What Are the Qualifications to Become a Council Member?

The qualifications to become a council member vary depending on the city, state and council position. However, most council positions require that the candidate is a registered voter, at least 18 years of age and a resident of the state in which they seek candidacy.

Each state has different council positions and maintains widely different qualifications for each one. Additionally, different cities and counties may have their own charters with specific qualifications for a council member. For instance, in Maryland there are council positions at both the city and county level. To become a County Council Member there is no minimum age requirement, but the candidate must be willing to serve a four-year term and receive a $22,500 per-year salary with no benefits, as of 2015. On the other hand, a City Council Member must be at least 21 years of age and must also have been a registered voter of the district they will represent for at least one year before the election.

While the qualifications of Maryland's council members are representative of most states, the duration of residency and age of the candidate are the qualifications that vary the most between states, cities and counties. For example, Tucson does not explicitly list a minimum age for council members, but the city does require that the candidate have been a registered voter for at least three years, which means that the youngest possible age for a council member is 21.