Political Scientist

Also called: Citizen Participation Specialist, Government Affairs Researcher, Government Affairs Specialist, Legislative Analyst, Policy Advisor

$124,100

estimated salary

Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results or analyze public documents.

  • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
  • Teach political science.
  • Develop and test theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, or statistical sources.
  • Identify issues for research and analysis.
  • Interpret and analyze policies, public issues, legislation, or the operations of governments, businesses, and organizations.
  • Maintain current knowledge of government policy decisions.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data, such as election results and public opinion surveys, reporting on findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Provide media commentary or criticism related to public policy and political issues and events.
  • Evaluate programs and policies, and make related recommendations to institutions and organizations.
  • Forecast political, economic, and social trends.
  • Consult with and advise government officials, civic bodies, research agencies, the media, political parties, and others concerned with political issues.
  • Write drafts of legislative proposals, and prepare speeches, correspondence, and policy papers for governmental use.
Work Context
  • Electronic Mail — 97% responded "Every day".
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 90% responded "A lot of freedom".
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 87% responded "A lot of freedom".
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 50% responded "Every day".
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 70% responded "Every day".
  • Spend Time Sitting — 54% responded "More than half the time".
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded "Extremely important".
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Work Activities
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Instruct college students in social sciences or humanities disciplines.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
  • Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.
  • Interpret research or operational data.
  • Conduct research on social issues.
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Knowledge

Law and Government
  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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Skills

Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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Abilities

Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Document management software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot Technology
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office Hot Technology
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Education

Doctoral Degree or
Master's Degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$125,350
$62,840
$170,800