How to Become a Politician's Assistant

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How to Become a Politician's Assistant

If you’re interested in a career in politics, but aren’t ready to start campaigning just yet, then working as a politician’s assistant might be worth your consideration.

 

As a politician’s assistant, you would provide administrative, secretarial, research, publicity and parliamentary support for a politician. You would gain many skills in all of these areas, and as a result, this field offers many, many career advancement possibilities.  

 

To get into this field, you’ll likely need an undergraduate degree in a field related to the social sciences, combined with the will to dedicate yourself to a politician and their cause. 

 

 

Education Needed to Become a Politician’s Assistant

Most employers will only give your resume a second look if you have an undergraduate degree, and in some cases (although relatively rare) a master’s degree.

 

While there may not be formal restrictions as to what field it should be in, having a degree in the social sciences, law, public policy or a related field I likely to increase your chances of finding employment.

 

 

 

Other Qualifications You’ll Need

Aside from an undergraduate degree, most politicians will expect you to have the following qualities in order to be considered for a job as their assistant:

 

• Dedication to the politician and his or her causes

• An interest and understanding of the relevant level of politics (i.e. district, local, regional or federal)

• Excellent time management

• A mature and professional demeanor

• The ability to research, synthesize and analyze complex policy issues in a short period of time

• Excellent written and oral communication skills

• The ability to work well with others and independently

• Fluency in a second language (depending on the politician)

 

 

What You’d Be Doing: General Job Description

As a politician’s assistant, it would be your responsibility to provide administrative, secretarial, research, publicity and parliamentary support for an elected (and in some cases non-elected) politician.

 

 

General Job Duties

Although the functions you would perform could vary from job to job, tasks you would be responsible for performing might include:

 

• Responding to inquiries from constituents, other politicians, the media and interest groups

• Making travel and accommodation arrangements

• Monitoring and arranging media coverage for the politician

• Assisting with campaign duties before and during elections

• Updating the politician’s website

• Helping draft reports and briefing materials

• Keeping up to date with current affairs and political issues

• Managing other staff and volunteers

• Researching information and making content suggestions for speeches

• Supporting politician in getting a particular issue on the political agenda

 

 

How You Can Prepare For This Career Right Now

There are things you can do today to start grooming yourself to become a politician’s assistant, including:

 

• Finding volunteer and internship opportunities with a politician or political party

• Checking the student organizations at your university to see if any are affiliated with a political party, and joining one that is

• Keeping track of events that influence your area of political interest (whether it’s your district, city, region or country)

• Reading a variety of newspapers to get different viewpoints on these events

• Watching political programs to see how politicians and their spokespeople convey messages

• Researching the politician(s) for whom you’d like to work

• Submitting your resume and cover letter to politicians for whom you wish to work

• Participating in your local political organizations and let people know you are interested in working as an assistant

 

Success Tip: By volunteering for a political party, you can learn more about policy is-sues, network with like-minded individuals in your region, and participate in politics at a grassroots level.

 

 

 

Who Employs a Politician’s Assistant?

As a politician’s assistant, you would be an employee of the politician that you are assisting. Elected officials, and in some cases a non-elected politicians, at every level of government (local, provincial/state and federal) can employ assistants.

 

 

Politician's Assistant Job Opportunities

Politician's Assistant Jobs - Canada

 

Politician's Assistant Jobs - United States

 

 

What Kind of Salary Can You Earn?

The salary level you could earn as a politician’s assistant can vary, typically depending on the following factors:

 

• Whether you are a volunteer, intern, part-time or full-time employee

• Your professional qualifications (education, experience, etc.)

• The budget and discretion of the politician that employs you

• The region in which you work

• The scope of your job duties

 

There is no salary information available from reliable sources for the specific occupation of ‘Politician’s Assistant’. We can however, get a good idea of what you could earn by looking at the salary level of workers in closely related fields.

 

Politician’s Assistant Salary - Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadians working in the Executive Assistants occupational group is $54,500 per year.

 

Politician’s Assistant Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants occupational group is $53,590 per year.

 

 

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Career Advancement Possibilities: Staying in the Field

Most politician’s assistants remain in this profession for many years, during which time they develop key communication, analytical, and managerial skills.

 

As far as career advancement goes, you could choose stay in this field and use those skills to be more competent in your job and advance your career internally, by:

 

• Taking on more responsibility with your current employer

• Moving from one level of government to another (for example, from municipal to federal)

• Becoming a specialist in a particular policy area

• Becoming involved with select committees

• Working for a lobbying company, political consultancy, pressure group, think tank, or trade union

 

 

Moving Outside of Politics

You could choose to apply your skills and competencies to a career outside of politics. For example, you could:

 

• Work for a non-governmental organization (NGO) or non-profit organization

• Work in media, perhaps in political journalism

• Pursue a research career with an educational or research institution

 

 

 


 

 

Careers Similar to ‘Politician’s Assistant’

Listed below are occupations in our database that have similar responsibilities, and/or require similar skills, or be in the same sector of industry, as Politician’s Assistant:

 

• City Councillor

‚Äč• Executive Assistant

• House of Commons Clerk

• Legal Assistant

• Legislative Aide

• Politician

 

 

References

Information for this career guide was compiled from the websites listed below. Some information has also been compiled from actual job postings from various organizations, which cannot be listed here due to the brief nature of their online availability.

 

• Prospects website - Politician's Assistant: www.prospects.ac.uk

• St. Francis Xavier University website - Political Jobs in Ottawa: sites.stfx.ca

• United States Bureau of Labor Statistics - Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants: www.bls.gov

 

 

Scholarships for Becoming a Politician's Assistant

The “Applicable Majors” section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a politician's assistant. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on the following pages:

 

Business Administration Scholarships

Communications Scholarships

Political Science Scholarships

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!

 

 

Becoming a Politician’s Assistant: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the college/university majors listed below can be helpful for becoming a politician’s assistant. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!

 


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