistant, Graduate Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant, Research Aide, Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Technician, Social Research Assistant

Social Science Research Assistant

Also known as Clinical Research Assistant, Graduate Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
  • Social
Pay Range
$31,090 - $81,280 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Administrative
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Design and create special programs for tasks such as statistical analysis and data entry and cleaning.
  • Administer standardized tests to research subjects, or interview them to collect research data.
  • Obtain informed consent of research subjects or their guardians.
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What does a Social Science Research Assistant do?

Social Science Research Assistants assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social science research.

In addition, Social Science Research Assistants may help prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management.

What kind of tasks does a Social Science Research Assistant perform regularly?

Social Science Research Assistants are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Design and create special programs for tasks such as statistical analysis and data entry and cleaning.
  • Prepare tables, graphs, fact sheets, and written reports summarizing research results.
  • Provide assistance with the preparation of project-related reports, manuscripts, and presentations.
  • Perform descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses of data, using computer software.
  • Verify the accuracy and validity of data entered in databases, correcting any errors.
  • Develop and implement research quality control procedures.
  • Prepare, manipulate, and manage extensive databases.
  • Perform data entry and other clerical work as required for project completion.
  • Conduct internet-based and library research.
  • Present research findings to groups of people.

The above responsibilities are specific to Social Science Research Assistants. More generally, Social Science Research Assistants are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is a Social Science Research Assistant salary?

The median salary for a Social Science Research Assistant is $49,210, and the average salary is $53,560. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Social Science Research Assistant salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Social Science Research Assistants earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Social Science Research Assistants earn less than $31,090 per year, 25% earn less than $39,250, 75% earn less than $62,420, and 90% earn less than $81,280.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Social Science Research Assistants is expected to change by 8.4%, and there should be roughly 5,400 open positions for Social Science Research Assistants every year.

Median annual salary
$49,210
Typical salary range
$31,090 - $81,280
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
8.4%

What personality traits are common among Social Science Research Assistants?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Social Science Research Assistant are usually higher in their Conventional and Investigative interests.

Social Science Research Assistants typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Social Science Research Assistants typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Social Science Research Assistant tend to value Independence, Working Conditions, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Social Science Research Assistants moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Social Science Research Assistants moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Social Science Research Assistants moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Social Science Research Assistants must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, cooperation, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Social Science Research Assistants, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Social Science Research Assistants need?

Many Social Science Research Assistants will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Social Science Research Assistants usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Social Science Research Assistants

  • 2.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 14.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.5% completed some college coursework
  • 13.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 31.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 10.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Social Science Research Assistants

Social Science Research Assistants may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, administrative, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Social Science Research Assistants might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Social Science Research Assistants

Social Science Research Assistants must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Social Science Research Assistants need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Social Science Research Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Critical Skills needed by Social Science Research Assistants

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Social Science Research Assistants frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Social Science Research Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

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

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.