Is becoming a legislator right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

Overview
What do legislators do?
Career Satisfaction
Are legislators happy with their careers?
Personality
What are legislators like?

Still unsure if becoming a legislator is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a legislator or another similar career!

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How to become a Legislator

Although most legislative positions have minimum age, residency, and citizenship requirements, there are no established educational requirements to become a legislator. For most positions, however, candidates need a bachelor’s degree or higher to be competitive in elections.

Successful candidates come from a variety of occupations, but many have experience in politics or management positions. Graduate degrees in law and business are also common, particularly in federal and state offices. A graduate degree in public administration can be helpful.

Work experience is important for legislators. Some legislators have experience as members of community boards or commissions. Others become well-known for their work with charities, political action groups, political campaigns, or with religious or social organizations. Many people enter politics on a local level and gain experience there before seeking higher office.

Legislators use interpersonal skills both to be elected to their position and to be effective at their job. It is important for them to build relationships with colleagues, public officials, organization leaders, and the people they represent. They often meet new people and must be able to communicate effectively with others.

Legislators need leadership skills to organize people effectively and enlist others—both colleagues and the people they represent—in support of policies. They often work with people with opposing viewpoints and must find ways to negotiate compromises to accomplish tasks. For example, they may have to be flexible on one issue to gain the support of their colleagues on another issue.