Salary for Political Science Careers

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Political science is the study of political systems and people.
Political science is the study of political systems and people. (Image: us government sign image by Tom Oliveira from Fotolia.com)

People working in the political sciences study the political system, how it affects people and how people affect it. These workers are found in a wide range of professions, ranging from teaching to consulting and research. Political scientists' salaries vary broadly depending on a wide range of factors.

Average Salaries - Political Scientists

Political scientists are responsible for studying and applying political science techniques. The estimated 3,970 political scientists in the U.S. earned an average of about $48.58 per hour, or about $101,050 per year in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of these workers earned an estimated $72.77 per hour, or about $151,360 per year, while the lowest 10 percent earned about $22.37 per hour, or about $46,520 per year.

Average Salaries - Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Political science teachers work at the college or junior-college level, leading students in classes about politics, international relations and government. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the estimated 15,180 political science teachers earn about $76,990 per year. (The BLS doesn't report hourly wages for teachers.) The top 10 percent of earners made about $128,790 per year, while the lowest 10 percent earned about $37,230 per year.

Highest Paying Sectors - Political Scientists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that political scientists employed in the federal executive branch sector of the government had the highest average salaries in 2009, earning about $54.83 per hour, or about $114,040 per year. The second-highest paying sector, the scientific research and development services sector, paid political scientists about $37.10 per hour, or about $77,160 per year.

Highest Paying Sectors - Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary

About 12,450 political science teachers were employed in colleges, universities and professional schools, the highest paying industry sector in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These political science professors earned an average of $78,940. Those employed in junior colleges, the second-most highest paying sector, earned an average of about $67,990 per year.

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