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How to Be a Political Consultant

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How to Be a Political Consultant. Becoming a political consultant requires plenty of hard work, some luck and a lot of schmoozing. However, if you are already a political junkie, know the ins and outs of the electoral college and tend to get more excited at a presidential debate than the Super Bowl, then becoming a political consultant may be the path for you.

Educate yourself about the role of a political consultant. A political consultant is a catchall category that includes pollsters, media advisors, advertising consultants and spin doctors. In general, a political consultant's role is to advise his or her candidate on important issues and to help present the candidate's ideas and political platform to the public.

Consider attending college. While you don't necessarily need a degree to become a political consultant, in practice, most consultants have at least a college degree. Majoring in political science, governmental studies or communications will also help you learn more about your future profession and make you more marketable to clients and employers.

Inform yourself about the issues. Read the newspapers and watch your local news to stay informed of current events and to take notice of those issues affecting your community. A good political consultant is up to date on all the hot button issues as well as the positions of the candidates running for office, or those already in office, on these issues.

Volunteer on a campaign. If there is an issue you feel strongly about or a candidate you believe in, volunteer your time. Join a local grassroots campaign to see what it's like to be on the front lines and to get a feel for the way campaigns work.

Network with the right folks. Becoming a political consultant is all about who you know. Build a network of contacts and potential clients by participating in rallies, fundraisers and other events where you get a chance to meet and socialize with the movers and shakers.

Find an underdog candidate and put your skills to work. Now that you have a feel for the political consulting business, have made some contacts and participated in a few campaigns, it's time to jump in. Find a political candidate you believe in, join his or her campaign and make yourself indispensable. Who knows? You may just become the next James Carville or Karen Hughes.