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Government Relations Specialist: Job Description & Salary

This article looks at the role of government relations specialists and how people can prepare for this career. Government relations specialists may work in fields such as finance, education, healthcare and environmental sciences.

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Career Definition of a Government Relations Specialist

Government relations specialists focus on building bridges between industries and the government. One of their roles is to be a conduit for applicable information. They may be responsible for reviewing all government regulations that apply to their industry and then explaining them to their company. In this capacity their objective is to ensure that the company understands the regulations and how government regulations will impact their business practices.

Government relations specialists also serve as advocates for the industry that they work in. They may represent their company before government policymakers. Their work can involve performing research on specific issues related to regulations in their industry and they may present information intended to influence government regulation policies. They may also actively seek funding on behalf of their company or industry. If their company needs a specific license to perform certain tasks then they may advocate for that licensing.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Self-motivated, problem-solving skills, diplomacy, computer skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, ability to meet deadlines, organizational skills, ability to work independently, research skills
Mean Salary (2017)* $45,703
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 8% (all compliance officers);
9% (public relations specialists)

Sources: *Glassdoor; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

There are a number of disciplines that those interested in a career as a government relations specialist can choose to study. As part of the position can involve securing funding and advocating for their industry, government relations specialists can benefit from experience/education in public relations. A background in public administration or law may be beneficial, since government relations specialists work with legal regulations. Studies in government relations and political science will ensure that those who become government relations specialists understand the political system and how policies are created or changed. Those who are planning to pursue a career as a government relations specialist need a bachelor's degree in one of these relevant disciplines. Government relations specialists may specialize in a number of areas, including education, healthcare and finance, and taking courses in these areas may prepare graduates to obtain a role working on policies related to an industry that interests them.

Required Skills

Government relations specialists need to have strong communication skills so that they can clearly relay information in a compelling way. They also need to have good investigative skills since their work may involve researching specific policy issues. They need to be self-motivated and capable of working independently to meet deadlines. They also need problem-solving skills in order to come up with ways to address the needs of their company as well as government concerns that may be prompting new regulations.

Career Outlook and Salary

In 2017, Glassdoor indicated that the annual average salary for government relations specialists was $45,703. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not list government relations specialists separately. Their work is comparable to the work of compliance officers because it involves informing companies about government regulations so that they comply with them. The career is also comparable to public relations specialists due to the tasks of securing funds through advocacy. From 2016 to 2026 the BLS expects compliance officers to see an 8% job growth rate, while the BLS projects a growth rate of 9% for public relations specialists during this same period.

Related Careers

The role of government relations specialists is closely linked to the work that professionals in the field of regulations do. Those considering this profession may also be interested in public relations or research opportunities.

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