A mayor is a chief executive in charge of a city. They are responsible for the municipality’s day-to-day affairs, such as presiding over council meetings, making executive decisions, passing and enacting legislation, and attending important municipal events. A mayor will also travel across the city to meet constituents as well as other officials to gather thoughts and ideas on issues of the day.
- Attend and preside over city council meetings to debate over policies and vote on legislation
- Oversee financial planning and execution of taxpayer dollars and resources
- Veto bills that might contradict promises that you campaigned on during your election
- Appoint officials to head city hall departments
- Hold town halls with the public to gather opinions on matters being brought to city council
- Engage with the local media on city issues or speak with the international press on global news
- Travel to other cities and attend conferences that seek to improve the living standards of voters
- Study municipal data, studies and information to become informed on local developments
- Propose solutions to everyday problems, from public transit to affordable housing to taxes
- Establish meetings with state or federal leaders to obtain local funding
- Represent the city at international events
- Ensure the safety of the city by appropriately funding essential services and maintaining a good relationship with leaders
- Run for re-election by going door to door, participating in debates and attending fundraisers
Skills and qualities
Many mayors, especially those presiding over an enormous constituency, typically run for higher public office. Upon completion of their first or second term, mayors will throw their names in a hat to run for state representative, state senator or even governor. There have been many mayors who have chosen to run for president instead of laying the groundwork at lower levels.
Nights, weekends, holidays occasionally
The working hours of a mayor will vary based on the jurisdiction. In many large cities, mayors may need to work around the clock. However, in smaller municipalities, mayors might only have to work part time and be employed full time somewhere else.
Mayors clock in an average of 35 hours a week from Monday to Friday, but there will be many occasions where they will need to work evenings, weekends or holidays, depending on special circumstances or important events.
A mayor will also spend a bulk of their time at city hall, but the position also requires travel in and out of the city.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Qualifications and training
No formal educational requirements
In most cities around the world, anybody can become mayor. There is no barrier to entry, though a university education and experience in politics can be extremely advantageous. To become a mayor, all you need to do is gather enough signatures, submit an application to the city hall and then run an election campaign.
SourcesBureau of Labor Statistics
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022