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Planning and Analysis | Policy Analyst

Policy Analyst

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

A Policy Analyst provides expertise on government policy in a particular area. Gathers background information on issues and tracks legislative initiatives. Works with or advises elected officials, non-profit organizations on interest groups involved with the legislative process.

Job Outlook

There were 120 Policy Analyst job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 16597 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Policy Analyst industry, which includes the Policy Analyst career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2015:


Many new Policy Analyst jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.


The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $118,653.


The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $121,361.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Policy Analyst postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $97,563.

Education and Experience

Posted Policy Analyst jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree0%
Bachelor's Degree25.52%
Master's Degree15.44%
Doctoral Degree4.65%

Posted Policy Analyst jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years22.72%
3 to 5 years41.74%
6 to 8 years17.02%
9+ years18.52%


Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Policy Analyst positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Research (26.35%)
  • Communication (22.82%)
  • Writing (18.18%)
  • Management (14.12%)
  • Leadership (12.32%)
  • Coordinating (11.73%)
  • Planning (11.34%)
  • Operations (9.64%)
  • Presentations (9.64%)
  • Advocacy (9.21%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Policy Development (24.76%)
  • Policy Analysis (39.95%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Auditing (13.65%)
  • Cyber Security (12.25%)
  • Economics (16.05%)
  • Finance (9.29%)
  • Data Analysis (16.35%)
  • Public Policies (32.79%)
  • Project Management (22.52%)
  • Stakeholder Engagement (6.47%)
  • Legislation (5.19%)
  • Political Sciences (15.89%)

Distinguishing Skills

A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.

  • Policy Recommendations (7.19%)
  • Policy Research (11.5%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Policy Analyst skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Policy Advisor
  • Policy Specialist
  • Policy Manager
  • Policy Associate
  • Project Policy Analyst
  • Policy Fellow
  • Program and Policy Analyst
  • Policy Coordinator

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Policy Analyst jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • Northrop Grumman (235)
  • University of California (207)
  • State of Massachusetts (182)
  • Harvard University (145)
  • Mass General Brigham (124)
  • Pearson Education (108)
  • University of Massachusetts (108)
  • Ford (86)
  • The Nature Conservancy (77)
  • Guitar Center Stores (77)

North Carolina

  • State of North Carolina (8)
  • Crc Insurance Services (6)
  • Duke University (6)
  • University of North Carolina (4)
  • Wells Fargo (4)
  • Novant Health (3)
  • CommScope (3)
  • Labcorp (3)
  • North Carolina State University (3)
  • NC Farm Bureau Fed For NC Farm Bureau Mut Ins Co (3)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!