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Occupation Details

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Political Researcher

Job Zone

Education
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.

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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.

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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):
CareersPortal

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.
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At a Glance... header image

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


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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.


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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

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