How to Become a Governor

Written by

Ray Grant Walden


August 14, 2014


State governments are complex and require chief executives for the effective and efficient function and to promote the overall well-being of the state and its residents. Governors are elected officials of a state or territory that are responsible for overseeing a variety of policies and programs.

What does a governor do?

Governors are the chief executive officers of their states. They are responsible for directing and managing the government and related departments. They enforce state laws, approve or deny legislation proposals, and manage the National Guard. They select individuals to manage state departments, boards, agencies, councils, and commissions.
They make changes to departments and designate executive orders. Governors are also responsible for coordinating efforts to fill department vacancies. They hold necessary meetings to discuss important issues. They are also involved in a variety of issues related to federal funding, tax laws, and budget planning. Governors regularly communicate with the media and present issues that are important to the state.

What kind of training does a governor need?

Governors must have at least a high school diploma and related experience. Most governors have a college degree from a highly regarded college or university to demonstrate their qualifications. Governors must have a solid understanding about a variety of issues that affect their state. Many governors complete volunteer experience or activist work to gain experience and public recognition. Many also begin their careers in lower government positions to gain the necessary experience before running for a governor position. Voters elect governors, so it is essential that governors have sufficient experience to perform their job successfully. Aspiring governors must set up effective election campaigns. Governors must also be at least 30 years old, been a resident of their state for at least 5 years, and been a resident of the United States for a minimum of 15 years.

What are the prospects for a career as a governor?

Employment of all top executives, including governors is expected to experience little or no change through 2018 (1).

Keen competition for governor positions is expected due to the high level of prestige associated with the position.

How much do governors make?

As of 2012, the average annual salary for governors is $44,000; average annual governor salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a governor is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in the overall management of the government of their state. Governors must have a solid understanding of the policies and procedures of their state’s government and knowledge of a variety of state-related issues. Strong leadership skills, confidence, critical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Governors must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a wide variety of people from state officials to residents. They must be comfortable being in the spotlight and be able to work in high-pressure and stressful situations. 

Becoming a Governor Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Governor? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Ray Grant Walden

Ray Grant Walden attended American University College and now lives in Houston. He has enjoyed a very exciting career and has experience in a wide variety of professions, including college counseling.

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