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Political Scientist

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What Does it Take to Be a Political Scientist?

Job 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.

Political Scientist Responsibilities

  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data such as election results and public opinion surveys, reporting on findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Evaluate programs and policies, and make related recommendations to institutions and organizations.
  • Consult with and advise government officials, civic bodies, research agencies, the media, political parties, and others concerned with political issues.
  • Provide media commentary or criticism related to public policy and political issues and events.
  • Write drafts of legislative proposals, and prepare speeches, correspondence, and policy papers for governmental use.
  • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.

What a Political Scientist Should Know

When polled, Political Scientists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • State-Federal Relations Deputy Director
  • Strategist
  • Policy Analyst
  • Policy Officer
  • Political Advisor

Is There Going to be Demand for Political Scientists?

In the United States, there were 7,300 jobs for Political Scientist in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Political Scientists in U.S.

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.

Political Scientist Average Salary

The salary for Political Scientists ranges between about $59,300 and $164,200 a year.

Salary Ranges for Political Scientists

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Political Scientists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Political Scientists may use on a daily basis:

  • 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 do I Become a Political Scientist?

Are there Political Scientists education requirements?

Political Scientist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Political Scientist?

Political Scientist Work Experience

Where do Political Scientists Work?

Political Scientist Sectors

Political Scientists work in the following industries:

Political Scientist Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Political Scientist might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Political Scientist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: UKWiki at English Wikipedia via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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