Examples of Salaries for Political Science Major: Beginning Level

Before deciding a political science major is right for you, you’ll certainly want to know what kind of salary you will be earning after graduation when you land your first job. Your salary will depend on the nature of your job, because a political science education opens the doors to many different types of employment with federal, state, or local governments as well as within the private sector. It will also depend upon whether you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D.

If you thrive on excitement or even a bit of danger, you might want to look into jobs with the Central Intelligence Agency. Some employees work in the United States, while others are sent abroad. An entry-level position typically comes with an annual salary of about $50,000. Another possibility is working for the Foreign Service. As is the case with CIA jobs, you might be assigned to work on home soil, or you might be sent to work in an embassy overseas, particularly if you concentrated on international politics in school. The annual entry-level salary for a job of this nature is about the same as with the CIA.

If you remain in school in order to earn a postgraduate degree after completing your bachelor’s, you will be eligible for work as a college professor. If your postgraduate degree is a master’s, you can teach at a community college. A Ph.D. can earn you a teaching position at a university. You can expect a beginning annual salary in the $50,000 – $55,000 range.

If you are very well organized, can think in terms of complex strategy, and know the right people, you might land a job managing a political campaign. While this kind of employment is highly competitive and often goes to individuals who have been working in the field for a long period of time, you can expect a salary of up to $70,000 annually.

With at least a master’s degree, you can interview for a position as a political analyst. Remaining in school for another year or two might seem burdensome, but the payoff for a job like this is well worth it. In exchange for gathering statistical data concerning policies and determining what the data mean, you can be compensated for a little under $80,000 annually in the private sector. The federal government will pay you around $115,000 annually.

One of the highest-paid positions for political science majors is running independent research studies. It’s possible to begin at about $100,000 annually and earn up to $150,000 with this kind of occupation.

Another highly paid job involves working as a lobbyist for a nonprofit organization, a private business, or a special interest group. A beginning annual salary is in the $80,000 – $100,000 range.

Trends in the Political Science Profession

Last Updated: 05/22/2014


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