State Senator

Create and vote on bills at the State Senate.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$16,000 – $84,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do State Senators do?

The job of a State Senator is remarkably similar to that of a U.S. Senator. Just like a U.S. Senator, who represents his or her state in federal government, a State Senator represents a local district in state government, which has three branches that mirror those of the federal government: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Put another way: When you think of “the Senate,” you probably envision the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where U.S. Senators from all 50 states — 100 of them in total, two from each state — convene in order to debate and pass legislation. “State Senator,” however, doesn’t bring to mind Capitol Hill and the “Beltway.” Instead, it brings to mind the statehouse in a state’s capital city.

As a State Senator, you’re a member of the legislative branch, just like a U.S. Senator. You’re elected by voters to represent them in the State Senate, where your primary duties are creating, debating, and voting on legislation that either makes new laws or modifies existing ones.

As part of the lawmaking process, you typically serve on one or several committees that are in charge of reviewing and proposing legislation on topics such as taxes, commerce, education, health care, infrastructure, and transportation.

When you’re not making laws on behalf of your constituents, you’re often corresponding with them over the phone, by email, and in person at town hall meetings, where you answer their questions and listen to their concerns.

Finally, just in case you’re not busy enough, you also meet with Lobbyists, attend fundraisers for your political party, and campaign for election or reelection. Simply put, therefore, your job is democracy!

Should I be a State Senator?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a State Senator

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering State Senator-related education!
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