Policy Analyst Salary
Job Description for Policy Analyst
Policy analysts work by trying to change, adjust, or implement new public policies, regulations, and laws. They often work either directly in government or for non-government organizations which extensively lobby for policy adjustments. Even some for-profit companies use policy analysts to help steer regulation and political action in favorable ways.Read More...
While some policy analysts are specialists within defined areas (such as energy policy and how it affects the energy industry), other analysts focus on the general political functions which take place daily in government and advise legislators and government executives. The analyst will suggest possible areas where an adjustment to regulation or existing law may be helpful to his/her employer, and then devise various strategies to enact that change.
Policy analysts who work with government are expected to have a strong understanding of how political factions work and interact with one another, and their analysis is expected to incorporate compromise and multiple paths to achieve a policy goal. Analysts who work for non-government organizations in lobbying will seek out politicians who may be amenable to the organization's philosophy and ideals; the analyst and the organization will then work to persuade action on whatever changes in government policy the group or industry would like to see and offer similar advice on paths to achieve that goal.
To work as a policy analyst, one should have a strong background in formal political education (such as a political science or public policy degree) or a specific special interest area which crosses over into politics. Most policy analysts work with the government at junior levels to acquire experience and develop a strong network of contacts before being considered for this role. Policy analysts are likely to work long and fairly irregular hours, and office work, field work, and frequent travel may all be expected.
Policy Analyst Tasks
- Gather, analyze, integrate, and report on quantitative and qualitative data.
- Formulate policy reports that synthesize information, benefit constituents, and display evidence.
- Review, evaluate, and monitor policies and legislation to determine their benefits, flaws, and impacts.
- Liaise with stakeholders to understand and document needs, concerns, and viewpoints.
Policy Analyst Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Policy Analyst
Although salaries only range from $52K to just $84K, Acumen LLC still offers the highest pay with a median paycheck of $65K.
Popular Skills for Policy Analyst
Survey results suggest that Policy Analysts use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Legal Research, Statistical Analysis, Project Management, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 9 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Community Outreach / Activism, Lobbying, and Legislative Policy. Those educated in Policy Analysis tend to be well versed in Data Analysis and Legislative Policy.
Pay by Experience Level for Policy Analyst
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $51K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $62K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Policy Analysts make a median salary of $69K. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $79K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Policy Analysts, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 24 percent above the national average. Policy Analysts can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Arlington (+18 percent), Los Angeles (+13 percent), Seattle (+13 percent), and Boston (+12 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Policy Analysts is geography, with workers in Philadelphia earning a whopping 23 percent below the national average. Employers in Austin and Madison also lean toward paying below-median salaries (15 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).