Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze the structure and operation of governments, policies, political trends, and related issues.
Most political scientists—about 53 percent—work for the federal government. Others work for think tanks, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, political lobbying groups, and labor organizations.
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. They should have strong writing skills and research experience.
The median annual wage of political scientists was $107,420 in May 2010.
Employment of political scientists is expected to grow 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment will increase in response to a growing interest in public policy and political issues. However, because the number of students graduating with degrees in political science is growing, candidates should face strong competition for most positions.