What Does a Policy Analyst Do?

13 mins read

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

What Does A Policy Analyst Do? A policy analyst reviews political events to inform and influence government policies. Policy analysts may specialize in fields such as health, education, national defense, public finance, international trade, industrial organization, international relations, energy, environment, labour, agriculture, urban development, and more. Some work in government agencies and have extensive experience in the field. The salary range for these professionals varies. To learn more, read this article.

Job duties

The job duties of a policy analyst vary greatly and can range from general political analysis to specializing in a certain field, such as energy policy. Some analysts work for the government, while others work for an outside organization, focusing on national issues. Either way, policy analysts provide advice to legislators and government executives about how to make policy. They may need to conduct research, understand various political factions, and find politicians who share their ideals.

A policy analyst must have excellent analytical skills to be successful. They must be able to analyze large amounts of data, derive a logical interpretation, and develop recommendations for changing policies. The job of a policy analyst also requires a person with excellent communication skills to effectively communicate complex information to a wide variety of stakeholders. In addition to writing and evaluating policy proposals, policy analysts must be able to engage stakeholders by asking important questions, evaluating research methods, and disseminating information to other stakeholders.

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for a policy analyst, many people hold graduate degrees. Many have studied political science, history, economics, or public policy, though it’s not required. Other graduates have obtained a master’s degree in public administration. A doctoral degree can be helpful as well. Many people working as policy analysts also hold pre-law degrees or have graduated from law school. The Master of Public Administration degree is also helpful.

In addition to having a bachelor’s degree, a policy analyst can specialize in a particular area. Examples include economic and environmental policy, healthcare policy, and law enforcement. Policy analysts can also influence legislation relating to climate change. A policy analyst’s research and work on statistical data is vital for public policy, and may be responsible for compiling and generating statistics. The duties of a policy analyst can range from helping to implement a particular policy to creating a favorable environment for business and industry.


The salary of a Policy Analyst can vary widely depending on location, industry, and current conditions. As with any profession, there are some advantages and disadvantages to the role. Here are some of these advantages and disadvantages, along with salary ranges for Policy Analysts. Salary for a Policy Analyst is usually $106,000 a year. The average salary for a Policy Analyst varies widely by city. In some cities, the salary for a Policy Analyst is higher than in others, so be sure to check out the pay range in your area before making a decision.

In general, policy analysts work in offices, government agencies, lobbying groups, and businesses, advocating for changes to laws and policies. They spend some of their time behind a desk conducting research, but they also travel for meetings, focus groups, and conferences. In addition to traveling to meetings and conferences, policy analysts generally work standard hours, though they may be required to work overtime on urgent matters. Salary for policy analysts varies widely depending on experience, location, and company.

A career as a policy analyst requires a master’s degree in a relevant field. The salary for this position can be significantly higher than other similar professions. The duties of a policy analyst range from researching and analyzing policy issues to preparing recommendations for legislative action. As a nonpartisan staff member, the job requires a high level of analytical and communication skills. A strong background in Microsoft Word and Excel is also necessary.

A policy analyst may also work for a think tank. Think tanks often fund policy analysts with grants from political and social foundations. In the private sector, policy analysts are hired by private companies and political campaigns to analyze and make recommendations for public policy. Some policy analysts choose to work as teachers in higher education or even for political campaigns. They often earn a handsome salary, but there is no guarantee. It will be difficult to get a decent job without any experience, and the job will take years to become stable and reliable.


An education policy analyst must hold a master’s degree in education or a related field. Often, people working on education policy are former administrators who wanted to transition into policy work. They draft and implement education policies or lead teams to do so. Education policy analysts may work at the state or local level, or they may advocate for a specific issue. These individuals may be considered advocates for education reform or educators. The education policy analyst is responsible for evaluating educational policies and reforms to ensure they are effective.

Education policy analysts also analyze educational systems to identify issues, relationships, and structures and advocate for policies and programs that improve education. They may also help educators and school administrators understand the legal environment surrounding educational policies. They also may help nonprofits develop grant proposals and contract negotiations. Occasionally, education policy analysts work in the private sector, marketing educational products to the general public. While education policy analysts work within the public sector, they should be familiar with the educational infrastructure in their local area.

Skills required

If you’re a policy analyst who wants to work in politics, the first thing you’ll need to do is understand what job descriptions are looking for in a candidate. Many positions will list certain skills, such as a background in international development or economics. While these are the most common skills employers look for, other skills may distinguish certain subsets within this occupation. A few of the most important skills for policy analysts are listed below.

A good resume will include a list of skills and experiences relevant to the job. Skills relevant to the job description include: research and analysis, writing, collaboration and project management. Include any relevant experience in your resume, such as project management and committee management. If you have any government experience, mention it in the skills section of your resume. The skills section of your resume should be extensive and show your ability to analyze data. You should also include your research and writing skills, as well as the relevant certifications and degrees.

An analysis-based role is critical to public policy. Hence, policy analysts must be strong quantitative analysts. They should have strong writing skills, since policymakers don’t have much time to read long reports. They should be able to simplify complex problems in a short time and present it in a clear way to make it easy for policymakers to understand. They should also have excellent communication skills, which include verbal and written communication.

A strong academic background is another important factor. A policy analyst may specialize in energy or climate change, but most work in general politics. These professionals advise legislators and executive staff on relevant policy measures and develop relevant strategies. Those working for the government will have to have a deep understanding of the different political factions in society. In addition, they need to know how to get politicians who share the same ideals as them. A postgraduate degree may be advantageous.

Job outlook

The job outlook for a policy analyst varies greatly depending on one’s background and training. In general, policy analysts should have excellent research skills, be comfortable working independently and in teams, and be able to clearly explain data and information. Some policy analysts specialize in certain areas, such as energy and environmental policy, while others are more general in nature. In either case, a degree related to the particular field of expertise can give an applicant a distinct edge.

While some people choose to go straight out of school, others are more likely to earn more money after earning a master’s degree in a related field. A master’s degree in political science, for example, will help you stand out among other applicants. However, a bachelor’s degree may not be enough for some entry-level analyst jobs. Check the job description carefully for specific requirements. It is also a good idea to have a background in the field of political science, but don’t limit yourself to this degree.

A policy analyst will collect data, such as statistics, to analyze a given issue or to determine the best way to implement a specific policy. This data can help identify hidden problems and determine whether a particular policy will be effective. A policy analyst may collect statistics through surveys and focus groups to gain insight into various situations and formulate solutions. In addition to using data, they may also conduct cost-benefit analyses and focus groups to determine what causes specific problems and recommend changes to existing regulations.

A policy analyst may work for a government agency or think tank. Think tanks hire analysts to promote specific areas of interest. While government analysts focus on a particular agency’s mission, public-sector analysts may investigate current policies and take up projects from special interest groups. A degree in policy analysis can be advantageous for many career options. In fact, it could even enhance one’s chances of a career in government or law.

About The Author

Alison Sowle is the typical tv guru. With a social media evangelist background, she knows how to get her message out there. However, she's also an introvert at heart and loves nothing more than writing for hours on end. She's a passionate creator who takes great joy in learning about new cultures - especially when it comes to beer!