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Political Scientists

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What is a Political Scientist?

Political Scientist Example 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.

Life As a Political Scientist

  • Maintain current knowledge of government policy decisions.
  • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
  • Consult with and advise government officials, civic bodies, research agencies, the media, political parties, and others concerned with political issues.
  • Forecast political, economic, and social trends.
  • Interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Provide media commentary or criticism related to public policy and political issues and events.

Political Scientist Needed Skills

These are the skills Political Scientists say are the most useful in their careers:

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

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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.

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

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Other Political Scientist Job Titles

  • Political Researcher
  • Program Analyst
  • Political Advisor
  • International Affairs Vice President
  • Policy Advisor

Political Scientist Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 7,300 jobs for Political Scientists in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Political Scientists 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 Scientists are District of Columbia, Virginia, 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 Political Scientists

The typical yearly salary for Political Scientists is somewhere between $59,300 and $164,200. The median salary is $117,570.

Salary Ranges for Political Scientists

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

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary





New York


District of Columbia




















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 Visio
  • Microsoft Access
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • SAP

Who Employs Political Scientists?

Political Scientist Sectors

Similar Careers

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

  • Reporters and Correspondents

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

  • Historians
  • Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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