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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Research Assistants in Des Moines, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for social research assistants in the Des Moines, Iowa area. The national trend for social research assistants sees this job pool growing by about 17.8% over the next eight years. Social research assistants generally assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social research.

Income for social research assistants is about $18 per hour or $38,140 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $35,650 yearly. Incomes for social research assistants are the same as in the overall category of Social Science Technical in Iowa, and the same as the overall Social Science Technical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: graduate research assistant, graduate assistant, and research technician.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including two within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree to start your career as a social research assistant. Given that the most common education level for social research assistants is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Des Moines 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

Central College - Pella, IA

Central College, 812 University, Pella, IA 50219. Central College is a small college located in Pella, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,558 students and an admission rate of 77%. Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Sciences.

Simpson College - Indianola, IA

Simpson College, 701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125. Simpson College is a small college located in Indianola, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,052 students and an admission rate of 88%. Simpson College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Sciences.


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.


Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.