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How to Become an Ambassador



Ambassadors are grouped into Senior Foreign Service employees and perform a variety of duties in order to keep relationships strong with other nations. These professionals are the personal representatives of the U.S. President and serve to stand in place for a variety of occasions, meetings and events. Ambassadors play a very important role in our nation's relationship with other foreign nations.

Individuals who want to become an Ambassador will need a combination of personal characteristics, connections and diplomatic skills in order to show they are capable of representing the United States on a professional and international level.

Education Requirements to Become an Ambassador



There are several steps that an individual will need to take in order to become an Ambassador. Although an advanced degree is not a requirement, there are some important qualities that the Department of State looks for that can be attained by attending at least a bachelor's program. These skills include having strong communication skills in speaking and writing; planning and organizing, quantitative skills and the ability to work well with other individuals.

Because Ambassadors are Senior Foreign Service members, they must have experience working for the U.S. Department of State or another federal agency gaining diplomacy skills. Individuals who want to become an Ambassador can seek experience by applying for and working as a Foreign Service Officer or as a Foreign Service Specialist. Both of these positions give individuals the ability to begin their career by working abroad using their diplomatic skills, working on foreign policy and learning about different cultures abroad.

When seeking openings in entry level, individuals have the option to apply for the following positions:

  • Consular Officer

  • Economic Officer

  • Management Officer

  • Political Officer or

  • Public Diplomacy Officer


Individuals beginning their career as a Foreign Service employee will need to satisfy some requirements in order to enter this field. The U.S. Department of State does require individuals to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen on the date of registration

  • Be at least 20 years old, but not older than 59 years old on the date of registration

  • Be at least 21 years old, but not older than 60 years old on the date of appointment as a Foreign Service member

  • Be able to complete assignments abroad including the capital, Washington, D.C.


Although not required, knowing a second or third language may help someone standout when applying for Foreign Service entry level positions.

Ambassador Job Description



An Ambassador is an experienced diplomat that works outside of the United States who acts on behalf of the President of the U.S. protecting the interests of U.S. citizens abroad and on U.S. territory. These professionals do not have the ability to choose the country they wish to work in and will be appointed a foreign country to work as a representative to the United States.

Although a career as an Ambassador may seem lucrative to an extent because of the traveling, living abroad and government paid expenses, there is also a lot of work in creating relations with host countries. Ambassadors may work irregular or over time hours working on diplomacy and assuring the United States has a strong reputation in the host country.

Ambassadors will engage with their host country's government officials, some private organizations as well as international organization officials. They will assure there is communicate between the United States and the host country while they learn to adjust to the host country's culture.

You may visit the U.S. Department of State's career page to learn more information on careers in Foreign Service.

Ambassador Salary and Career Path



The exact wages for Ambassadors and Senior Foreign Service professionals will depend on several factors including the level of experience, location and other qualifications. However, according to figures from 2010, there is a salary range that starts at approximately $119,554 to $179,700 per year.

Ambassadors living overseas or not stationed at home will also receive stipends that cover their living expenses including: housing, food and transportation. These figures will depend on the country where an Ambassador performs their duties.

Being an Ambassador representing the United States is a significant role on many levels. Individuals who want to become an Ambassador will have a natural interest in international relations, a knack for making important connections with other political or business professionals, and savviness for politics. A career as an Ambassador may take plenty of years to achieve, but once in this profession, an individual will have an opportunity to travel and represent the president of the United States when meeting with international diplomats.
 
 
 
 
 
 

*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics
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