17 Best Jobs for Political Science Majors
Updated July 31, 2023
Professionals with a political science background have developed skills in written communication, public speaking, research, analysis and critical thinking. A political science degree is versatile, setting you up for a variety of careers. In this article, we explore some of the best, highest-paying jobs you can earn with a political science major.
Top jobs for political science majors
This discipline can be studied at both undergraduate and graduate levels, with some advanced leadership positions and higher-paying roles requiring a master's or professional degree. Studying political science can lead to a variety of career paths and industries, including:
Government and public service
Business and private corporations
Media and communication
These are 17 of the best jobs you can pursue with a political science major. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.
National average salary: $47,200 per year
Primary duties: Program coordinators perform administrative and operations management tasks for nonprofit organizations, like charities or social service organizations. Some of these professionals handle human resources tasks, such as hiring and training, but many focus on planning fundraising initiatives, outreach coordination and public communication.
Requirements: Many employers require entry-level candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree. For more roles with more advanced responsibilities, some employers may prefer a relevant master's degree and/or previous nonprofit experience.
National average salary: $37,298 per year
Primary duties: Legislative assistants write, edit and research evidence for bills, proposals and other legislation. They are often responsible for brainstorming legislation ideas, providing revisions and recommendations as well as answering questions for the media and other legislators. They typically work for government officials or agencies, political advocacy groups or nonprofit organizations.
Requirements: These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree, and some employers may require previous legislative experience like an internship.
National average salary: $44,800 per year
Primary duties: A social media manager writes posts, plans content campaigns and communicates with a company or organization's audience using a variety of social media platforms. These professionals also use analytics and metric tools to optimize post content, brand voice and publishing time. Many organizations in a variety of industries hire this role, including government officials and agencies and nonprofits.
Requirements: Many employers prefer candidates to have a bachelor's degree, familiarity with social media platforms and strong skills in writing and analysis.
National average salary: $61,642 per year
Primary duties: A campaign manager manages all operations of a political campaign and collaborates with the candidate on goals and strategies. They lead a team of political staffers to conduct public relations, social media communication, event planning, budget monitoring, fundraising efforts and voter support initiatives.
Requirements: Many employers prefer candidates to have at least a relevant bachelor's degree and previous campaign experience, such as an internship or other leadership experience. Some may prefer candidates with master's or professional degrees. Specific requirements may depend on what level of a political campaign they'd be managing.
National average salary: $44,400 per year
Primary duties: News producers collect video and audio segments, construct story segments and organize the content of a whole news broadcast. They coordinate live broadcasts in the control room, queuing up and running segments according to the cast's timeline and communicating with camera operators, broadcast reporters and other crew members.
Requirements: These professionals are typically required to have a bachelor's degree as well as writing and broadcast experience. Some employers may prefer candidates with a master's degree.
National Average Salary: $69,015 per year
Primary duties: An urban planner designs the layout of developed and undeveloped areas of towns, cities and countries. They collaborate with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, construction companies, engineers and members of the public to determine the best uses for unoccupied land and ways to improve current infrastructure.
Requirements: These professionals are often required to have a relevant bachelor's degree, such as in political science, and a master's degree in urban planning and design or another closely related field.
National average salary: $64,353 per year
Primary duties: A professor teaches courses in their academic discipline at a college or university. They give lectures, facilitate discussion, proctor exams, assign essays and other projects and grade student work.
Requirements: Some professors can teach with a master's degree, often in specific fields or at a community or technical college. Most professors are required to have a professional or doctorate in their discipline.
National average salary: $69,711 per year
Primary duties: A research analyst organizes, visualizes and interprets large, complex data sets to make valuable insights. They use data to make projections, test hypotheses and identify trends to help an organization make well-informed decisions. These professionals can work in political science-related fields like economics, public policy, government operations, intelligence and many others.
Requirements: Research analysts need to have at least a bachelor's degree, strong analysis and critical thinking skills as well as familiarity with spreadsheet and data computing software. Some employers may prefer candidates to have years of experience and/or an advanced degree.
National average salary: $86,384 per year
Primary duties: A director of communications leads the internal and external communications efforts of an organization. They oversee teams of marketing, advertising and public relations professionals and guide them in creating consistent, strategic and positive messaging for both internal stakeholders and the public. These professionals frequently work in government services, such as political campaigns and specific agencies. Others work in nonprofits and private sector organizations.
Requirements: Many employers require these candidates to have a bachelor's degree and more than five years of relevant professional experience. Some may prefer candidates with a master's degree and/or nearly 10 years of experience.
10. Policy analyst
National Average salary: $88,216 per year
Primary duties: They review public policy documents and study the impacts on government operations and other societal functions. Policy analysts can specialize in one of four key areas, including quantitative research for both drafted and current policy, analysis and revision on drafted policy, evaluation of current policy and internal and external communications.
Requirements: Many employers require candidates to have at least a master's degree, though some may prefer a professional degree like a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or a doctorate.
National average salary: $62,445 per year
Primary duties: A director of public relations is in charge of the public relations and external communications efforts of an organization. They lead professionals in marketing, advertising and public relations to develop a brand voice or an individual's public image. They also analyze polls and external feedback to adjust and implement strategies.
Requirements: Many employers require candidates to have a bachelor's degree and at least five years of relevant experience. Others may prefer them to have a master's degree and/or nearly 10 years of experience.
National average salary: $35,427 per year
Primary duties: A journalist writes articles, reports and op-eds for a variety of publications, including newspapers, magazines and websites. They gather research and interview sources to tell engaging, informative and impactful stories about people, places and events. Many journalists write about a specific field, such as national politics, international politics, finance and economics and local interest.
Requirements: Journalists typically need a bachelor's degree and developed skills in writing, research, critical thinking and interpersonal conversation. Most hiring publications require a robust portfolio of work as well.
National average salary: $64,210 per year
Primary duties: A historian reviews records and first-hand accounts to research past events. They compare their research to previous historical accounts to correct discrepancies, fill in gaps and provide alternative perspectives. Many historians specialize in a specific region, era, cultural events or population of people. These professionals typically work in educational institutions, museums, libraries and government agencies.
Requirements: Most historians have at least a master's degree, though most have a doctorate in their chosen specialty.
National average salary: $95,871 per year
Primary duties: An attorney is a lawyer who represents individuals and organizations in the court of law. They analyze evidence, create narratives that support their client's case and present facts to persuade a jury and judge of their client's case. These professionals typically specialize in one type of law, including constitutional, immigration, property and corporate law.
Requirements: These professionals typically earn a bachelor's degree in a writing and research field, like political science. They are also required to complete a J.D. and pass their state's bar exam.
National average salary: $118,548 per year
Primary duties: A political affairs officer is in charge of monitoring a region's cultural and political climates to provide intelligence to their employing nation's government. They conduct research, write frequent reports and consult with local constituents. Their goal is to keep their government informed of any potential or sudden shifts that could impact the safety of either country's citizens or the partnership between the two nations.
Requirements: Many employers require candidates to have a master's degree and relevant experience. Some may accept candidates with only a relevant bachelor's degree and a significant amount of relevant experience.
National average salary: $115,313 per year
Primary duties: An economist collects and analyzes data to find trends and develop economic forecasts to help organizations make well-informed decisions. They can conduct this research and data analysis process for a variety of important insights, including the effects of an economic shift and environmental impacts. These professionals can work in many settings, including public policy and corporate compliance, education.
Requirements: Many employers require candidates to have at least a master's degree, though some settings require candidates to have a doctorate.
National average salary: $111,078 per year
Primary duties: These professionals monitor all aspects of an organization's processes to ensure they are compliant with local, state and federal regulations. Regulatory affairs managers perform routine assessments, document compliance statuses, suggest improvements and file proper documentation with the appropriate officials to demonstrate their organization's compliance.
Requirements: Regulatory affairs managers are required to have a bachelor's degree, must keep up-to-date with all compliance regulations and may need industry-specific certification for certain employers.
Frequently asked questions
What is a political science major?
A political science major studies governments, public policies and political behaviors. Students in this program can learn about this subject with a combination of humanistic point-of-view and scientific skills. Some topics students may study in their undergraduate programs include:
Should I get a bachelor's degree in political science?
Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in political science can lead you to a lucrative and interesting career, allowing you to learn continuously as policies and governments shift. Additionally, you can meet various people and expand your network when earning this degree.
What are common employers of political science majors?
Some employers of individuals with political science degrees include:
Colleges and universities
Political research organizations
National and international embassies
Political campaign organizations
What are some skills for political science majors?
In your undergraduate program, you can develop several soft and technical skills, including:
Knowledge of United States government branches and functions, political theory and international relations
Data interpretation skills
Qualitative and quantitative research skills
Interpersonal communication skills
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