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Lobbying Careers

Career Description

Lobbyists present the interests of businesses or groups of people to legislators.  Organizations of all types—from large corporations to small civic groups—depend on lobbyists to promote their agenda. Speaking to legislators and their staffs,  lobbyists explain to their clients what the effects of a particular bill or law would be.

Common Work Tasks

  • Communicating the results of research to influence legislators’ support of or opposition to pending legislation
  • Stay current on issues coming before the legislature
  • Pay attention to news and current events by watching television and other media, including newspapers, blogs, and trade journals
  • Meet with members of congress to gather facts
  • Find out which bills are appearing before committees and attend meetings and hearings
  • Research how proposed legislation would affect the organization they represent
  • Analyze how vari­ous policy ideas and proposals could affect the problem and suggest solutions
  • Contact legislators and their staff to present research for or against a bill.

Other Job Titles

Lobbyists are also known by other titles, including:

  • Government Affairs Coordinator
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Congressional Liaison Specialist
  • Issue Analyst
  • Researcher

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
Most occupations in Lobbying require at least a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position. In undergraduate programs, many students interested in this career study political science, government, or communications. For some lobbyists, however, an advanced degree is necessary. Lobbyists commonly have a law degree, but that is not the only path of entry into this profession.

Experience
     
For entry-level work in lobbying, many employers seek applicants who have some experience with politics. One of the best ways to get this experience is through volunteer work or internships, such as the Congressional Page Program.

Salary

The median annual salary for a Lobbyist is $45,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $100,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $30,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of lobbyists are:

  • Lobbying Firm - $47,983
  • State Government - $43,500
  • Non-Profit Organization - $49,717
  • Private Practice/Firm - $38,997
  • Public Affairs/Grassroots Organizations - $45,000

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  N/A
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: N/A
  • Employment 2006 : N/A
  • Employment 2016:   N/A

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