What Political Scientists Do

Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.

Work Environment

Political scientists typically work full time in an office. They sometimes work additional hours to finish reports and meet deadlines.

How to Become a Political Scientist

Political scientists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in political science, public administration, or a related field.

Pay

The median annual wage for political scientists was $117,570 in May 2018.

Job Outlook

Employment of political scientists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Political scientists should face strong competition for jobs as the number of candidates is expected to exceed the number of available positions.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for political scientists.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of political scientists with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about political scientists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Sociologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm

Sample Careers for Political Scientists

  • Activist, Advocate/Organizer
  • Administration, Corporate, Government, Non-Profit, etc.
  • Archivist, Online Political Data
  • Budget Examiner or Analyst
  • Attorney
  • Banking Analyst or Executive
  • Campaign Operative
  • Career Counselor
  • CIA Analyst or Agent
  • City Planner
  • City Housing Administrator
  • Congressional Office/Committee Staffer
  • Coordinator of Federal or State Aid
  • Communications Director
  • Corporate Analyst
  • Corporate Public Affairs Advisor
  • Corporate Economist
  • Corporate Manager
  • Corporate Information Analyst
  • Corporate Adviser for Govt'l. Relations
  • Corporate Executive
  • Corporation Legislative Issues Manager
  • Customs Officer
  • Editor, Online Political Journal
  • Entrepreneur
  • Federal Government Analyst
  • Financial Consultant
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Foundation President
  • Free-lance writer
  • High School Government Teacher
  • Immigration Officer
  • Information Manager
  • Intelligence Officer
  • International Agency Officer
  • International Research Specialist
  • Issues Analyst, Corporate Social Policy Div.
  • Journalist
  • Juvenile Justice Specialist
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Legislative Analyst / Coordinator
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Analyst
  • Mediator
  • Plans and Review Officer, USIA
  • Policy Analyst
  • Political Commentator
  • Pollster
  • Public Affairs Research Analyst
  • Public Opinion Analyst
  • Publisher
  • Research Analyst
  • State Legislator
  • Survey Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Teacher
  • University Administrator
  • University Professor
  • Urban Policy Planner