From state representatives to presidential candidates, anyone running for office needs to understand the business of politics. And no one knows the business of politics better than political consultants, who play a crucial role in getting people elected to office. While industry rumor mills will have you believe that political consulting is, for lack of a better word, a shady profession to get into, don’t believe the hype. The work is on the up and up, not to mention incredibly rewarding and overwhelmingly positive.

Simply put, “consultants want their clients to win”—to borrow a line from December opinion pages of The New York Times.

What Is a Political Consultant’s Job?

Political consultants work hard to ensure the candidates they represent are the ones who win elections. Generally speaking, consultants are responsible for taking all the money raised through a political campaign and deciding how it gets spent to get the good word out for a candidate. For most candidates, a majority of that money gets spent on television advertisements, but it can also be spent on direct mail strategies, voter polling and research on the opposition.

How Is Social Media Changing the Political Consulting Industry?

Many young people are getting involved in the political process. Most of these young people are active on social media, so it is becoming increasingly important for candidates to have a strong presence on social media in addition to television ads and direct mail. Consultants who understand this will likely have greater success going forward.

While certain organizations will critique the political consulting field, it is a necessary industry that allows candidates to get their messages to the general public. Some campaigns see an overwhelming boost in their reach and consulting firm they hire. In the upcoming election and every election coming forward, the need for these professionals is only going to increase.