Given the vast myriad of changes that are transforming the nation's healthcare delivery systems with new healthcare laws, it is an excellent time to become a healthcare lobbyist in America to begin lobbying on behalf of healthcare companies. In fact, there is no other industry sector nationwide that is spending more money on lobbying Congress and the federal government today. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the healthcare industry is on-pace to match its annual average of spending over $500 million lobbying on medical-related issues. If you want to join the over 2,400 individuals who are currently registered as lobbyists for the healthcare sector, read on to receive a detailed step-by-step guide on how you can join this in-demand industry as a healthcare lobbyist.

Obtain a Relevant Bachelor's Degree

Although there are no official academic requirements needed to become a lobbyist, the majority of individuals in this profession have earned at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant program of study. Since lobbyists are expected to be specialists in public relations, earning a degree in public relations is often a popular path, but majors related to political science, law, economics, communications, public health, public administration, or health policy could also be very helpful. Regardless of your chosen degree area, it is suggested that you fill up your schedule with coursework that covers lobbying, legislative processes, and how lobbyists participate in the political system.

Acquire Work Experience in Healthcare Lobbying

In order to succeed as a healthcare lobbyist, you will need to make valuable connections by effectively networking and forming professional relationships with the right people. Therefore, you should begin building work experience in lobbying for the healthcare industry immediately by completing internships and entry-level positions. Many new lobbyists choose to begin working for a healthcare agency or group requiring legislative representation to obtain vital real-work experience. While learning to actively influence politicians, you will be exposed to a government network of lobbyists and officials for plenty of professional contacts. You may also want to consider enrolling in the American League of Lobbyists' certificate program to cover all practical aspects of best practices in the lobbying profession.

Register as a Healthcare Lobbyist

Once you have developed the strong interpersonal, communication, problem-solving, research, and organizational skills needed for lobbying, you will be responsible for registering as a lobbyist with the U.S. House of Representatives. Within the Office of the Clerk, you can obtain the initial registration form that must be fully completed to begin participating in lobbying activities. Also, healthcare lobbyists will need to continue filing quarterly reports to the office to list their current political contacts and document all of their lobbying activities. After becoming registered as a healthcare lobbyist, you will have the credentials needed to work independently or obtain employment at a lobbying firm that specializes in advocating for healthcare companies.

Related Resource: Become a Patient Advocate

Overall, healthcare lobbyists are increasingly in-demand in today's dynamic evolving healthcare sector to communicate with government officials, legislators, and policy makers on behalf of healthcare companies or foundations. When you follow these steps to become a healthcare lobbyist, you will obtain the credentials needed to begin persuading government officials on select healthcare issues while maintaining a prominent position on the forefront of America's health reforms.