Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Jason Ruane from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:

Jason Ruane

Computer Programmer


Read more

Jason Ruane

Possibly useful qualities/interests:

A predisposition towards technical problems, such as puzzles or machinery. An interest in the nature of how things work, such as the desire to disassemble machinery/gadgetry to unlock its inner workings.

An inventive side; one who uses the parts of other gadgets, to make a new personalised gadget. Interested in high tech gear: gadgetry of all forms.

A capacity to learn processes for oneself e.g. seeing a puzzle solved and then repeating it.

Skills: Technical subjects such as Maths or electronics. Programming is very accessible to anyone with a basic home PC and some internet connection so try it out and see if you like it.

Values: If you value the solving of an intricate, convoluted problem, for it's own sake and find that rewarding, then any engineering job will come easily.

Education: Firm basis in Maths and the sciences. People are hired into engineering positions here from backgrounds such as science and computing primarily.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
All Courses
PLC Progression Routes
PLC Points Calculator
CAO Points Calculator
CAO Video Guide

Institute of Art, Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire
Carlow College
Limerick College of Further Education
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Political Researcher

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€20k > 50
Political Researcher
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 50
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Occupational Category

Other Natural & Social Scientists

Also included in this category:

Historians; archaeologists; political and social scientists; criminologists; conservation officers; ecologists; energy conservation officers; heritage managers; energy managers; environmental consultants; environmental engineers and scientists.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 11%
Aged over 55: 9%
Male / Female: 50 / 50%
Non-Nationals: 14%
With Third Level: 91%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Political researchers carry out research for Members of the Dail (TDs), political parties or research institutions.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Search YouTube for Political Researcher videos

The Work header image

Political researchers track down and put together information to help and support politicians. For example, they may help a Member of the Dáil (TD) to prepare for a debate in the Dáil or deal with a complicated issue in their constituency. As well as finding information, researchers write reports, draft speeches and articles, and deal with the media. Many researchers also have general administrative and secretarial duties, depending on the wishes of their employer.  
Researchers work in the offices of the main political parties, TDs' private offices, or economic, political and social policy research institutions.  
They work very closely with their employer, listening carefully and asking the right questions to find out the information they need to find. To carry out their research, they read newspapers and official publications, visit libraries to look up information, and work with pressure groups and special interest groups.  
They must keep up to date with government legislation policies and inform clients of changes that will impact their business. They also may write a politician's speeches for the media, track down and gather information the politician needs to debate a particular issue.  
Early in their careers, political researchers may do more routine administrative tasks than political research.

The tasks performed by a political researcher will vary depending upon the employer. However, typical tasks performed on a daily basis include:

  • Keeping up to date with political sources released by government agencies, including press releases and reports
  • Finding out about new sources which may be relevant to the employer, including press releases from particular interest groups and other organisations
  • Researching past sources of information to see if they may still be relevant or applicable to current cases
  • Performing detailed research on a wide range of subjects
  • Keeping up to date with the media every day
  • Working on case studies and individual projects
  • Researching issues personally affecting members of an MP’s constituency
  • Answering queries and questions from members of the constituency and the general public
  • Following up on these queries to make sure issues have been fully resolved
  • Liaising with individuals from other companies or political offices in order to discuss research issues
  • Researching public opinion through techniques including questionnaires, surveys, and interviews
  • Writing detailed reports which focus upon the findings of research
  • Answering telephone calls and dealing with general media enquiries
  • Dealing with general correspondence via e-mail
  • Deciding which issues should be passed on to the employer and which should be discarded as irrelevant
  • Sending out the post and dealing with incoming post
  • Paying bills and managing general expenses
  • Attending regular meetings with the employer in order to keep them fully updated about political issues
  • Writing speeches for a TD or employer

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You should be passionate about politics and current affairs. You must be enthusiastic and energetic, and willing to take on a heavy workload, especially at election time. You'll need very good organisation skills, to organise and prioritise tasks, and to arrange meetings and prepare agendas.  
You must have a methodical, logical and analytical approach to research. Political researchers need the skills to find and assimilate information, and to present it clearly and concisely to the people who need it.  
You must have very strong communication skills, including the ability to write reports, speeches and articles. Word processing and IT skills are necessary.  
Political researchers need good interpersonal skills, as they may liaise with a variety of people (including politicians, special interest groups and other research assistants).  
This job demands a high level of commitment and perseverance.

Related Occupationsheader image

Search for Jobs

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Civil & Public Service, Local Government, Politics & EU

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 42
Applied Archaeology
IT Sligo
Applied Archaeology
IT Sligo
Applied Archaeology
IT Sligo
Arts (Joint Honours) Politics
Dublin City University - DCU
Arts (Public and Social Policy)
NUI Galway
Arts - Law
Maynooth University
Arts - Law
NUI Galway
Arts - Political Studies
Arts - Politics
Maynooth University
Arts - Politics
University College Cork (NUI) - UCC
Arts - Politics and International Relations
University of Limerick - UL
Arts - Sociological and Political Studies
NUI Galway
Arts - Sociology
Waterford IT
Arts - Sociology
Arts - Sociology
University of Limerick - UL
Arts - Sociology
Arts - Sociology
Arts - Sociology
Maynooth University
Business, Economics and Social Studies (BESS)
Computational Social Science
Criminal Justice Studies
Waterford IT
Digital Humanities
Dundalk IT
Digital Humanities and Information Technology
University College Cork (NUI) - UCC
Economics (through Transformational Learning)
University College Cork (NUI) - UCC
Economics and Finance
Economics, Politics and Law
History and Political Science
Law and Political Science
Law and Society (BCL)
Law with Economics
University College Dublin (NUI) - UCD
Law with Politics
Law with Social Justice
Waterford IT
Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology
Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Political Science and Geography
Politics - Social Sciences
Social Sciences
Sociology - Social Sciences
Sociology and Politics
Sociology and Social Policy

Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 1