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How Much Do You Earn in Political Science?

Job Market Outlook November 26, 2012

The average salary a political science graduate earns may differ according to the location of their job and the degree level. Additionally, the wage can vary according to the types of degrees.  For instance, students who holds a bachelor of science degree earns less than those that holds either a master or doctoral degree.

Overview of Wage Levels for Political Scientists

Political scientists earn an annual median salary of $104,090 (source: BLS) and job opportunty in the field projected to grow at an above-average rate during the decade from 2008 to 2018. Students aspiring to become political scientists have to complete coursework that includes rhetorically-based subjects and humanities, apart from quantitative subjects such as demographics and statistics. This versatile knowledge gives them job opportunities in various industries including many not considered for classification as political science.

A bachelor degree in political science can get students a career in nonprofits, education (high or middle school level), government service, media and law, in positions such as a policy analyst, writer, research assistant or market analyst. A master in political science attracts administration or research work in the area of specialization or even a teacher’s role in secondary school or community college. Usually, those who teach political science at universities hold Ph.D. degrees.

Wage-levels for Those Who Holds a Bachelor Degree

In 2010, a Bachelor of Science degree holder in political science earned a median annual salary ranging between $32,905 and $70,000; by contrast, the holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree took home a median wage ranging between $32,981 and $78,484 (source: PayScale.com)

Median Wages and Positions Available for Political Science Graduates

In 2010, the median wages and leading positions available to individuals who had a B.A. in political science were attorneys who earned  $78,484 and Intelligence analysts who took home $60,218; followed by Operations managers ($54,365), Executive assistants ($43,908), Paralegal ($43,509), Legal assistant ($38,999) and Administrative assistants ($32,981) (source: PayScale.com).

In 2010, the median wages and leading positions available to individuals who had a Bachelor of Science in Political Science were Operations managers who earned  $70,000 and Intelligence analysts who took home $65,000. Followed by Paralegals ($43,509), High school teachers ($40,000) and Retail store assistant managers ($32,905) (source: PayScale.com).

In 2010, the median wages and leading positions available to individuals who had a Master of Arts in Political Science were Executive director for a non-profit organization earned $75,000, Assistant professor in postsecondary educations and Executive assistants earned $58,958, Legislative analysts ($58,162), Intelligence analyst ($47,917), High school teachers ($43,448) and Program managers for a non-profit organization ($43,000) (source: PayScale.com).

Wage levels of Graduates Holding a Ph.D. in Political Science

In 2010, the salary of an individual who had a political science doctoral degree ranged between $23,930 and $91,136, the average annual wage drawn by such individual was $53,313.

Industries Hiring Political Science Graduates

In 2009, Social advocacy organizations (paying an average wage of $77,410), Local governmental bodies ($83,790), Colleges and universities ($54,190), Scientific research and development services ($77,160) and Federal executive branch ($114,040) were among the main hired of political science graduates.

Places with the most Political Sciences Employees

In 2009, the following states and cities had the most political scientists, with the average wages paid shown in brackets (source: BLS): Virginia ($130,850), District of Columbia ($111,730), California ($69,280), Washington ($64,990), and Colorado ($62,470).

In 2009, the following metropolitan areas had the most political scientists, with the average wages paid shown in brackets (source: BLS): New York, NY ($116,100), Washington, DC ($115,030), Los Angeles, CA ($70,930), and Seattle, WA ($63,980).

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