Are you passionate about politics and influencing change? Do you have a clear understanding of the issues? A career as a policy advisor may be ideal for you.
A policy advisor provides invaluable counsel and advice on matters of public policy to help shape the future. It’s a great career trajectory for those looking to make an impact on today’s issues, as well as help solve tomorrow’s challenges.
In this article, we discuss the critical skills and traits that are essential for a policy advisor, their job responsibilities, and the opportunities available to them. You will also know how much you can make if you pursue a career in this field.
Let’s get started.
Who is a Policy Advisor?
A policy advisor is responsible for reviewing, developing, and communicating policies and procedures. They must have a good understanding of the organization’s operations and be well-versed in the principles of public administration.
This professional is often seen as an authority in their field, using their knowledge to analyze current policies and develop new ones that are timely, relevant, and effective for the organization. They may also guide on implementing these new policies while regularly updating them.
What are the Steps to Becoming a Policy Advisor?
Like most professions, there are a few key steps you must take to pursue a career as a policy advisor.
Step 1: Education Requirements
The minimum educational requirement for policy adviser positions is usually a bachelor’s degree, but concentration requirements vary by industry. For example, a position as a government policy adviser might require a degree in political science or public administration.
You may need a master’s or other advanced degree for more advanced positions. For instance, policy advisor Amir Handjani has a law degree, which makes him qualified for many senior policy roles.
Step 2: Skills Needed
Some core skills you must have to succeed as a policy advisor include:
Strong writing and communication skills
Research and analysis
Step 3: Obtaining Experience
Some employers require candidates to have prior policy advice experience or related experience. You can gain experience working for small businesses, volunteering with nonprofit organizations, and participating in election campaigns.
Step 4: Networking and Job Searching
Networking is helpful to job seekers since they may learn about new or upcoming positions from other professionals. Plus, some people prefer to hire someone they know.
Attend policy conferences, join professional organizations, and meet with policy advisors in your field to learn more about the job and how to improve your skills.
What Industries Can Policy Advisors Work in?
Depending on your field or industry, work environments will vary. An adviser can work in an office, school, medical center, government agency, or private business. An average workday may involve researching and writing reports at a desk.
It is common for policy advisers to travel for conference attendance or other field-related events.
While most policy advisers work regular business hours, some urgent situations might require overtime, including large time-sensitive projects.
How Much Do Policy Advisors Make?
Salary.com says policy advisor salaries average $66,850 but typically range from $58,591 to $75,170. Many factors affect salary ranges, including education, certifications, additional skills, and how long you’ve been in your industry. So if you’re looking for a high-paying job, be prepared to put in a lot of effort.
How to Get a Job as a Policy Advisor
Decide what issues most interest you. Consider what issues are pertinent when considering what kind of policy advisor job you want. Also, deciding what industry you want to work in can help narrow your job search.
Keep yourself up-to-date with current regulations and policy standards. You increase your value to potential employers by researching terminology, topics of interest, and proposed laws in your desired industry. As a result, you demonstrate an awareness of or familiarity with policy consulting.
Tailor your resume to each job. To ensure your application passes through applicant tracking software, tailor your resume to each job posting. To accomplish this, use specific keywords from each job posting, and emphasize certain skills or work experience needed for the position.
Becoming a policy advisor is a challenging but rewarding career path. With the right combination of education, experience, and skill sets, you can become an expert in the field of policymaking.
To start your journey, research potential job openings and take on internships to gain hands-on experience. Also, be sure to cultivate valuable connections throughout your career development process.
By continuously building upon your knowledge base and professional network, you can become an invaluable resource within the policymaking sector.