The median lobbyist salary in the United States is about $81,001 and it varies according to location, experience and field of work. As a result of this fact sources like Indeed.com, Salary.com and Payscale report different values for the lobbyist salary. Regardless of the chosen source, the influencing factors, working hours and job outlook remain constant when it comes to this profession.
You will soon discover, though, that the political lobbyist salary depends on far more factors. So, our guide will provide the answers to questions like:
- What is a lobbyist salary a professional in this field can expect in a particular state?
- How much do political lobbyists make when just starting out?
- What does a lobbyist get paid in their late career?
Therefore, we welcome you to learn all about the lobbyists salary influencers below.
Lobbyist Salary Influencers
When it comes to analyzing a lobbyist income, we can’t really speak about industry. This is due to all lobbyists working in the same area – politics. However, we can discuss similar positions in the same industry and their annual wages. This way, you can compare and contrast occupations in your field of interest and see another career you might like to follow.
Here is the lobbyist Pay Scale data for similar jobs:
- Legislative aide – $34,000 – $46,000
- Legislative analyst – $41,000 – $67,000
- Policy analyst – $45,000 – $67,000
- Public policy director – $61,000 – $100,000
- Government affairs director – $75,000 – $135,000
2. Geographic Area
Especially relevant for the salary of lobbyist professionals is location. According to Payscale, the highest annual pay is the average lobbyist salary DC workers get – $90,000, according to Payscale. The aforementioned source also helps us point out 5 other top-paying states for lobbyist jobs:
- New York lobbyist salary – $87,000
- Lobbying salary in Massachusetts – $86,000
- Connecticut lobbyist job description wage – $82,000
- Lobbyist salary in Georgia – $82,000
- Illinois average lobbyist salary – $81,000
There isn’t clear data regarding the states that employ the most lobbyists specifically. Nevertheless, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics points out the top 5 states with the highest employment rates for political scientists in general:
- District of Columbia
Hence, Washington DC would be widely considered as the optimum location for aspiring lobbyists. Not only do they have the highest salaries in the country, but they also have the most job opportunities.
On the other hand, there are also states with very low lobbyist salary estimates. To demonstrate this, Payscale informs us that the lowest-paying locations for lobbyists are:
- South Dakota – $54,000
- Alaska – $53,000
- Nebraska – $52,000
- Idaho – $47,000
- Hawaii – $44,000
The lobbyist salary is directly proportional to the amount of experience the professional possesses, as much as most other occupations. While the junior lobbyist salary is around $53,000, lobbyists with over 20 years of experience make $105,000. Those in their mid-career make $78,000 a year, while those with 10-20 years of experience earn $102,000 annually.
Working Hours and Environment
Generally, lobbyists work long hours, between 40-80 hours per week. Even more so, they frequently work overtime, nights and weekends, depending on the legislation they’re discussing. Additionally, lobbyists schedule and attend meetings with government officials, which may or may not involve traveling.
Lobbyist Salary by State
|State||Annual mean wage ($)|
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Moreover, lobbyists can earn annual bonuses that total up to $19,727. In addition to this, they can make $4,913 a year as a result of profit sharing, and even $5,000 in commission. A great deal of lobbyists have medical benefits – 88%, to be exact. 75% of lobbyists have dental insurance, while 53% enjoy vision coverage.
Like in the case of employment rates, lobbyists in particular don’t have a very clear job outlook. The BLS groups lobbyists with other political scientists when stating their change in employment between 2014 and 2024. In this timeframe, lobbyist jobs are projected to experience a -2% decline, due to heavy competition and limited positions. This is far less than the national job outlook for all occupations in the United States, of 7%.
In summary, the lobbyist salary could be a particularly attractive aspect for future candidates. Therefore, if a proper location is chosen and the candidate has experience in this position, they could well have a six figure income. Furthermore, the majority of lobbyists have medical benefits. Even though the job outlook is bleak for lobbyists, a professional with numerous connections and a strong political background has higher chances of having a fruitful career.
Image source: no attribution required.