All You Need To Know About A Politician Career

You think about becoming a politician but are not sure whether this is the right job for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about a politician career in the following chapters.

Not only will you learn how much money you can make as a politician, but you will also learn a lot about job satisfaction, prospects, future outlook, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements, duties, responsibilities and much more.

You will also find an FAQ section at the end of this article where I answer the most common questions about being a politician for you.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of what working as a politician looks like and whether you still want to pursue such a career or rather want to work in a different field instead.

Table of Contents

What does a Politician do?

Politicians are elected to represent the preferences and wishes of the general public.

Politicians change and introduce laws and make sure that our political system is in order so that as many people as possible can benefit from our technological advancements and can live a decent lifestyle.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Politician

  • Participating in votes
  • Introducing new laws
  • Changing and current laws
  • Negotiating with parties who have different opinions about certain topics
  • Taking into account the wishes and preferences of lobbyists
  • Representing different interest groups
  • Listening to leading scientists to make better political decisions
  • Listening to special consultants
  • Discussing latest events in congress and the house of representatives
  • Making sure that wishes and preferences of the general public are represented in the best possible manner

What a Typical Day of a Politician looks like?

Politicians usually start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m.

The first thing they do after getting to work is checking their emails and answering the most important and urgent ones.

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After doing some organizational work and talking with their secretary about their schedule, politicians get to their actual work and discuss many different topics.

This includes working on changing the law but also introducing new laws to make sure that as many people as possible can benefit from our technological progress that will greatly determine how the world will look like just a few years from now.

Even though you might work hard on your projects, you should also know that you have to compromise quite a lot as a politician and that you barely fully get what you want.

Consequently, working as a politician can get really frustrating if you don’t have a strong mindset and are also willing to deal with snarky comments about your projects.

After working in this style for many hours, politicians usually finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Politician Salary 2021

Politician salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $178,000> $88.92
Top 25 %$163,000 – $169,000$81.43 – $84.45
Bottom 25 %$132,000 – $145,000$65.89 – $72.48
Bottom 10 %$111,000 – $118,000$55.47 – $58.91
Range$111,000 – $215,000$55.47 – $112.42
Average (Mean)$156,000$77.93
Median$152,000$75.97

Politician salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$111,000 – $127,000$55.47 – $63.42
Junior$122,000 – $139,000$60.91 – $69.45
Professional$136,000 – $148,000$67.94 – $73.88
Senior Professional$145,000 – $172,000$72.43 – $85.95
Expert$167,000 – $184,000$83.42 – $91.89
Top Expert$181,000 – $215,000$90.46 – $112.42

Politician salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$148,900$74.42
Alaska$157,500$78.73
Arizona$152,600$76.28
Arkansas$155,300$77.64
California$162,700$81.32
Colorado$157,800$78.89
Connecticut$156,200$78.08
Delaware$148,900$74.41
District of Columbia$158,500$79.24
Florida$156,200$78.09
Georgia$152,600$76.27
Guam$147,400$73.69
Hawaii$151,700$75.82
Idaho$153,800$76.84
Illinois$148,200$74.07
Indiana$145,900$72.93
Iowa$152,200$76.08
Kansas$148,700$74.33
Kentucky$150,900$75.42
Louisiana$153,800$76.89
Maine$147,500$73.73
Maryland$154,600$77.28
Massachusetts$155,800$77.88
Michigan$151,300$75.63
Minnesota$148,200$74.09
Mississippi$146,600$73.27
Missouri$143,900$71.93
Montana$151,600$75.79
Nebraska$152,900$76.41
Nevada$148,400$74.17
New Hampshire$153,700$76.83
New Jersey$155,200$77.58
New Mexico$149,300$74.64
New York$161,100$80.53
North Carolina$152,500$76.22
North Dakota$153,800$76.89
Ohio$153,300$76.63
Oklahoma$149,700$74.84
Oregon$151,200$75.59
Pennsylvania$155,800$77.88
Rhode Island$153,200$76.57
South Carolina$149,500$74.73
South Dakota$147,300$73.64
Tennessee$151,900$75.92
Texas$147,200$73.58
Utah$149,300$74.63
Vermont$151,500$75.72
Virginia$146,800$73.37
Washington$155,700$77.81
West Virginia$151,600$75.78
Wisconsin$148,200$73.91
Wyoming$146,600$73.27

Job Security of Politicians

Politicians enjoy pretty decent job security.

Once they work for the government, they have a pretty safe job and will also have many opportunities to change the fields and topics they are responsible for over time.

You will also have contact with many important people and don’t have to worry about long-term unemployment at all since you will have many different job opportunities if you build a strong network.

Future Outlook of Politicians

Not only current job prospects for politicians are pretty good, but also the future outlook for politicians are decent since you will work for the government and will not have to worry about getting laid off anytime soon.

Even in case this happens, you would still get many benefits and would also have an easy time finding a job in a different field for many years to come.

Working Hours of Politicians

Most politicians start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Hence, as a politician, you will work in a classical 9 to 5 office environment and will have more than enough time to meet up with your favorite people after work while investment bankers and other people who have to work long hours every day will not have this luxury.

Job Satisfaction of Politicians

Many politicians are pretty happy with what they are doing for a living since they can make decent money while they still don’t have to work much overtime and can spend lots of leisure on the things they like.

Promotion Opportunities of Politicians

Politicians have many promotion opportunities.

The longer you stay in the political landscape, the better you are able to build a strong network that will help you get into leading positions where you can really make a difference in the lives of many people.

Career Levels of Politicians

  • Politician intern
  • Campaign worker
  • Campaign manager
  • City council member
  • State legislator
  • Congressman
  • Senator
  • Vice president
  • President

Fields and Types of Politicians

  • Politicians focused on green technologies
  • Politicians specialized in traffic developments
  • Politicians with expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Politicians focused on agriculture
  • Politicians focused on education
  • Politicians specialized in housing
  • Politicians responsible for infrastructure development
  • Politicians focused on law enforcement
  • Politicians specialized in security matters

Educational Requirements for Politicians

You don’t necessarily need a degree for becoming a politician.

In fact, there are no fancy formal requirements in this regard.

However, most politicians still hold at least a bachelor’s degree so that they look good on paper and have a better chance to climb the ladder soon.

How to become a Politician

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a politician
  2. Work as an intern in the political landscape
  3. Stay in touch with your colleagues
  4. Finish high school with decent grades
  5. Get a degree (optional)
  6. Apply for jobs in the political landscape
  7. Master the job interview
  8. Sign your labor contract
  9. Build a strong network and climb the ladder

Character Traits you need as a Politician

  • You need to be patient since you have to compromise quite a lot
  • You should not be stubborn and also willing to hear other ideas
  • Ability to deal with difficult people on a regular basis
  • Ability to deal with snarky comments in an emotionally healthy manner
  • You should have a strong mindset
  • You should not get discouraged by critical feedback
  • Persistence helps you reach your goals in the long run
  • Openness to new ideas
  • Willingness to work on yourself
  • Strong motivation for making the world a better place

Politician Skills

Hard Skills for Politicians

  • You should know how the political landscape works
  • You should be a good speaker
  • Ability to convince others with your ideas
  • You need to know how to present your ideas well
  • You should have decent technical knowledge in the field you work in
  • Ability to understand the ideas of experts in your field
  • You should know when it is time to be quiet
  • Knowledge of laws, rules and regulations related to working in politics
  • Digital skills help as well

Soft Skills for Politicians

  • Good time management skills help you get things done
  • Organizational skills help you structure your workday
  • Ability to deal with pushbacks in a proper manner
  • You should be good at networking with important people
  • You should have strong interpersonal skills
  • You should be a good listener
  • You should have a compromising attitude
  • Ability to deal with critical feedback in an emotionally healthy manner
  • You should be good at dealing with people in general

Exit Options for Politicians

Politicians have many exit options.

Since they often meet up with important people who belong to certain interest groups, you will be able to build a strong business network as a politician that can help you find a job in the corporate world in case you want to quit your political career sooner or later.

In fact, many former politicians work in the supervisory board of big corporations and also consult many companies out there.

Politician – Similar Careers

  • Public speaker
  • Author
  • Blogger
  • Publicist
  • Policy officer
  • Judge
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • Researcher
  • Political advisor
  • Influencer

Politician Career FAQs

Is working as a politician physically demanding?

Being a politician is not physically demanding since you will rather work with your brain and will not have to lift heavy stuff like many other people who work as welders or construction workers have to do on a regular basis.

Is working as a politician mentally demanding?

Working as a politician can be mentally and emotionally demanding since you will often have to solve complex problems and you will also have lots of power so that your mistakes may lead to serious adverse outcomes for many people out there.

Is it dangerous to work as a politician?

Being a politician is not dangerous.

You will just work in a pretty safe environment and as long as you are not famous enough so that the general public knows who you are, you can just spend your workday in a rather relaxed manner and don’t have to fear being attacked for your political attitude.

However, once you get more popular, people will often make snary comments and may also try to attack you in a physical manner if you live in a rather radical region where you represent a rather exotic political attitude.

How long do politicians stay in their jobs?

Politicians often don’t stay in their jobs for many years or even decades since they often get really good offers to work in the corporate world and only very few politicians stay in the political landscape for the rest of their lives.

Is it easy for politicians to find a new job?

It is pretty easy for politicians to find a new job since they can switch to many different departments and are not confined to just one political field.

Hence, as long as you are a good communicator and are able to build a strong network, you will easily be able to find many new jobs in the political landscape.

Is it hard to switch from being a politician to another field of work?

It is pretty easy for politicians to switch to a different field of work since they are able to build a strong network during their political careers and this network often includes important people from the corporate world. In turn, politicians are often able to get jobs in the supervisory board of big corporations or work in other important positions where they can make really good money.

Do politicians have a high social status?

Politicians also have a pretty decent social standing.

While they are admired by many people who have similar political attitudes, they are also often not liked by people with opposing political attitudes and may also have to deal with snarky comments from time to time.

Can you help out your family and friends as a politician?

While you can change the world for many people on a long-term basis, you will still not learn many practical skills as a politician and will not be able to do much good for your loved ones compared to carpenters, plumbers or other people who can fix, install and maintain many things around the home and can therefore provide much more value.

Can politicians work remotely?

Politicians are able to work remotely part of the time.

However, they still often have to show up in person to meet up with representatives of different parties and to vote for or against certain projects.

Consequently, you will have to commute to work pretty often and will also not be able to spend as much time at home as someone who works in a classical office job from home all the time.

Is it easy to find a partner as a politician?

Politicians have a pretty easy time in the dating market since they have lots of power, decent social standing and are also able to make really good money.

Consequently, they are often considered attractive while still being good providers at the same time and this makes it easy for them to find a partner for a long-term relationship.

Do politicians have to work on weekends?

Politicians don’t have to work on weekends.

Instead, you can use this time to make nice weekend trips with your family or spend it on your favorite hobbies.

Do politicians have to work on holidays?

Politicians also don’t have to work on holidays and can spend those days with their favorite people or on the things they like even more than working.

Do politicians have to work at nighttime?

Politicians don’t have to work at nighttime most often.

Consequently, while consultants and other people in the corporate world have to work long hours on a regular basis, you as a politician will often come home from work relatively early and will have enough time to meet up with your favorite people.

Do you have to travel as a politician?

You don’t need to travel as a politician during your first years when you will not have that much responsibility.

However, once you climb the ladder and become increasingly important, you may have to travel the country to represent your party in the best possible manner to maximize the winning chances in elections and this means that you might be away from home quite often.

Are politician pensions good?

Politicians receive pretty decent pensions and also get additional benefits since they worked for the government.

Many politicians also have an easy time finding well-paying jobs in the corporate world and will therefore not have to worry about suffering from financial problems once they quit their active careers and retire.

Are politician salaries going up?

Politician salaries have been going up moderately over the past years and this trend will likely continue in the future since politicians work for the government and will get decent raises on a regular basis.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a politician?

You can have a big positive impact on society as a politician since you will work in a field where you can change the lives of many people on a regular basis and if you make good decisions in this regard, you can really make the world a better place in the long run.

How long does it take to become a politician?

Since you don’t necessarily need to get fancy college education, you can start your political career right after finishing high school.

However, it will still take you many years until you get into a position where you can make a real living from what you are doing.

Is it difficult to become a politician?

Becoming a politician is not difficult at all since you don’t have to meet high formal requirements.

However, you will still spend lots of time and energy on networking if you want to get into a leading political role in the future.

Do you need to be smart to work as a politician?

You don’t necessarily need to be smart to succeed in the political landscape.

More important than having a high IQ is to have high social and emotional intelligence to build a strong network and to be able to convince others of your ideas so that they support you in the long run.

Do politicians have a good work-life balance?

Politicians have pretty decent work-life balance since they don’t have to work on holidays or weekends and also come home from work relatively early.

Consequently, they are able to make really good money while still having enough time to spend with their families.

Do politicians have to work many extra hours?

Most politicians don’t have to work many extra hours.

While you may have some times where you have to finish projects and may have to work some overtime, you will have rather relaxed working hours for most of the year.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a politician?

The more experience you get in the political landscape at an early age and the more time you spend networking with important politicians, the higher your chances of becoming a politician yourself.

Can politicians work part-time?

Most politicians are not able to work part-time since they have many projects they are responsible for and are just not able to get all this work done in a part-time manner.

Instead, they have to work full-time to really get things done.

Do politicians work indoors or outdoors?

Politicians work indoors most of the time.

Thus, you don’t have to worry about climatic conditions outdoors as many other people like garbage collectors or roofers have to do on a regular basis.

What does the workplace of a politician look like?

Politicians work in a classical office environment and are surrounded by many new people on a regular basis.

Hence, it is crucial that you are an open and outgoing person to build a strong network and to convince people of your ideas.

Do you have to look good for working as a politician?

You don’t need to look good to succeed as a politician.

However, you should still look groomed so that other people will trust in your ideas and will not consider you strange.

Is a politician career beneficial for your private life?

While you can make decent money and will have lots of time for your family, a politician career can still be problematic for your private life since you will have many people in your environment who will just not like your political ideas and may try to bring you down as often as they can.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a politician?

You don’t need a degree for becoming a politician.

However, it can still help to hold a degree since you will compete with many people who have fancy formal education and if you really want to make a decent career in politics, your CV still matters and you will have much higher chances if you look good on paper.

Do you need to be certified to work as a politician?

You don’t need any certifications for becoming a politician.

What’s more important than formal education is that you are able to convince people so that they support your political attitude and elect you.

How much does it cost to become a politician?

Since you don’t urgently have to get a degree for working as a politician, you can become a politician at virtually no cost while many other people have to spend lots of time and money on college education.

Is being a politician a good career?

Since you will be able to make good money while you will still have enough leisure to spend with your favorite people and make the world a better place, being a politician can be considered a good idea when taking all major factors into account.

Is it easy to start your own business as a politician?

Since you can make many contacts with important people during your career as a politician, you can also start many side hustles since you will have access to information and resources most other people don’t have.

Can politicians teach themselves?

Politicians can teach themselves all things they need to succeed in this industry.

In fact, you can just watch speeches of leading politicians, study their body language and also figure out why politicians say certain things.

In turn, you can adapt those things and can use them for your own success in the political landscape.

Do politicians make good money?

Politicians are able to make really good money.

While even young politicians often make more than most other people out there, the income of politicians increases significantly over time and the more responsibilities you get, the higher your salary will be on average.

Is it ever too late to become a politician?

Since you don’t need fancy formal education to become a politician and also don’t have to work in a hard physical manner, you can become a politician at almost any age and can even do some political work once you retire from your official day job.

Do politicians have to quit their careers early?

Most politicians don’t have to quit their political careers early since they don’t have to work in a physical manner and are therefore also not as vulnerable to physical health problems as many other people who work as welders or in other physically demanding jobs.

What is the hardest thing about working as a politician?

The hardest part about being a politician is that you work in an environment where you have to deal with many different attitudes towards certain topics and getting all those things in line and finding compromises is not easy at all in many cases.

Can you provide for your family by working as a politician?

Since you will get a decent salary, it will be pretty easy to provide for your family as a politician.

In fact, your spouse will often be able to stay at home and care for the kids while you will be able to make enough money for your family.

Will politicians suffer from old-age poverty?

Most politicians don’t suffer from old-age poverty since they are able to make more than enough money during their active careers and also get decent pensions.

Can politicians retire early?

Many politicians are also able to retire early since they often also work in the supervisory boards of big corporations and can make really good money within just a few years.

Consequently, while most other people have to work until official retirement age in their 60s, politicians are often able to retire in their 50s or even 40s.

Do politicians get a fixed or variable salary?

Politicians often get a fixed salary while the variable fraction of their income will be pretty low if not non-existent.

Thus, you will have a pretty steady income and will not have to deal with huge income swings compared to salespeople who often work on commissions.

Can you get rich as a politician?

While it is hard to get rich from your politician career, you can still get into leading positions in the corporate world where you can make enough money to afford a fancy lifestyle or even to get rich in the long run.

Do politicians need a second job?

Politicians don’t need a second job to make a living.

However, many politicians still have some gigs on the side where they can make really good money.

For instance, some of them sit in the supervisory board of big corporations where they can make good money while they still don’t have to do lots of work.

Do you get continuous training as a politician?

You will not get continuous training as a politician.

Instead, it will be on you to hone your craft so that you get better with what you are doing over time and get into a leading political role sooner or later.

Do you get sick pay as a politician?

You often get sick pay as a politician and therefore don’t have to worry about getting sick from a financial perspective since you will still get paid and will be able to pay your bills in most cases.

Do politicians have a high level of responsibility?

Politicians have a high level of responsibility since their decisions and actions greatly affect the lives of many people out there and you should therefore always give your best to improve the living conditions of as many people as possible.

Can politicians work abroad?

Politicians are able to work all over the world.

However, it is often hard to succeed as a politician in foreign countries since most politicians who are successful are born in the respective country and you may just not be respected enough as a foreigner to succeed in the political landscape.

Is it stressful to work as a politician?

Working as a politician can be stressful since you will have to solve many complex problems and will have many disputes with people who have different political attitudes on a regular basis which can really stress your nerves in the long run.

Is it boring to work as a politician?

Working as a politician is not boring at all since you will meet many interesting people over the course of your career and you will also be able to work on many important projects.

Is being a politician hard?

Being a politician can be hard on an emotional level since you will have to deal with many conflicts and different opinions all day long and you will also have to deal with pressure from your own party from time to time.

Are politicians at risk of burnout?

Since politicians have to deal with lots of mental and emotional pressure, many of them are at great risk of burnout or other mental problems and you should have a strong mindset to stay healthy in this field in the long run.

Is there a dress code for politicians?

There is no fixed dress code for politicians.

However, most politicians still dress pretty conservatively and wear fancy suits or dresses.

What kind of politicians are paid the most?

The longer you stay in the political landscape, the more responsibility you get and the more jobs you have on the side, the more you can make as a politician.

What percentage of politicians are women?

Around 31% of all politicians are women while 69% are men.

While the political landscape is still dominated by men, an increasing number of women aspire to a career in politics and percentages may change significantly pretty soon.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a politician?

Having an experienced mentor on your side can really help you succeed as a politician since he or she can help you push through difficult periods of your career when you might just want to give up.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a politician?

You will not be personally liable for mistakes you make as a politician most of the time.

However, if you are not entirely sure in this regard, you should consult a lawyer to be on the safe side.

Do politicians have a high life expectancy?

Politicians enjoy pretty decent life expectancy since they don’t work in an extremely risky environment and are not at great risk of suffering from serious accidents at work.

Do politicians suffer from sleeping problems?

Most politicians don’t have to work at nighttime and are therefore able to maintain a steady sleeping pattern.

Consequently, most politicians don’t suffer from sleeping problems related to their jobs, even though some of them are not able to deal with the pressure that comes along with a politician career and may still lie awake at night.

What states are best for working as a politician?

Politicians are able to make good money in all states.

Thus, you should choose the state you want to live in according to your own personal preferences instead of just looking for the regions where you might be able to make the most money.

Who do politicians work with?

Politicians work with many different people on a regular basis and it is therefore crucial that you have great people skills and understand how the human mind works to succeed as a politician in the long run.

Is working as a politician cool?

Working as a politician is considered cool by many people since you have the power to make the world a better place in the long run.

Can you start a side hustle as a politician?

It is pretty easy for politicians to start side hustles since they have contact with many important people and can make lots of money on the side.

Do you have to be creative as a politician?

Being creative can help to find compromises as a politician and also to solve complex problems where the standard approach may just not work.

Do politicians suffer from being overweight?

Since politicians often don’t get lots of exercise at work, many of them also suffer from being overweight or even obese.

How employable are politicians?

Politicians are pretty employable and have a rather easy time finding a job in a different field in case they don’t want to work as politicians one day anymore.

Are politicians happy with their jobs?

Many politicians are pretty happy with what they are doing for a living since they can make really good money while they still have enough time to spend with their loved ones.

Is working as a politician exciting?

Working as a politician can be pretty exciting since you can work on many projects that could really make the world a better place.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a politician?

You can also have a big positive impact on our environment as a politician if you focus on environmental topics and change laws according to what’s best for our planet.

What are the pros and cons of working as a politician?

If you still consider becoming a politician, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a politician career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/markets/2535/topic/966/politics-government/#overview

https://www.statista.com/topics/3723/social-media-and-politics-in-the-united-states/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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