What is the Best Degree To Become a Lobbyist?

LobbyistIt is without a doubt that if you become a lobbyist, you will have a high-paying and lucractive career in public policy. Lobbyists, also known as legislative affairs consultants, work hand in hand with advocacy groups, corporations, organizations and industry associations to help pass or block legislation that works in their favor. Here is a comprehensive overview of how you can become a lobbyist.

Education Needed to Become a Lobbyist

There is no clear and direct educational route to become a lobbyist. There are a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that will help you become a lobbyist. Whether you would like to work as a lobbyist for the federal government or a lobbyist for a local city government, probably the best route to take is to get a background law and political science. It is recommended to start off with pursuing a master’s degree in sociology, political science, history or any other social-studies related program. After graduating from an accredited undergraduate program, it is then recommended that those interested in becoming lobbyists should look into obtainign a master’s degree either in law, public policy, public administration or political science. This will equip you with a better understanding of law and public policy and how legislation is created in the United States.

Gain Entry-Level Experience in the Lobbying Industry

To become a lobbyist, many lobbying professionals start off working for elected officials such local city councilmen, state legislators and congressional representatives. This can be done through both a volunteer and internship capacity. This will give you the experience on how policies are made from within the chambers of a legislative body. After doing this, many individuals then seek entry-level and associate-level consulting roles with firms and industry associations that have a legislative or lobbying arm. After working in this capacity for a number of years, many individuals then go off to work as mid-level and senior-level government affairs consultants either with private consulting firms, large corporations or other organizations looking to impact public policy and legislation.

Salaries for Lobbyists

According to The Washington Post, lobbyists can make an astounding amount of money after a number of years of built up experience. It is without a doubt that “K Street” lobbyists in Washington D.C. can make a whopping $200,000 or more a year! However, the average government relations consultant will on average make anywhere between $80,000 to $100,000 a year depending education, level of experience and connections to high-powered politicians and other elected officials. While education does play a big role in salary, so does geographic location. Most well-paid lobbyists are going to be those that reside in large metropolitan areas like Chicago and New York City. However, the majority of those looking for the best careers in the lobbying industry are more than likely going to have to reside in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Most federal government agencies, the US Congress and the Senate are located in this region and lobbyists have to have immediate access to these bureaucrats and politicians.

Related Resource: Best Degree To Become a Journalist

Although it might seem difficult into this industry, it can be done. With the right education and networking, you become a lobbyist!