Political directors, also known as campaign managers, work long and irregular hours to reach their goal -- passing a new law or getting a particular candidate elected into office. As leaders of a campaign, political directors must constantly come up with ways to recruit supporters. They conduct general activities that promote voting, including offering pins or stickers to voters, but they also strategize to target certain groups, such as teenagers who have yet to identify with a specific party or candidate.
Experience and Abilities
Political directors may have a degree in political science or a related field, but their experience is more important than their educational background. Employers look for candidates with a work history involving direct election campaigning, supervising or managing, and coordinating press conferences, media interviews and board meetings. Some employers require candidates to have a driver's license and a vehicle. Directors must excel in verbal and written communication; strategic planning, critical thinking, and working with computers.
Planning and Recruiting
Political directors analyze prior elections and campaigns to identify failures and successes, which may lead them to modify their plans accordingly. They are typically in charge of recruiting volunteers and voters through activities such as voter registration drives and phone banking. Directors often specialize in targeting groups that can provide crucial support. For example, they may recruit low-wage workers if their legislative efforts are geared toward improving working conditions or compensation rates.
Networking and Supervising
Political directors help with grant writing, evaluate policy initiatives as issues or bills progress, and keep an eye out for opportunities to promote fundraising. They work to maintain relationships with outside decision-makers and allies, who assist their party in advocacy efforts and keep them current on political operations. Directors are typically in charge of interviewing, hiring and training staff members. They also oversee vendors, contractors and staff during events related to election campaigns.
Income and Interest
The national median salary of campaign directors was $60,500 per year as of February 2014, according to Glassdoor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish data specific to political directors, but it expects interest in public policy and political issues to increase between 2012 and 2022. The BLS notes that rising interest will prompt more rigorous political campaigning, which may lead to a higher demand for directors who have a thorough understanding of political policies, institutions and systems.