How to Become a Politician
A politician has the power to make their community, their country, and even the world a better place. The policies they make, remove, or change help to shape society. They can invigorate education systems, help improve health services, and keep an economy in good shape, just to name a few.
If you are intrigued by the world of politics, have a confident manner and are an avid wordsmith, and want to help shape your country for the better, then you might like to become a politician.
There is much more to politics than policy making. Becoming a politician can be competitive. You will need to rise through the ranks of a political party to become a public leader, and also be elected by the people. When you become a politician, you also become a public figure. This means that you will likely live your life in the spotlight, and will have very few secrets.
Education Requirements to Become a Politician
There is no education pathway to follow when you decide to become a politician. However, you will definitely need some formal education, life experience, as well as professional networking to work in politics. A good place to start is by researching some politicians you are interested in. Have a look at the kind of degrees they've earned and the path they took before working in politics.
Most politicians have degrees in law, economics, or business. You can also complete a degree in politics or international relations. A good idea is to simply follow your own interests at college. A postgraduate degree obtained later will be held in high regard.
Becoming involved with a political party is a good idea if you want to become a politician. Learn about the parties, and find out which one best represents your interests if you don't already know. Volunteer to help out with events and campaigns. You may like to contact a local politician and speak to them about your interests in politics. They may turn out to be an excellent career mentor.
Life experience is important as a politician. While there are some people that enter politics in their twenties, many people enter the field later in life. They may work behind the scenes earlier on, or have a different career path entirely.
Politician Job Description
A politician is a policy maker. They act, as the elected representative of the people, to make, change, and remove policies that relate to how a government runs a state or country. Politicians will also negotiate with other politicians, within their own party, other parties, or even from another country.
Not all politicians work full-time. While a senator may work 60 hours a week, a council member may only sit once every couple of weeks. Politicians always serve a set term before they must be reelected. It's usually about four years.
Here are some of the duties of a politician:
- Running a campaign
- Policy making
- Public appearances
Politician Salary and Career Path
Most politicians start their career in another field and then later in life, decide to enter politics. They may be a business person, a government employee, or a teacher. They can come from any background at all. Some have an interest in politics all their life and work in the field until they are ready to run a campaign. They may work as a political researcher, a political strategist, or as a support person in a political campaign.
The salary of a politician can vary greatly. For instance, a person working at a local level may earn $40,000 a year. A state governor may earn over $400,000 a year. Generally governors and senators earn a lot more than people who are working at a local or state level.
There are many jobs that politicians may enter after they leave politics, or even work within before they become a politician. These include:
- Political Researcher
- Political Strategist
- Police Officer
- Military Officer
- Corporate Board Member
While the salary can be quite high, the road to politics can be a treacherous one so this is not a job you want to get into for the money. However, if you're looking for a job that can make a real difference in your community and your country, you may like to become a politician. Many find their political careers a very rewarding experience.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics