What Are the Different Types of Senate Jobs?

C. Mitchell

Aside from senators themselves, there are three main types of senate jobs: direct employees of individual senators, advisers to senate committees, and interns. The specific employment opportunities within each category vary tremendously on senator needs as well as the overarching government structure. Senates operate differently in different countries and localities. This necessarily creates somewhat different job demands, though nearly all fall within a closed number of specific job types.

In most jurisdictions, senators are elected or appointed officials whose role is to draft and debate potential laws.
In most jurisdictions, senators are elected or appointed officials whose role is to draft and debate potential laws.

Senators are generally the crux of all senate jobs. In nearly every jurisdiction, senators are elected or appointed officials whose role it is to draft and debate potential laws. The requirements for becoming a senator vary dramatically by location, but the position is often seen as one of the more prestigious jobs in politics.

Most of the time, senators are permitted to hire their own individual staff. These kinds of senate jobs typically span the length of the senator’s appointment or term. Legislative aides and legislative directors, who help the official understand the contours of proposed laws or pressing issues, fall within this category. So do researchers, fellows, and all number of administrative staff. Nearly every member of most major senates has an individual press secretary, as well, who manages the senator’s publicity and prepares official comments for preparation.

Many senates also have dedicated committees wherein officials meet to discuss and debate certain key issues. In larger governments, these committees frequently hire their own employees. Senate committee jobs include pages, drafting assistants, and press personnel, among many others. These kinds of senate jobs are much more permanent, as staff tend to stay in the job regardless of the internal rotation of members.

Senate jobs for both individuals and committees are often hierarchical. Employees who start out as aides or pages are often promoted internally to directors or senate staff chiefs. They can often also find work relatively easily with other senators. It is common, for example, for a senate staffer to be picked up by one member when another retires or leaves office. In most cases, experience and familiarity with core issues are some of the biggest job prerequisites.

People interested in working in the senate, be it to advance a future political career or simply to learn about the legislative process, often start out as senate interns. These senate jobs are almost always temporary, often lasting no more than a semester, and are primarily designed for students. Some are paid, but most are not. Having experience as an intern, be it for a senator or a committee, often boosts a student’s chance of later landing a more permanent staffer job.

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