Table of Contents
- What Is a Political Consultant?
- How to Become a Political Consultant: Step by Step Guide
- Gain Top Skills for Political Consultant
- Political Consultants Job Outlook & Salary
- Final Thoughts
If you know anything about politics, they have many jobs, but politicians are among the most prominent figures in this field. Then, some political consultants work in the background, especially during elections. If this sounds like a career you’re interested in, this article will discuss every step and duty that can help you become a successful political consultant.
What Is a Political Consultant?
A political consultant is also known as a campaign consultant since they work with politicians during their election campaigns. As a consultant, you can collaborate with other successful professionals that can help improve a politician’s reputation.
An election campaign requires a lot of effort and responsibilities from a political consultant because they are in charge of the candidate’s public image. They have to come up with ways to improve their candidate’s goals, which leads to more votes. Usually, a political consultant’s duties include
- Research public image
- Analyze collected data
- Conduct polls
- Write speeches and press releases
- Organize campaigns and events
How to Become a Political Consultant: Step by Step Guide
As it happens with other professions, you need some qualifications to become a political consultant. One of the first things to consider is the education level and the relevant study degrees you need to take. Here’s everything you need to know to start a career as a political consultant.
Obtain the relevant education and training
Colleges or universities don’t have specific programs for political consultants, but graduates with a public relations, business, international relations, or communication degree can pursue this career. Any training you might attend with political organizations or campaigns is a bonus experience for you. Another way to gain experience is by volunteering or completing internships, allowing you to learn more about politics and different areas.
BSc in Political Science
A bachelor’s degree in political science is the first step you need to take for a political consultant role, although this is not always necessary. However, earning a degree in political science or any related field is helpful to learn more about politics and campaigns.
This degree prepares you for the challenges that you might encounter in the political field, and it also gives you skills that you can use to create successful campaigns yourself. Typically, a bachelor’s degree program will teach you international relations, research methods, or civil rights.
MSc in Political Science
Suppose you want to get in-depth about international law. In that case, human rights, election laws, judicial selection, and a Master’s degree in political science or communication are the way to go. This degree is a further step in your education and career that prepares you to work as a political scientist, and it offers you the ability to complete an internship.
According to Zippia, 77.8% of political consultants have bachelor’s degrees, while 7.0% have master’s degrees. These two degrees are the most common majors for a political consultant.
Public relation courses
Public relations (PR) courses involve strategic communication processes used by political consultants to create a positive image of candidates. With these courses, political consultants can gain their clients’ exposure, influence, build and establish beneficial relationships and appearances. Some types of public relations include:
- Media relations
- Public affairs
- Community relations
- Online and social media communications
Gain Top Skills for Political Consultant
Almost every political consultant shares the same skills that help them with their duties in the field of politics. There’s so much more to a political consultant than just consulting, and here are some of the most common skills that one needs to succeed in this career.
Good communication is essential for political consultants because they constantly collaborate and speak to other professionals or candidates. They also have to write speeches or marketing material, so communication skills help both the consultant and the candidate perform better in elections. Being part of the campaign team, you should know how to use your communication skills to provide innovative ideas.
Political background knowledge
You are expected to have political knowledge and an understanding of politics because this is what allows you to make beneficial decisions for your candidates. Consultants must be skilled in studying past and current political campaigns or elections to find out what they can do to improve their candidate’s campaigns.
It’s also essential to have some political background on the function of government or historical politics, so the chances of your candidate getting elected are increased.
Problem-solving skills allow political consultants to work fast, make quick changes, or improve their methods, which make a candidate’s public image more favorable. You can use ways to enhance your solving skills, either by using brainstorming techniques or researching political campaigns that inspire you to make quick changes and create innovative ideas.
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Research and analytical skills
Knowing how to research other campaigns allow you to create ideas and strategies that lead to a more detailed campaign for your candidate. The political field requires you to work fast because voters expect severe and quick responses from their candidates, whether about an event or campaign platforms.
As a researcher, you are expected to conduct and analyze polls to know what voters want from candidates. Also, it would help if you analyzed how candidates work with marketing materials and studied campaign rules or regulations.
Political Consultants Job Outlook & Salary
While it’s well-known that political consultants make a lot of money, it also depends on their experience or who they work for. According to Glassdoor, a political consultant earns an annual wage of $75,043. Political consultants also get bonuses, so the additional yearly pay is $13,897.
Most likely, a political consultant works for governmental agencies and organizations or non-governmental organizations.
Working for governmental agencies and organizations
Typically, a political consultant works with governmental organizations that focus on fundraising, public relations, and campaign consulting. They give their candidates advice on what to say, act, or what to wear. During elections, they work full-time, earning a good amount of money. According to Comparably, in the U.S., the median salary of a political consultant is $88,965.
Governmental organizations hire political consultants to work closely with their candidates and campaign managers to represent the organization as the best brand in the market.
Working for non-governmental organizations
With non-profit organizations or private businesses, consultants take on similar roles. These organizations rely on donations. That’s why political consultants must create a public image that meets the organization’s goal and attracts new customers.
If these organizations have a product failure, the consultant steps in and avoids negative publicity to minimize the damage. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual wage of a non-profit consultant is $62,617.
These political consultants are responsible for creating a positive public image for their candidates. Their roles include public relations, fundraising, damage control, etc. They also have to work with private businesses, non-profit organizations, and different political candidates. A consultant is an excellent asset to candidates during elections or campaigns if they have the required skills.