Congressional Overview

Congressional employment on the Hill refers to positions available in congressional offices, committees, or subcommittees. Job functions include legislative and policy research, bill drafting, constituent and representative relations, and Congressional liaison.  

Pros: Higher turnover rate (40%) provides many job opportunities, stepping stone to executive branch, private sector, think tanks, and nonprofit organizations

Cons: Increasing constituent demands, long and unpredictable work hours, heavy workload, and lower than average salaries

Career Paths 

Each office has their own pay scale, review http://www.legistorm.com/salaries.html for specific salaries.  Typically Senate positions have higher salaries.

Intern:  Administrative tasks including handling constituent requests, letter writing and tours.  Almost always unpaid.

Legislative Correspondent (LC):  Drafts responses to inquiries and handles a range of constituent requests/concerns on legislation and national policy.

Legislative Assistant (LA):  Briefs the Member on a number of issue areas, helps draft legislation, writes position papers and addresses constituent inquiries.

Press Secretary/Communications Director:  Acts as the key link between the Member of Congress and the media; directs publicity by issuing press releases, media, speeches, etc.

Legislative Director (LD):  Heads the legislative staff, updates the Member on the status of bills in Congress, and maintains close contact with a number of constituencies, including other Hill staffers and lobbyists.

Chief of Staff:  Oversees the operation of the entire office, both in Washington and in the Senator’s or Representative’s home state/district. Individuals in this position generally have at least 10 years of experience working in Congress.

Committee Staff:  Organize hearings, write bills and function as Congress’ experts on specific policy areas.