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What Does it Take to Be a Legislator?

Job Description: Develop, introduce or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, State, or Federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.

List of Legislator Job Duties

  • Vote on motions, amendments, and decisions on whether or not to report a bill out from committee to the assembly floor.
  • Represent their parties in negotiations with political executives or members of other parties, and when speaking with the media.
  • Keep abreast of the issues affecting constituents by making personal visits and phone calls, reading local newspapers, and viewing or listening to local broadcasts.
  • Maintain knowledge of relevant national and international current events.
  • Determine campaign strategies for media advertising, positions on issues, and public appearances.
  • Represent their government at local, national, and international meetings and conferences.

Types of Legislator

  • Assembly Person
  • City Council Member
  • Congressman
  • City Alderman
  • Delegate

Job Outlook for Legislators

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 55,500 jobs in the United States for Legislator. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,900 new jobs for Legislator by 2026. The BLS estimates 4,400 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Legislator are Utah, Nevada, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Wisconsin, or Oregon. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Legislator Salary

Legislators make between $17,510 and $98,890 a year.

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Legislators who work in New York, Hawaii, or California, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Legislators in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $31,760
Alaska $45,340
Arizona $56,530
Arkansas $21,970
California $68,580
Colorado $57,570
Connecticut $59,740
Florida $56,990
Georgia $23,810
Hawaii $60,400
Idaho $25,310
Indiana $36,910
Iowa $43,450
Kansas $22,870
Louisiana $33,370
Maryland $45,110
Michigan $35,460
Minnesota $34,690
Mississippi $25,360
Missouri $25,630
Montana $45,510
Nebraska $34,320
New Hampshire $18,910
New Mexico $23,960
New York $90,050
North Dakota $36,050
Ohio $43,770
Oklahoma $48,770
Oregon $37,960
South Carolina $20,910
Tennessee $41,470
Texas $45,180
Utah $26,930
Virginia $32,900
Washington $66,240
West Virginia $28,520
Wyoming $38,180

What Tools & Technology do Legislators Use?

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • IBM Domino
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • Mapping software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker
  • Apple iWork Keynote
  • Cisco Systems WebEx
  • Citrix GoToMeeting

Who Employs Legislators?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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References:

Image Credit: The Official CTBTO Photostream via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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