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How Do I Become a State Treasurer?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2014
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A state treasurer is responsible for managing all of the tax money received and spent by a state. There are two distinct ways to move into this position and a vast number of skills and experiences that will help you prepare. If you want to become a state treasurer, you must be an expert in numbers and politics.

Like most political offices, at least in the United States, there are few educational requirements to become a state treasurer beyond a high school diploma. You probably will not find many treasurers with just that diploma, though. Many treasurers have bachelor's degrees, master's degrees or even doctorates in economics, accounting, political science or even a combination of these. The mathematical, logistical and political skills that these studies provide are great for a state treasurer to possess.

State treasurers come from many backgrounds to succeed in this job. One of the most common lines of work would be a local government treasurer or assistant in the state treasury office, because these give you a strong understanding of how budgeting and politics work together. Working as an accountant also can be excellent preparation because it will sharpen your understanding of taxes and balancing budgets. A less likely role but still a useful one would be to work in economics, such as being a professor of economics, because it would help you understand various monetary theories that are applicable to treasury jobs.

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There are two ways to become a state treasurer in the United States. The majority of states choose their treasurer by popular vote, just like a governor, mayor or other public official. Be aware, if you want to become a state treasurer, there are about 15 states that allow this position to be appointed by the governor.

No matter how you get the job, you must fully understand its duties if you plan to become a state treasurer. The state treasurer's top priority is monitoring and managing state taxes and ensuring that the proper amount goes to the correct state agencies. As state treasurer, you will sit on committees responsible for planning the yearly budget. You also will need to work closely with the governor and other agency chiefs to solve any problems that might arise regarding state finances, such as bankruptcy or changes in the tax code. You might also need to know how to give a campaign speech and deal with the rigors of fundraising when running for your office.

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