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Political Scientists

Political Scientists
Quick Facts : Political Scientists*
2010 Median Pay$107,420
Entry Level EducationMaster's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20125,600
Job Outlook8% (Slower than average)
Employment Change400

Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems and advise governments, businesses, or organizations on political issues.. They research political ideas and analyze the structure and operation of governments, policies, political trends, and related issues.

What Political Scientists Do

  • Research political subjects, such as the U.S. political system, relations between the United States and foreign countries, and political ideologies
  • Collect and analyze data from sources such as public opinion surveys and election results
  • Evaluate the effects of policies and laws on government, businesses, and people
  • Monitor current events, recent policy decisions, and other issues relevant to their work
  • Present research results by writing reports, giving presentations, and publishing in academic journals

Work Environment

Most political scientistsā€”about 53 percentā€”work for the federal government. Others work for think tanks, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, political lobbying groups, and labor organizations.
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Job Outlook

Employment of political scientists is expected to grow 8 percent from 2010 to 2010 in response to a growing interest in public policy and political issues.
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The average salary of political scientists was $107,420 in May 2010.
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Political Scientists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Political Scientists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


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Political Scientists*
Percent Change in Employment

Political Scientists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Political Scientists

Political scientists can complete either a master's or Ph.D. program. To be admitted to a graduate program, applicants should complete undergraduate courses in political science, writing, and statistics
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