Politician Job Description – Politicians’ assistants commonly known as parliamentary assistants are the blood-life of the UK’s political landscape.
These professionals provide crucial administrative support to the MPs who make those major political decisions that affect all of society.
Usually, politicians are known to employ a team of assistants, usually who are charged with the administrative responsibilities relating to legislation, media relations, research, and lobbying.
If you gain entrance to this line of work, you’ll be charged with the responsibility of providing personal, administrative, secretarial, research, and political support services to the MP who employed you. You would also sometimes act simultaneously as a liaison, coordinator, and de facto media representative.
Daily, you’ll be getting into general administrative and secretarial work, like responding to emails answering phones, and filing. Also, you may have to supervise paid and volunteer support staff, arrange meetings, update databases, conduct research, and lastly help the MP to write the speeches and brief the politician on urgent matters and other issues of interest.
Salary & benefits
The average annual salary for entry-level politicians’ assistants ranges between £12,500 and £24,000, while those assistants with over five years of experience earn salaries of up to £35,000 or beyond.
Normally politicians’ assistants have a fairly regular schedule of about 40 hours weekly, but in the run-up to elections long and irregular working hours are the norm, also following national emergencies and during times of high-profile political change, long and irregular hours are frequent.
Most of the politicians’ assistants possess an undergraduate degree while some even possess postgraduate degrees, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to land employment without one.
This career path accepts graduates from any discipline, but candidates with degrees in political science, law, economics, public administration, maths, history, and international studies are preferred.
Also, obtaining industry-specific work experience via volunteering activities and internships is usually another essential requirement.
Training & progression
Training for this position is mainly provided ‘on-the-job’ and it is by shadowing experienced assistants and politicians, and taking up more and more hands-on duties as the job progresses and your experience level builds.
For the development of specialist expertise, you would be required to take relevant administrative and I.T. courses that are provided by external agencies and organizations.
Career progression in this profession is solely up to the individual. Lots of political assistants choose this career path because they desire a future in politics themselves, while others turn to employments with NGOs (non-governmental organizations), lobbying firms, trade unions or think tanks.
Another famous possible career path is to break into European politics, where you would get the chance to work alongside influential politicians within the European Parliament and other related organizations.