15 Common Political Campaign Roles You Can Explore

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Political campaigns involve many logistical operations, including a large team and an organized hierarchy. If you have an interest in politics and government, you can consider working as an employee in a political campaign team. Identifying the various roles in a political campaign team can help you choose a preferred field and prepare for it. In this article, we define political campaign roles and outline some common roles you can occupy in a political campaign team.

What are political campaign roles?

Political campaign roles refer to positions in the organizational hierarchy of political campaign employees. Individuals who occupy these positions are responsible for formulating and implementing strategies to ensure the campaign succeeds. The campaign team typically consists of volunteers and employees of the candidate or the political party. In addition, most campaigns have various departments, such as the field, communication, fundraising, legal, technology, and scheduling departments. Generally, the positions in a campaign team may vary based on the type of election and the campaign size.

Related: 13 Entry-Level Political Science Jobs (With Skills)

Common political campaign roles

Here's a list of common roles you can apply to in a political campaign team:

1. Social media director

National average salary: $52,922 per year

Primary duties: The social media director creates and implements tactics and strategies for reaching the targeted demographic over social media platforms. They also monitor public opinion about the candidate and the public's opinion about current issues. These professionals also create strategies to ensure they present the candidate positively and constantly monitor the changing political landscape and outsider perceptions. Social media duties are typically a part of the communications team's duties. Some campaigns may outsource this duty to consultants or include it as a senior function. Social media directors typically report directly to the campaign manager.

2. Field director

National average salary: $53,152 per year

Primary duties: The field director leads and organizes the campaign at the grassroots level. At the beginning of the campaign, these individuals create a field plan that outlines the necessary tasks to achieve goals for persuasion, voter identification, and high turnout among target groups. For example, they can organize canvassing and get out the vote (GOTV) efforts. In addition, the field director supervises the field organizers during the campaign and reports directly to the campaign manager.

3. Speech writer

National average salary: $53,324 per year

Primary duties: Speechwriters write speeches and talking points for the candidates and other campaign representatives. They work with the candidate, campaign manager, and policy advisor to identify key issues they want to discuss. These professionals also determine how long to discuss each topic, the order of each point, and the overall length of the campaign speeches. They also ensure the speech follows the defined tone and the candidate addresses all the necessary issues. Speechwriters may be a part of the communications team and report directly to the communications director or campaign manager.

4. Media consultant

National average salary: $53,437 per year

Primary duties: A media consultant in a campaign advises on messaging, strategy, and handling the creation of advertisements. Campaigns typically hire media consultants with expertise and experience in specific media types, such as digital or online, television, radio, or direct mail. In addition, firms that place ads on cable, television, and digital media may also serve as media consultants for a campaign.

Related: How to Become a Social Media Consultant (With Skills)

5. Pollster

National average salary: $54,368 per year

Primary duties: The pollster's duties involve conducting the campaign's focus groups and survey research, analyzing results, and interpreting their implications for campaign strategy and messaging. They typically design polls that monitor the public's opinion of the candidate and political issues. Pollsters also design population samples before conducting their polls. When creating these samples, they analyze the demographic data for the voters and create a smaller sample with identical demographic composition. They work with the candidate to create and implement campaign strategies according to polling results. Pollsters may also work under the supervision of the campaign manager and report directly to them.

6. General consultant

National average salary: $54,485 per year

Primary duties: The general campaign consultant typically helps the candidate and campaign managers to develop the campaign plan and strategy. They also help navigate major events and issues and may supervise messaging and advertising. In addition, general consultants may work on multiple campaigns simultaneously. These professionals are typically former campaign managers with extensive experience and knowledge.

Related: What Is a Consultant? (With 16 Types and Primary Duties)

7. Funding coordinator

National average salary: $54,985 per year

Primary duties: The funding coordinator or consultant advises the finance director on planning and strategy for fundraising. The consultant typically builds a professional relationship with the donor network. They're also in charge of hosting events and introducing the candidates to potential donors. They also have experience with organizing call programs, internet, and mail fundraising.

8. Campaign manager

National average salary: $64,180 per year

Primary duties: The campaign manager's duties involve creating, supervising, and implementing the campaign's strategic plan. They report directly to the political candidate and conduct the campaign according to the candidate's vision, mission, and values. In addition, these professionals are responsible for ensuring that they organize the campaign to facilitate effective, efficient, and rapid decision-making. Campaign managers and the candidate also provide the final approval on all sponsoring decisions and budgeting allocations. They also work with other professionals, such as consultants and advisors, to write campaign plans, hire and manage core team members, and make tactical decisions throughout the campaign.

Related: What Does a Campaign Manager Do? (With Responsibilities)

9. Scheduler

National average salary: $70,787 per year

Primary duties: The scheduler organizes and manages the candidate's calendar. These professionals ensure that the candidate has an effective and efficient schedule of events to help maximize their impact on the electorate. The specific duties of a scheduler may vary depending on the size of the campaign or election type. In addition, they also approve all invitations and internal requests for the candidate's time. Schedulers may also find opportunities for the candidate to impress the electorate. For example, they can organize press conferences, interviews, and events for the candidate to meet with the electorates and other members of the community.

10. Political consultant

National average salary: $71,716 per year

Primary duties: Political consultants are professionals in specific areas of running and planning a campaign. They typically occupy advisory roles in the campaign team. Campaign teams typically hire political consultants when the current volunteers and employees don't have sufficient experience and expertise or when it's the financially advantageous alternative to hiring more employees. For example, in provincial elections, campaigns may use consultants in cities where candidates, campaign employees, and key supporters have little experience and few connections. In addition, consultants may work as employees in a firm or as independent contractors.

Related: What Is a Consultancy Firm? (How to Start One in Six Steps)

11. Policy advisor

National average salary: $79,764 per year

Primary duties: The policy advisor researches to develop and create the candidate's public policy agenda. They also evaluate current policies and create reports based on the results to help implement new programs and policy development. These professionals may focus on a particular specialty or work on various issues. Policy advisors also collaborate with speechwriters or the communications director to write messages for the campaign.

Related: Public Policy Careers: Essential Skills and Jobs List

12. Field organizer

National average salary: $83,645 per year

Primary duties: The field organizers train, recruit, and manage volunteers in the grassroots efforts to persuade, identify, and mobilize targeted voters. In addition, the field organizers typically focus on specific geographical areas and report directly to the field director. They're usually professionals with extensive experience working with electorates and community members.

Related: 10 Best Jobs for Organizers and the Skills You Need

13. Communications director

National average salary: $92,956 per year

Primary duties: The communications director is the head of the communication team and supervises all interactions with the press and media outlets. In smaller campaigns, the communications manager typically handles the press themselves. In contrast, in a larger campaign, there's a communication team of various employees who discuss with journalists and create press coverage and publicity for the campaign. Communication directors monitor all web and social media activities and help ensure they share the campaign and its message to the public across various platforms. They also create statements to refute and correct inaccurate or adverse statements.

14. Treasurer

National average salary: $104,494 per year

Primary duties: The treasurer typically signs the campaign finance reports and certifies their accuracy. In smaller campaigns, they may combine this duty with controller duties, such as supervising contribution deposits, paying bills, and managing budgets. In addition, treasurers may also be responsible for ensuring the campaign complies with finance guidelines and regulations.

Related: What Is a Financial Controller?

15. Finance director

National average salary: $107,886 per year

Primary duties: The finance director is responsible for drafting and executing a campaign's fundraising plan. When designing the campaign's fundraising goals, the finance director studies the projected funds necessary to sustain all aspects of the campaign and balances them against the feasible amount they can raise. This helps them set realistic fundraising goals and make plans according to these realistic expectations. In addition, they work closely with the campaign manager to set goals and make tactical and strategic adjustments throughout the campaign. Financial directors also manage a part of the candidate's time for personal fundraising programs.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

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