16 social science jobs (plus their duties and salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you graduate with a social science degree, converting your learning into a job role is one of the first priorities. This means that you implement the skills and abilities you gained from the degree in a workplace that suits your specific skills and certifications. Knowing which roles are available to social graduates can help you find these suitable positions. In this article, we discuss the roles available for social science graduates, some of the key responsibilities of each role and what their average salaries are.

Social science jobs

Whether you're specifically searching for a social science job or a more general position, the skills that you learn from the course qualify you for many roles. So even if you predominantly studied political science, sociology or one of the many other fields in the social sciences, it's still worth assessing which career you want to get into. Some of the most common careers for social science graduates include:

1. Teacher

National average salary: £16,377 per year

Primary duties: Teachers create lesson plans for their students and help to develop a range of learning materials and strategies for their students. They generally teach students about one or more subjects, measure student outcomes by administering tests and providing homework and mark students' work and exams whilst giving feedback. They track student development and assist them in improving their performances long term.

2. Counsellor

National average salary: £30,686 per year

Primary duties: A counsellor discusses the issues that individuals have with their ongoing mental health and talk about specific issues pertaining to the wellbeing of a patient. Counsellors then prepare treatment plans for their patients. This can include discussing the cause of their problems or developing strategies that ensure a higher standard of life for the customer in the medium to long term.

3. Human resources manager

National average salary: £40,676 per year

Primary duties: Human resources managers help to ensure that a company's staff have everything they require to work effectively. This includes ensuring that the company has adequate staffing levels at all times, staff work within the limits of their contracts and that they have access to all the resources they need. HR managers also resolve workplace disputes by preventing issues and conflicts between staff members from developing into a larger problem.

4. Police officer

National average salary: £30,279 per year

Primary duties: A police officer's primary duty is retaining order and enforcing the law in the local community. This includes de-escalating conflicts between members of the public and having good relations with local community figures. Police officers respond to emergency calls and try to ensure public safety. Further duties include securing crime scenes, arresting and interviewing suspects and providing evidence in court cases.

Related: How to become a police officer in the UK

5. Political consultant

National average salary: £27,421 per year

Primary duties: The primary duty of a political consultant is to ensure that their candidate or client has the best opportunity for election at the end of the current electoral term. This includes guiding specific policy that affects the lives of constituents, advising the client on a media strategy and ensuring that the perception of the client is as positive as possible in the public domain. Depending on the client, a political consultant has all of these duties or specialises within a wider consultancy team.

6. Nurse

National average salary: £31,815 per year

Primary duties: Nurses work within hospitals and other health care facilities to support medical teams and ensure good outcomes for patients. They examine the medical history of patients and provide care that's appropriate to their issues. This includes administering medication, conducting physical examinations and discussing treatment plans with patients in detail.

7. Librarian

National average salary: £26,241 per year

Primary duties: A librarian's main responsibility is to ensure the smooth function of a library's services. This includes acquiring books, ensuring the library has a selection of different subscriptions and communicating with any customers that have not returned their borrowed books. A librarian also organises the shifts of librarian assistants and acts in a managerial role.

8. Editor

National average salary: £30,745 per year

Primary duties: The main duties of an editor include reading through articles and correcting spelling, grammar and the accuracy of the content. An editor may also chase up writers who are beyond their deadlines, decide the running order of content in their magazine and complete the publication of the magazine's newest edition. They represent the tone of voice and the overall vision of the publication.

9. Copywriter

National average salary: £28,819 per year

Primary duties: Copywriters produce content for companies in a staff position or clients on a freelance basis. They begin by working closely with their employer to develop an understanding of the content the client wants to create. They then research the topic and produce the content according to the client's requests and within the deadline they allot. Following this, it's common for a copywriter to adjust their work based on feedback provided by the client.

Related: Copywriting skills: definitions and examples

10. Historian

National average salary: £49,392 per year

Primary duties: A historian aims to better understand historical events. They examine evidence in an archaeological context and gather information from credible sources. Historians examine both physical artefacts and records, such as old books and scrolls. They then collate this information into a thesis and present it to others to gain approval and increase the community's understanding of the past.

Related: What does a historian do? (Plus skills)

11. Sales assistant

National average salary: £22,443 per year

Primary duties: Sales assistants specialise in selling goods to consumers by utilising sales techniques. They research the company's products to improve their bargaining position, advise customers on their purchases and ensure that the customer buys products appropriate to them while maximising the company's profit. They're responsible for the completion of a sale, handling payment and ensuring that transactions go smoothly.

12. Event planner

National average salary: £25,239 per year

Primary duties: Event planners work with clients to deliver events that fulfil the client's objectives. They discuss the client's needs and budget then present various ideas about how these events could look. They plan the event, organise suppliers and set out a timeline for the scheduled parts of the day. The event planner ensures that the event is successful on the day and that the client gets a good return on investment.

13. Manager

National average salary: £31,489 per year

Primary duties: A manager is responsible for ensuring that members of staff are as effective as possible in the workplace. This entails completing staff rotas, defining the duties and tasks individual members of staff complete and resolving workplace conflicts. A manager is also responsible for talking to external clients to retain their business and resolve customer concerns wherever possible.

Related: Common senior manager interview questions (with examples)

14. Data analyst

National average salary: £33,027 per year

Primary duties: A data analyst's primary duty is to examine data and understand the meaning behind it. This includes completing an assessment around the reason the data exists, the context in which the situation occurs and how the data compares with previous situations and competitors. A data analyst may convey this information to a management team in an easily understandable manner, either through a written report, spoken presentation or graphical medium.

15. Public relations manager

National average salary: £30,677 per year

Primary duties: Public relations managers ensure that a company retains a positive image with the general public. This means that a public relations manager develops responses to ongoing controversies and events, establishes the perspective of the company and presents the organisation in a positive manner. A public relations manager works closely with the marketing team to ensure cohesion across the brand.

16. Social worker

National average salary: £41,131 per year

Primary duties: Social workers specialise in helping families to function better. They provide information, support and services to family units that may feature abuse, mental health issues or other challenging circumstances. This can include working closely with children, the elderly or people with long term mental or physical problems. The role involves carrying out assessments, providing reports, interviewing families and providing information in court.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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