I'm interested in a career with a think tank but I don't know much about them or what the compensation is like.
I worked briefly at one think tank, was published through another, and have been a speaker at conferences convened by several others. They come in two basic flavors: sponsored and independent/academic. If you go with the former (e.g. AEI, Heritage, PNAC, etc.), you may need to check whether your interests and views are compatible with theirs. If you go with the latter (RAND, Brookings, Wilson Center, etc.) you will almost certainly need an advanced degree (PhD is preferable) and you will need to demonstrate knowledge of something in which they are interested. Compensation is not huge, but is certainly nothing to sneeze at. The exact amount will depend on their resources and your resume. Best way to determine whether any of them is of interest to you is to read some of their publications, which you can usually do online. I hope this is useful.
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