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How To Decide What Capitol Hill Job To Apply For

You may be looking to work on Capitol Hill not only for a sense of financial security, but also for the honor of serving the public. When looking for a job in this unique environment, there are many roles you can apply for.  You may be thinking about which ones you should focus on.  Here are some things to keep in mind when you are choosing a Capitol Hill job to apply for.


According to the U.S. House of Representatives, “Many federal government positions with salaries are also part of the Federal Wage System which mandates regular raises or ‘step increases’ at least once every three years.”  While working on Capitol Hill, compensation may vary depending on the role and office.  Therefore, when considering what job to apply for, check out the projected pay. Some roles might offer higher salaries based on the office’s budget and the importance of the position.  It’s essential to understand the compensation structure of the specific office or committee you’re interested in.  For detailed information on congressional staff salaries, you can refer to LegiStorm. 

Opportunities for Growth:

Working on Capitol Hill can open doors to numerous career advancements and opportunities. Many staffers start in entry-level positions and work their way up to more senior roles.  This progression often comes with increased responsibilities and higher pay. When choosing a job, consider the potential for growth within the office and the opportunities for networking and skill development.  The Congressional Research Service provides reports on staff pay and career progression, which can be helpful in understanding these opportunities.

Job Suitability: 

There are many questions to ask yourself when looking for a job on Capitol Hill to ensure it matches your skills and interests.  These include:

  • Do you enjoy traveling for your job?

  • How passionate are you about issues in your local community or specific policy areas?

  • Do you hope to work in politics long-term?

  • How much time are you willing to dedicate to your job?

  • How quickly do you like to see change happen?

  • Are you comfortable taking a stand on topics important to you?

  • Do you enjoy working with financials and budgets?

  • How important is it for you to dress casually or formally?

Answering these questions can help you narrow down the types of roles that will be most fulfilling to you. 

Starting Points: 

Often times, a long-term job on Capitol Hill starts with a summer position or internship.  You’ll meet key people and gain the experience needed for a permanent position this way.  Internships and fellowship programs are great ways to understand the day-to-day operations and culture of Capitol Hill.  Through your experiences, you can also gather important information that will tell you whether you might want to work in that area of Capitol Hill.  For more information on internships, visit the U.S. House of Representatives Internships page. 

Key Considerations: 

While there are many factors you can look at when considering an open position, here are a few to help you get started:

  • Networking: Building connections is crucial on Capitol Hill.  Consider the networking opportunities each job might provide.  The Hill has a great article on networking tips.

  • Policy Impact: Think about the areas of policy you are passionate about and seek positions that allow you to work on those issues.

  • Work Environment: Each office and committee have its own culture.  Try to find one that matches your work style and values.

  • Skills Development:  Look for roles that help you develop the skills needed for your career goals.

Additional Resources:  For those looking to start or advance their Capitol Hill careers, there are several valuable job search resources to explore:

  1. Tom Manatos Jobs ( Known as one of the top job lists for Capitol Hill and Washington D.C., this service has helped thousands of people find government and political jobs since 2002.

  2. Traverse Jobs ( ): A long-standing resource that connects people with jobs impacting social change and policy across the nation.

  3. HillZoo ( A platform that connects Congressional staff with job opportunities.

  4. Senate Employment Bulletin ( Provides official listings for job openings in Senate offices and committees.

  5. House of Representatives Employment Opportunities ( Offers information on job openings in House offices and committees.

These resources provide job listings, career advice, and insider perspectives on working in Congress. They can be invaluable tools for those seeking to start or advance their careers on Capitol Hill.


By considering these factors, you can make a more informed decision about which Capitol Hill job to apply for, setting yourself up for a successful and rewarding career in public service.

References: U.S. House of Representatives:

Congressional Research Service:

U.S. House of Representatives Internships:

Tom Manatos Jobs:

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