How Do You Become a Healthcare Lobbyist?
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What a Healthcare Lobbyist DoesIt is a bit of a misnomer to call someone who does "lobbying" a lobbyist. In fact, if you speak with any sort of lobbyist they will tell you that they prefer to be called a government relations consultant or a public affairs consultant. Most healthcare lobbyists work as government relations specialists and consultants for insurance companies, industry associations, and other organizations looking to have an impact on city-based, statewide and federal legislation related to the healthcare industry. Lobbying firms and government relations consulting firms work close with legislators and government bureaucrats to help enact laws and policies that are deemed favorable by different companies and organizations.
EducationIn order to become a healthcare lobbyist, you should consider going to either law school or graduate school. Most lobbyists have a background in law as this makes it easier to deal with elected officials and government bureaucrats who have a law background as well. A good number of lobbyists also have master's degrees in healthcare administration, sociology, public policy, public administration and political science. However, it would be necessary to make sure that whatever you focus on while in grad school, it is related to healthcare.
ExperienceAccording to The Hill, to easily gain experience as a healthcare lobbyist, start off by looking for entry-level public affairs and government relations jobs with industry associations, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare-related organizations. Develop a list of at least 15 to 20 corporations and organizations you are interested in. Get into contact with their human resources department to see if they offer any type of government relations internship opportunities. Also, look for internship opportunities with private consulting firms. Once you get enough internship experience, you can start looking for entry-level or associate consultant roles with these organizations in their government affairs department.
SalaryThe news has recently spotlighted some of the high salaries of lobbyists, especially those who work for large insurance and medical companies. Some former legislators after ending their political careers make their way into this field. It is has been reported that some lobbyists make an upwards of $300,000 or more a year. However, the average lobbyist probably would not make this much. The average lobbyist with at least four to five years of experience will probably make anywhere between $75,000 to over $100,000 a year. Entry-level and associate public affairs consultants will usually start off making close to $50,000 or more a year depending in education background. Size of the organization, location, and years of experience will all be a determining factor in how much you can possibly make as a healthcare lobbyist. Related Resource: Nurse Practitioner With the recent healthcare reform, healthcare lobbying is set to explode. Prepare yourself now and you can become a healthcare lobbyist in no time!
How Do I Get a Job Helping to Craft Healthcare Policy?
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