How to Become the President of the United States

Career Overview

Aspiring to become President of the United States is an ambitious and difficult goal to achieve. Pursuing a career as the President means you have laid the groundwork to become a worldwide political influencer. The President’s job lasts for a four-year term, and is an elected position with the possibility of serving a second four-year term.

The President of the United States oversees the military forces, executes the laws of the United States, and deals in foreign and domestic affairs. The president also signs or veto’s bills presented by Congress. During the years in the White House, the President will spend a good deal of time traveling both internationally, and around the country, meeting with constituents, heads of state, and other political figures.

Specializations and Places of Work

The President of the United States works in the Oval Office for briefings and staff meetings. He also spends time working out of the President’s Study near the Oval Office, and the Treaty Room in the White House according to Slate.com.

The job requires the President to have specialized skills in diplomacy, law, politics, foreign and domestic policy, military strategy, and finance. The President is responsible for many aspects of the operations of the country and as such, should be knowledgeable in a broad range of topics.

Roles and Duties as President

The primary role of the President of the United States is much like a Chief Executive Officer of a company. The President acts as Executive Officer of the country. It is the President’s job to see to the overall operation of the United States. The President also appoints people to various positions and committees in the federal government working in conjunction with Congress’s approval.

The President works closely with Congress on many things including law making. The President will work with legislators to create new laws. While the President can’t make new laws, he carries enough political weight to influence members of Congress to do so.

The President meets with Congress to present the State of the Union Address. This takes place at least once a year. The President is also the head of our military forces. As Commander in Chief, the President has the ability to send troops into war with the backing of Congress.

Education and Training

There isn’t an educational requirement for President of the United States. A candidate must be at least thirty-five, born in the US and lived here for at least fourteen years. These are the only Constitutional requirements. From the creation of the United States, the President was most often a college graduate, however.

Many presidents went to law school, but some earned other degrees specializing in business, medicine, international affairs, and political science. If a student has their sights set on one day becoming the President, obtaining a degree in political science will lay a solid foundation for a political career. A degree in political science teaches many applicable categories including:
  • International affairs
  • Economics
  • Public policy
  • Governmental structure

Other training for this career is laying a strong political track record in lower level positions. Most presidents spent time in Congress prior to seeking nomination. Others served as state governors and other state level political offices.

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Salary Information and Job Outlook

The job of president is naturally limited to one person. This makes it a limited career choice, but it is a possibility for the right person. The salary for President of the United States as of 2011 is $400,000 a year, plus a $50,000 nontaxable expense fund. The President’s retirement benefit includes a salary that matches Executive Level I salaries currently at about $200,000.

General Resources

Education

Career Specialties

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