Lobbyist Job Description and Salary

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Lobbyist Job Description and Salary

Lobbying involves persuading legislators and other top shots in government to get legislation passed. The following CareerStint article explains the job description and salary of a lobbyist.

Fast Fact
Under IRS regulations, “lobbying” can be defined as a strategy to use communication in order to bring a pending or proposed legislation into effect. In accordance with the IRS, the activities of an organization under lobbying can fall into two rules. The first rule considers the insubstantial activities of the organization, while the second rule looks into the expenditure limit of the activities.

A career as lobbyist is not easy-going, certainly not for those who are overtly conscious about the social implications of one’s profession. To be a successful lobbyist, an individual needs to master the art of persuasion and possess the ability to convince, at times, mildly connive. It is a career that requires extensive networking and building of contacts. It also requires an individual to develop an excellent rapport with important individuals, like those at public relation firms. In this CareerStint article, you will read about a lobbyist’s salary details as well as his job description.

Skill Requirements
  • A candidate aspiring to become a lobbyist must, as mentioned above, possess persuasive capabilities.
  • He should be skilled at extensive research and to an extent, proficient in the use of IT.
  • He should possess excellent analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • He should be ready to work for long hours with deadlines under enormous amount of stress.
  • He needs to be proactive and have infectious enthusiasm.
  • He should have a good sense of judgment and should be highly diplomatic.
  • He should know the art of cultivating strong relationships and maintaining them, at the same time, he should be aware of when to remain discreet.
  • There are no particular licensing requirements; however, all lobbyists are required to register with the state and federal governments.
  • To register, the candidate needs to fill out the registration form and submit it to the authorized association within a stipulated period.

Qualifications
  • Academically, one need not possess a high educational qualification to work as a lobbyist.
  • That said, many people aspiring for a career in this field have a background in law, politics, or public relations, though no college degree is mandatory for the same.
  • If you do want a degree or certification, choose subjects and specializations related to government, politics, law, public administration, business, public relations, management, languages, sociology, etc.
  • What is important is that one has to start at the bottom and gain experience.
  • Many entrants begin their career by writing articles for newspapers/magazines, some start assisting politicians and government officers.
  • Many begin their career in public relations, some join independent consultancies or communication companies.
  • After gaining sufficient experience, you can start working for top companies and the government. Remember that you need to work your way to the top using your communication and persuasive skills.

Job Profile

A good lobbyist should:

  • Possess in-depth knowledge about the interest of his client/s.
  • Offer advice and plan strategies.
  • Prepare press releases, pamphlets, and other reports.
  • Organize regular meetings.
  • Schedule committee hearings.
  • Represent the organization at local and national meetings.
  • Establish contacts with the right people.
  • Confer with the heads and other members of the legislature and expound his/her client’s interests.
  • Persuade members to be supportive of his client’s ideas.
  • Inform the client about the latest developments in their field.
  • Influence members regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the bills to be passed.
  • Communicate with relevant politicians and civil servants.
  • Represent the client at press conferences.
  • Conduct media conferences to explicitly state the client’s views and ideas.
  • Co-ordinate meetings between the legislature members and other officials.
  • Testify at proceedings to garner public support.
  • Persuade the top officials to pass necessary legislation.
  • Respond to client inquiries.
  • Discuss new proposals for the legislature and help take the required legal actions.
  • Research and analyze the legislation.

Prospects
  • This industry offers a lot of job opportunities, especially in some of the largest American cities, like Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York, etc.
  • Though mostly preferred by the political system and the government, people working in this field also have a career in related fields like advertising, mass media, and public relations.
  • In addition, the fields of health care, oil, environment, and education also actively seek lobbying services.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to see a rise of about 18% by 2016.

Salary
State-wise Average Salary

Source: Indeed.com as of August 30, 2014. Figures are in US Dollars.

Alabama $72,000
Alaska $53,000
Arizona $59,000
Arkansas $73,000
California $77,000
Colorado $63,000
Connecticut $82,000
Delaware $63,000
Florida $67,000
Georgia $82,000
Hawaii $71,000
Idaho $47,000
Illinois $81,000
Indiana $69,000
Iowa $70,000
Kansas $65,000
Kentucky $62,000
Louisiana $64,000
Maine $63,000
Maryland $74,000
Massachusetts $86,000
Michigan $72,000
Minnesota $63,000
Mississippi $75,000
Missouri $70,000
Montana $60,000
Nebraska $52,000
Nevada $55,000
New Hampshire $71,000
New Jersey $77,000
New Mexico $62,000
New York $87,000
North Carolina $68,000
North Dakota $63,000
Ohio $69,000
Oklahoma $66,000
Oregon $69,000
Pennsylvania $69,000
Rhode Island $65,000
South Carolina $71,000
South Dakota $54,000
Tennessee $66,000
Texas $69,000
Utah $56,000
Vermont $63,000
Virginia $72,000
Washington $74,000
West Virginia $68,000
Wisconsin $64,000
Wyoming $59,000

A career in lobbying calls for tremendous people skills and diplomacy. In the field of politics, especially, lobbyists play a very important role. Besides, there are environmental, health care, and oil industry lobbyists as well, who work to pass legislation in favor of that particular sector. Remember that you need to be adept at persuasion to rise up the ranks in this career. Once you gain sufficient experience, you might even be able to start your own independent consultancy or public relations firm. All the best!

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