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Political Scientist

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What Do Political Scientist Do?

Occupation Description Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

Daily Life Of a Political Scientist

  • Develop and test theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, or statistical sources.
  • Write drafts of legislative proposals, and prepare speeches, correspondence, and policy papers for governmental use.
  • Teach political science.
  • Interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data such as election results and public opinion surveys, reporting on findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Provide media commentary or criticism related to public policy and political issues and events.

What a Political Scientist Should Know

Political Scientists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Types of Political Scientist Jobs

  • Government Affairs Specialist
  • State-Federal Relations Deputy Director
  • Citizen Participation Specialist
  • Political Aide
  • Political Researcher

What Kind of Political Scientist Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 7,300 jobs for Political Scientist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2.7% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Political Scientist by 2026. The BLS estimates 700 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Political Scientist are North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Texas, Pennsylvania, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Political Scientist

The typical yearly salary for Political Scientists is somewhere between $59,300 and $164,200.

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Political Scientists who work in Virginia, Maryland, or New York, make the highest salaries.

How much do Political Scientists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
California $74,060
District of Columbia $120,610
Florida $95,120
Illinois $80,520
Maine $72,850
Maryland $123,150
Massachusetts $88,120
Michigan $95,570
New York $122,440
Pennsylvania $102,110
Texas $87,610
Virginia $128,590
Washington $84,480

What Tools do Political Scientists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Political Scientists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • SAP
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • R
  • StataCorp Stata
  • WinBUGS
  • Bare Bones Software BBEdit

How to Become a Political Scientist

What education or degrees do I need to become a Political Scientist?

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Political Scientist?

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Where Political Scientists Are Employed

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The table below shows the approximate number of Political Scientists employed by various industries.

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Those interested in being a Political Scientist may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Political Scientist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: UKWiki at English Wikipedia via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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