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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Research Assistants in Birmingham, Alabama

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for social research assistants in the Birmingham, Alabama area. The national trend for social research assistants sees this job pool growing by about 17.8% over the next eight years. In general, social research assistants assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social research.

The average wage in the general category of Social Science Technical jobs is $17 per hour or $35,650 per year nationwide. Social research assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: clinical research associate, survey analyst, and research assistant.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a social research assistant, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. Social research assistants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a social research assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Social Research Assistant

In general, social research assistants assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social research. They also may perform publication activities, laboratory analysis, or data management.

Social research assistants furnish assistance with the preparation of project-related reports and presentations. They also ready tables and written reports summarizing research results. Equally important, social research assistants have to conduct internet-based and library research. They are often called upon to perform data entry and other clerical work as required for the completion of projects. Finally, social research assistants edit and submit protocols and other required research documentation.

Every day, social research assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for social research assistants to verify the accuracy and validity of data entered in databases; correct any errors. They are often called upon to present research findings to groups of people. They also furnish assistance in the layout of survey instruments such as questionnaires. They are sometimes expected to ready and oversee extensive databases. Somewhat less frequently, social research assistants are also expected to supervise the work of survey interviewers.

Social research assistants sometimes are asked to screen potential subjects in order to establish their suitability as study participants. They also have to be able to edit and submit protocols and other required research documentation And finally, they sometimes have to track research participants, and perform any needed follow-up tasks.

Like many other jobs, social research assistants must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Community Planner. Compile data from various sources, such as maps, reports, and field and file investigations, for use by city planner in making planning studies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Social Research Assistant Training

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Social Sciences which graduated five students in 2008.


Certified GIS/LIS Technologist: This is certification is for technicians who integrate a variety of spatial data sets into a GIS format designed for graphic output or analysis.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.


Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.