How Do You Become a Lobbyist?

If you have an interest in the way that government works and in fighting for meaningful causes, you may want to learn how to become a lobbyist. Lobbyists participate in writing legislation and work to influence the political process, according to the Princeton Review. There is some controversy regarding the lobbying profession, as some believe it is possible that such influencers act unethically in order to further a particular agenda. However, if you are passionate about a subject and are confident you are pursuing actions with a clear conscience, the lobbying profession can be a fulfilling one.

Education and Training

There are no specific educational requirements for this job. However, you can take certain steps in order to enter the field in a strategic manner. If you don’t have a particular cause that interests you, a bachelor’s level degree in Political Science can be a good choice to provide you with an overview of the political process so that you better navigate the ins and outs of driving change in government. A degree in a subject area of interest is also a good idea. Even choosing a minor or concentration in the topic could be beneficial. If actually writing legislation is something you want to do, a law degree might be the way to go, as it will provide you with the tools to understanding legal language and terms.


In order to become a lobbyist, you’ll need to gain some practical experience first. There are a number of paths to gaining this knowledge. You can become a legislative intern or congressional staffer as a means of learning how the legislative process works. Becoming active in a trade organization that influences policy is one more option. You’ll obtain experience working on political campaigns, performing research and other duties necessary in the drafting of legislation and learn about the ways in which government works. One of the biggest advantages of these experiences is that you will begin building a network of contacts that can help you in the future when it’s time to advocate for your particular agenda. The most successful lobbyists are proficient at networking.


Certification isn’t a requirement in order to be a lobbyist; however, it is an efficient and effective way to learn the foundations. The American League of Lobbyists is a trade organization that is located in the nation’s capitol. This agency offers a certification program that provides students with monthly lessons relevant to lobbying. Though the seminars are taught in Washington, D.C., there is no need to travel there. You can view them remotely, making the certification convenient and accessible. To become certified, you will need to complete five core required seminars and six out of eight electives that are offered. This coursework must be done within a two-year period. Topics you can expect to learn in this lobbying certification include lobbying regulations, foundations in the legislative process, lobbying practices and lobbying ethics.

Related Resource: What is a Legislative Affairs Manager?

This politically related field is an exciting and diverse one. If you want to become a lobbyist, there are a wide range of areas in which you can work to influence public policy and legislation.