There are currently an estimated 55,500 legislators in the United States. The legislator job market is expected to grow by 7.0% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are legislators?

CareerExplorer rates legislators with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 8,100 legislators. That number is based on 3,900 additional legislators, and the retirement of 4,200 existing legislators.

Are legislators in demand?

In the United States, the number of local, state, and federal legislators seldom changes. It is for this reason that the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not project any increase in demand and in the number of jobs nationally through at least 2020. However, because the role of legislator is an elected position, opportunities regularly arise based on term limits, election cycles, and demographic shifts. Competition and turnover rates in the field vary among levels of government and jurisdictions. State and federal positions and those in larger communities and municipalities with higher pay scales are typically extremely competitive. In positions without term limits, unseating an incumbent can be difficult, especially considering the high cost of campaigning. Simply put, there will be more opportunities for potential legislators in lower paying jobs in small governments. Some smaller jurisdictions which elect part-time legislators present opportunities to candidates who wish to work in other jobs while still holding government positions. These roles generally come without staff to handle administrative tasks. Legislators can usually advance to other offices in the jurisdictions where they live. In the U.S., for example, council members may run for mayor or for a position in state government. State legislators may run for governor or for congress. A lifetime career as a legislator is rare.

What’s the supply of legislators?

The legislator industry is concentrated in New York, Illinois, Ohio

Legislator job market by state

State Name Employed Legislators
New York 6,310
Illinois 3,410
Ohio 3,040
New Jersey 3,030
California 2,970
Pennsylvania 2,110
Michigan 2,100
Georgia 1,920
Texas 1,810
Indiana 1,440
Florida 1,410
Iowa 1,330
Missouri 1,230
Minnesota 1,190
Alabama 1,100
Arkansas 1,010
Nebraska 990
Washington 970
Massachusetts 950
Wisconsin 930
Tennessee 850
South Carolina 840
Kansas 830
Oklahoma 710
Utah 690
Louisiana 660
Mississippi 660
Colorado 640
Maryland 610
Arizona 600
Virginia 570
Idaho 550
North Dakota 500
New Mexico 490
New Hampshire 430
Connecticut 380
Montana 310
Nevada 200
Oregon 150
Delaware 140
Hawaii 120
Rhode Island 110
Alaska 110
Wyoming 70