Curious how to become President of the United States? There are a few requirements that must be met to even run for office. Next, there is a rigorous set of steps a potential candidate must complete in order to run as a party’s candidate. There is no minimum educational requirement that must be met in order to be qualified to run as president, though most have attained college degrees.
The President of the United States is elected by U.S. citizens who believe that person is the most qualified to fulfill two main important roles, that is the Commander and Chief of the armed forces and the Chief of Executive of the federal government. The President plays other roles as well, such as Chief Diplomat, Chief Administrator, Chief Legislator, Chief of Party, and Chief Citizen. Election for the Presidency is held every four years and, if re-elected, the office can be held for 2 terms for a total of eight years in office.
How to Become the President of the United States
Step 1: Meet the Minimum Requirements
According to the Constitution of the United States, any man or woman of any religion, ethnic, or racial group may become the President of the United States. However, they must met certain criteria:
- must be at least 35 years old
- must be a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years
- must be a natural-born citizen
Step 2: Volunteer
It’s important to become actively involved in your community and recognized as having leadership qualities as soon as possible. You can do this by volunteering in your local schools, hospitals, and community centers or other areas in need of volunteers. This gives you a unique perspective of a diverse population which in turn can help you make better decisions that impact many people. Community service is an item you can begin building early on, even if you have yet to graduate high school.
Step 3: Lay a Foundation
After choosing your political party, begin volunteering for the next political campaign. This is a great opportunity to learn the ropes of campaigning and how to network. This can also give you a glimpse into the life of a politician and concerns of a community. You can even volunteer before you graduate high school.
Step 4: Earn a Degree
Although it is not a requirement to have a formal education, it would be a challenge to make it to the most powerful office in the world without one. Look at gain at least a bachelor’s degree with courses in history, economics, international relations, and other related topics. Many Presidents have earned advanced degrees in law or business. In fact, college can be a great time to run for student body, campaign, network, speak in public. This is also a great addition to your resume.
Step 5: Join the Military
Some Presidents have prior military experience which can be favorable to the public since you are running for the role of Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces. Joining the military is not a requirement to become President of the United States.
Step 6: Run for Office
Again, though there is no clear path to become President, many take the next step forward by running for office. This can include mayor, governor, senator, or representative of your State. Those that are successful in these roles get noticed and start making a name for themself.
Now, if you think you are ready, you should create your exploratory committee to evaluate your chances of winning. This would include hiring a campaign manager that is experienced in politics, fundraising, and campaigning. He or she would help to form the committee of staff and volunteers, secure contributions from donors, and gather endorsements. If you stand a chance to win the Presidency and move forward, you would take these next steps:
- register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)
- file a Statement of Candidacy within 15 days of reaching $5000.00
- file a Statement of Organization
- report your campaign income and expenditures to the FEC on a quarterly basis
- declare your candidacy publicly
- begin your campaign to win the Office of the President of the United States of America
President of the United States Career Video Transcript
The requirements. Lots of people dream of becoming President of the United States. But to officially run for office, a person needs to meet three basic requirements established by the U.S. Constitution. A presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a U.S. resident for at least 14 years. People with similar ideas usually belong to the same political party. The two main parties in the U.S. are Republican and Democrat. Many people want to be President. They campaign around the country and compete to try and win their party’s nomination. In caucuses, party members met, discuss, and vote for who they think would be the best party candidate. In primaries, party members vote in the state election for the candidate they want to represent them in the general election.
After the primaries and caucuses, each major party, Democrat and Republican, holds a national convention to select a presidential nominee. The party’s presidential nominee announces his or her choice for Vice President. The presidential candidates campaign throughout the country to win the support of the general population. On election day, people in every state cast their vote. When people cast their vote, they are actually voting for a group of people called electors. The number of electors each state gets is equal to its total number of senators and representatives in Congress. A total of 538 electors form the electoral college. Each elector casts one vote following the general election. The candidate who gets 270 votes or more, wins. The newly elected President and vice president are then inaugurated on January 20th.
U.S. House of Representatives, Press Gallery, Salaries: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, January 2015.
The career video is in the Public Domain and originally hosted on Kids.gov which is now USA.gov, an interagency product administered by USAGov, a division of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service.