Public Policy Analyst

Identify the problems of society and recommend solutions to them.
picture of Public Policy Analyst

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$49,000 – $155,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Public Policy Analysts do?

If you like puzzles and riddles — and you’ve ever wished you could solve them for a living — it’s hard to imagine a job that’s closer to your dream-come-true than that of Public Policy Analyst.

Although it’s not playing with your Rubik’s Cube all day, Public Policy Analyst is nonetheless a problem-solving profession that’s rife with brain teasing and head scratching. In fact, you’ll spend every day answering questions like the one about the Farmer and the river: If he bought a goat, a wolf and a cabbage at the market, and can only cross the river with one at a time, how does he get everything across without leaving the wolf alone with the goat or the goat alone with the cabbage?

More than a riddle, the farmer’s conundrum is a parable for social conflicts, which it’s your job to solve. No matter the problem — Public Policy Analysts address a variety of political issues, including those related to health, crime, infrastructure, defense, education and the environment, just to name a few — you’re paid to study it, determine its causes, then evaluate possible solutions to help Legislators and Lobbyists choose the best one.

Whether you’re trying to stop drunk driving or raise students’ test scores — on behalf of a government agency, think thank or interest group — choosing the best solution requires gathering evidence in the form of polls, research and expert interviews, then marketing your ideas to Policymakers, the media and the public. In so doing, you’re solving the world’s problems, making you the ultimate puzzler.

Should I be a Public Policy Analyst?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Policy Officer

    How to become a Public Policy Analyst

    Most Public Policy Analysts have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaadn9&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%284%25%29|master%27s+%2817%25%29|doctorate+%2878%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,78
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