Sociology Instructor

Sociology instructors plan and teach postsecondary courses. Professors instructing students about sociology cover theories behind societal development and structure, ethnic and cultural mores, and social issues. They’re responsible for preparing lecture materials and sharing information with their students in a relevant and understandable manner.

With growing technology, sociology instructors also need to know how to utilize and integrate different computer utilities including email and internet. Some sociology instructors teach online courses. Evaluating student progress through tests and written assignments is also a vital responsibility of this college educator. Depending on the educational institution, a sociology instructor may also be expected to conduct research and publish in educational journals.

The responsibilities of a sociology instructor include:

  • Preparing and giving lectures
  • Facilitating classroom discussion
  • Administering and grading examinations
  • Evaluating student assignments
  • Staying on top of professional developments through reading and interaction with other instructors
  • Conducting research and publishing findings in professional publications
  • Evaluating curricula and course materials for future use
  • Meeting with students during office hours to provide additional academic support.

Sociology Instructor Degrees

To teach a postsecondary sociology course, a master’s degree in sociology is a minimum requirement. Teaching as an adjunct or part-time professor may be accomplished with a graduate degree. However, to teach full-time and ultimately receive tenure, most colleges and universities require their sociology instructors to have a Ph.D.

Sociology Instructor Salary*

As of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the median annual salary of all postsecondary educators, including sociology instructors, was $61,360. Although sociology instructors make up a small percentage of college educators, the postsecondary education field is expected to grow by about 15% through 2018. Increased online instruction opportunities and an increase in professionals expected to return to college for advanced degrees are anticipated to support this growth.

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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