Political Consultant: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

Author: ProfGuide
Political Consultant: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

Politics is a game that is constantly evolving, and as the landscape shifts, so do the strategies and tactics employed by political figures. One of the key players in this game is the political consultant, who provides guidance and advice to politicians, political parties, and government officials. In this article, we'll delve into the world of political consulting, explore its various specializations, responsibilities, and challenges, and discuss the steps you need to take to become a successful political consultant. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.


Introduction to Political Consultant as a Profession

Political consulting is a profession that involves providing professional advice and guidance to individuals and organizations involved in politics. This could range from advising a political candidate on their campaign strategy, to providing guidance to a government official on their policy decisions. Political consultants are often called upon to help shape public opinion, devise campaign strategies, and communicate with the media.


There are many different areas of political consulting, each with its own unique set of skills and knowledge. Some political consultants specialize in campaign strategy and management, while others focus on public relations, polling, or issue advocacy. Some may also specialize in niche areas like digital marketing or grassroots organizing. Whatever the specialization, political consultants must be able to navigate the complexities of the political landscape and provide sound advice to their clients.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The responsibilities of a political consultant can vary widely depending on their area of specialization. However, some common tasks and responsibilities include:

  1. Advising clients on political strategy, messaging, and tactics
  2. Conducting research on public opinion, voter behavior, and political trends
  3. Developing and managing political campaigns
  4. Crafting press releases and other communications materials
  5. Coordinating media outreach and managing relationships with journalists
  6. Providing crisis management support
  7. Analyzing and interpreting polling data
  8. Providing guidance on policy decisions

Pros and Cons

As with any profession, there are both advantages and disadvantages to working as a political consultant. Here are some of the key pros and cons:


  1. The opportunity to shape public opinion and influence political outcomes
  2. A chance to work with high-profile clients and political figures
  3. The potential for high earnings
  4. The opportunity to work on a wide range of projects and campaigns
  5. The satisfaction of working on issues that you are passionate about


  1. Long hours and high stress
  2. The need to work within tight deadlines and with limited resources
  3. The potential for negative public perception and scrutiny
  4. The possibility of working on campaigns or issues that conflict with your personal beliefs or values
  5. The risk of burnout due to the demanding nature of the job


Political consulting is a highly competitive field, and demand can vary depending on the political climate and the level of activity in the political arena. However, in countries like the USA, Canada, GB, and Australia, political consulting remains a sought-after profession, with opportunities for both experienced professionals and newcomers to the field.

Salary Ranges

The salary range for political consultants can vary widely depending on factors like location, experience, and area of specialization. However, here are some general salary ranges for political consultants in the USA, Canada, GB, and Australia:

USA: Entry-level political consultants: $50,000-$75,000 Mid-level political consultants: $75,000-$125,000 Senior political consultants: $125,000-$250,000+

Canada: Entry-level political consultants: CAD 50,000-75,000 Mid-level political consultants: CAD 75,000-125,000 Senior political consultants: CAD 125,000-250,000+

GB: Entry-level political consultants: £25,000-£35,000 Mid-level political consultants: £35,000-£60,000 Senior political consultants: £60,000-£120,000+

Australia: Entry-level political consultants: AUD 50,000-$75,000 Mid-level political consultants: AUD 75,000-$125,000 Senior political consultants: AUD 125,000-$250,000+

Where Do Political Consultants Work?

Political consultants can work in a variety of settings, including political campaigns, government offices, and advocacy organizations. They may also work for consulting firms or as independent consultants. The role of a political consultant is to provide guidance and advice to their clients, regardless of the setting.

Political consultants are needed because the political world is complex and constantly evolving. Political campaigns, in particular, can be highly competitive and require a great deal of strategic planning and execution. The role of a political consultant is to help their clients navigate this landscape and develop effective strategies for achieving their goals.

Important Qualities of a Successful Political Consultant

Political consulting requires a unique set of skills and qualities. Some of the most important qualities of a successful political consultant include:

  1. Strong communication skills
  2. The ability to analyze and interpret data
  3. A deep understanding of political strategy and tactics
  4. The ability to work under pressure and within tight deadlines
  5. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with clients and stakeholders
  6. A passion for politics and a deep understanding of the issues at play
  7. Strong problem-solving skills

Not everyone is suited for a career in political consulting. Successful political consultants are typically highly driven, detail-oriented, and able to work well under pressure. They must be able to think on their feet and adapt to changing circumstances. They should also be comfortable working in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment.

Step-by-Step Career Path

Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a political consultant:

  1. Earn a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field like political science, communications, or public relations.
  2. Gain experience working on political campaigns, either as a volunteer or paid staff member.
  3. Consider pursuing a Master's degree in a related field to gain additional expertise and knowledge.
  4. Build a network of contacts in the political world, including political figures, journalists, and advocacy groups.
  5. Consider joining a political consulting firm or starting your own consulting business.
  6. Stay up-to-date on political trends and developments, and continue to develop your skills and expertise.

How to Become a Political Consultant

In the USA, there is no specific degree or certification required to become a political consultant. However, most successful political consultants have at least a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field like political science, communications, or public relations. Many also have advanced degrees like a Master's or PhD.

Higher education can provide a strong foundation for a career in political consulting, but it is not strictly necessary. What is more important is gaining practical experience working on political campaigns and building a network of contacts in the political world. Political consulting is a highly competitive field, so it is important to be proactive and take advantage of opportunities to build your skills and expertise.

Where to Become a Political Consultant

There are many institutions and organizations that offer programs and resources for aspiring political consultants. Here are five examples from each of the countries mentioned earlier:


  1. The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management
  2. The American Association of Political Consultants
  3. The Campaign Management Institute
  4. The National Democratic Institute
  5. The Republican National Committee


  1. The Canadian Association of Political Consultants
  2. The School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto
  3. The Ottawa Political Action Committee
  4. The Conservative Party of Canada
  5. The Liberal Party of Canada


  1. The University of Oxford, Department of Politics and International Relations
  2. The London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Government
  3. The Political Studies Association
  4. The Campaign Company
  5. The Labour Party


  1. The Australian Institute of Political Consultants
  2. The University of Melbourne, School of Social and Political Sciences
  3. The Liberal Party of Australia
  4. The Australian Labor Party
  5. The Greens Australia

Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?

While it is certainly possible to enter the profession with a degree in a different field, having a background in political science, communications, or public relations can be an advantage. These fields provide a strong foundation in the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in political consulting.

However, practical experience and a strong network of contacts in the political world are perhaps even more important than a specific degree. Many successful political consultants have backgrounds in fields like law, business, or journalism, and have gained experience working on political campaigns or in government before transitioning to political consulting.


Political consulting is a challenging and rewarding profession that requires a unique set of skills and knowledge. Whether you're interested in campaign strategy, public relations, or issue advocacy, there is a niche for you in the world of political consulting. By gaining practical experience, building a network of contacts, and staying up-to-date on political trends and developments, you can carve out a successful career in this exciting and ever-evolving field.

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