As a political science major, I get it.  Not everyone understands what exactly political science means, or what career opportunities arise from studying it. Many people view it as a “broad” field of study that leads to minimal career paths. However, these assumptions are far from correct. Below is a list of five career paths that political science majors are qualified to enter, what they entail, and what the average salary is.

 1) Attorney 

In addition to four years of undergraduate schooling, attorneys must complete three years of law school and pass their state’s bar examination. Many political science majors tie the political process into their law careers by practicing civil rights and criminal law. The average starting salary for attorneys is about $78,242.

2) Capitol Hill staffer 

While staffers on “the Hill” can have only a Bachelor’s degree, there are some that hold higher degrees. Capitol Hill staffers are arguably one of the most knowledgeable groups when it comes to the “behind the scenes” political world. While the common salary range is $30,000 to $50,000 per year, some U.S. Representative choose to pay their staffers more. For example, Representative Rob Bishop told Time that he pays his staffers an average salary of $81,000.

3) Lobbyist 

Similar to Capitol Hill staffers, many lobbyists have Bachelor’s degrees, while some hold higher degrees. Lobbyists can fight for a wide array of political issues for a living, such as abortion, immigration, the Second Amendment, and taxes. The average salary of a lobbyist is about $105,385.

4) Foreign service officer 

If hired by U.S. Department of State, foreign service officers are required to “promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.” Foreign service officers are oftentimes called “diplomats,” and hold degrees at the baccalaureate level or higher. Their average salary is about $91,440.

5) College professor 

Many political science majors decide to pass on their political knowledge in the most direct way possible: teaching it to college students. With a background in politics, professors can teach subjects such as American history, American government, and economics. Professors can hold master’s degrees, but many universities prefer professors who have a PhD. While the location and subject taught by professors are pay factors, the average salary of a professor is about $95,224.

Alexandra A
FFL Contributor