So you’re interested in getting a degree in public administration, but you’re wondering what kinds of public administration jobs you have to choose from – and what you should aim for to get the salary you want.
The truth is that there are very many different positions and career paths in the field of public administration.
It will help you see why you should get your MPA
1. Federal Government Worker – Average Salary Range from $40,000 to $100,000
One of the first things that come to mind when you think of public administration jobs is probably a government worker such as a government distributor or government manager.
One of the biggest employers in the field is, in fact, the federal government, and it is highly possible to get a job with them.
The positions you can fill for them include:
- Financial manager
- Human resources manager
- General operations manager
- Labor relations manager
- Budget analyst
- Accountant or auditor
- Tax examiner
- Purchasing agent
A great advantage is that they’re present almost everywhere, and their database is a great place to look for public administration jobs.
Public Administration consistently deals with critical issues and how they affect the ever-changing needs of the general population. Analyzing and implementing policy, managing budgets, overseeing expenditures and how to effectively communicate to lead the masses are just a few of the skills you’ll develop in the public sector management MPA curriculum at Anna Maria College.
See the Federal Government employment site for current openings.
The median salary for the first few years is $45,000, and after ten years it’s $100,000.
2. Local Government Worker – Average Salary $41,000
The local government in your region have most of the same needs as the federal government, just on a smaller scale. Budget meetings need organizing, staff needs supervision, different levels need better communication, and so on.
Many departments are looking for skilled administrators to join the team and keep the government agency running efficiently.
If you have an MPA degree, the following career paths will be some of the possibilities open for you:
- Community Health Director
- Police Commissioner
- Board of Directors of Education
- Local Transportation Board
- City Director
- Urban Planning and Development Director
- Parks and Recreation Director
Many other management positions exist on a local level. Things such as education, transportation, and health all need administrators on different levels to organize the work and oversee community finances.
There are also civil service jobs. These are typically more people-oriented. Civil service can be working directly with citizens and residents, typically for local or federal government.
The median starting salary is around $41,000.
3. Public Administration Consultant – Average Salary $72,000
As a public administration expert, you can also go on into consulting. The outline for this kind of job revolves around professional advice and policy-making regarding things like budgets and deadlines.
Your job as a consultant will be to analyze a private or public sector organization and their operations, and make informed recommendations on ways to achieve goals with more efficiency.
Other tasks may include developing ways to increase the organization’s funding, and assisting the development of policy to meet big goals.
The average salary for is $72,000.
4. City Manager – Average Salary $86,000
The job of a city manager is to work toward improving city government performance and achieve higher levels of success and efficiency, in a sense running the city on successful business principles.
In smaller towns outside of the cities, these tasks are handled by a county manager, which is an equivalent position you may want to pursue.
Your main responsibility will be supervising the day to day progress of the city (or county) that you work for. This includes management of operations and budgets for the regional departments. For example, cutting expenses in hard economic times when tax revenue is low.
These managers are picked out by elected officials. You can be chosen for a city or a small town, and part-time positions are common.
The median salary is around $86,000.
5. Education Administrator – Average Salary $61,000
Education administrators work for schools, colleges, universities, preschools, and even daycare centers. The education administrator manages routine activities and provides educational leadership within these institutions.
You may also find this job at museums, community service organizations, correctional facilities, and businesses that have an integrated education program.
Basically, all levels of education have use for education administrators. Responsibilities you’ll have may vary and include:
- Budget management, record-keeping supervision, and ensuring adherence to financial systems
- Handling relations with the community, parents, employers, and the students themselves
- Assisting with marketing activities and recruitment
- Supervising, motivating, and training the faculty, both teachers and auxiliary staff
- Supervising and supporting an academic team of teachers, tutors or lecturers
- Managing guidance programs and other student services
- Working on task groups and committees such as academic boards and governing bodies
- Assisting with policy and regulations
- Ensuring high quality, handling course evaluation or complaints procedures
- Processing invoices and purchases of needed goods
Education is a huge part of public service, so there’s a growing demand for qualified education administrators who can handle the instructional leadership and management of schools and other educational institutions.
The median salary is roughly $61,000.
6. Budget Director – Average Salary $89,000
With such limited funding from both taxpayers and members, and the need for meticulous allocation of said funds, a lot of nonprofit organizations and government agencies are in need of a skillful budget director.
As a budget director, you’ll be overseeing the economic growth and development programs of cities and organizing plans to promote more economic growth. You’ll work as an effective liaison for government officials as well as business interests.
Your tasks will revolve around researching and analyzing statistic data to find ways to reduce expenses, increase efficiency, and boost over-all organization success and survival.
These public administration jobs can be found at every level of government – federal, state, county, and city.
The median salary is roughly $89,000.
7. Nonprofit Director – Average Salary $63,000
In this public administration career, you’ll be tasked with overseeing programs that help nonprofit organizations and government agencies become more efficient, better their image, and improve relations with the public.
There are different jobs in this category. From fundraising and press releases to organizing outreach programs or even running the organization.
Potential paths include:
- Director of Development:
You’ll focus on handling the funds and deciding where they should be used. NGOs need to raise money efficiently and invest them wisely in relevant programs. Typical responsibilities could include:
- management of fundraising efforts
- informing the public about your organization’s importance
- overseeing the recruitment and training of new volunteers
- Public Relations Manager:
Your responsibilities will revolve around maintaining good relationships with the public, as well as private and public sector clients. Typical responsibilities could include:
- writing press releases
- speeches and interviews
- evaluating marketing efforts
- managing events to enhance relationships between the public and the organization
- Program Director:
You may be in charge of one, a few, or all of an organization’s programs. The focus of this job is to improve each program within the institution. Your responsibilities may include analyzing, planning, and evaluating the effectiveness of the programs. These public administration jobs make good stepping stones to start climbing up the ladder.
At the top, the executive director position is effectively like being the CEO of a non-profit organization. Typically chosen by the board to run the whole organization. You’ll be in charge of civic duties such as fundraising and advocacy.
The average national salary for nonprofit directors is $63,000.
8. Research Associate – Average Salary $50,000
A possible first step into your public administration career is to work as a research associate. Your tasks will be to conduct research and interviews, as well as gathering research material and writing research reports.
Unlike a research fellow, a research associate is not just a limited-term arrangement relying on research grants from a federal organization or private company. And you won’t be paired as an assistant to a senior scholar.
Research Associate is a budgeted academic position that comes with a formal job description.
Your task will be to offer consultancy and assistance with research tasks to faculty and students within your department who need help with the technical side of their research.
You may get hired by a university for various tasks related to writing research grants for the grant department, or by graduate schools who need someone to help doctoral students with research for dissertations.
To find one of the better openings in this line of public administration jobs, you will need an MPA. The School of Public Policy & Administration’s online Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Delaware helps you strengthen your knowledge and skills in these areas using applied research and case studies.
The average salary is around $50,000.
9. Human Resources Director – Average Salary $84,000
The human resources field is full of related openings and public administration jobs. And you may find employment with the government or a non-profit organization, or even for a company in the private sector.
Your job will include tasks such as:
- Holding interviews and picking out the most suitable job candidates to recruit
- Organizing the training of employees
- Establishing a good company culture
- Resolving potential issues between management and employees
- Administering any benefits or compensation from the employer to the employees
Human resources administration jobs can be found in all sorts of big organizations, so look around and you’ll find one of these public administration jobs.
The median salary is $84,000.
10. Mayor – Average Salary $70,000
You read that right. Professionals who become very successful in one or more public administration jobs are often able to have their names put on the ballot in order to run for mayor. You may even land a position on the city council.
As a mayor, depending on the region, you may be responsible for:
- Making and implementing new laws
- Leading various departments of the local government
- Creating new departments to combat specific issues
- Welcoming visiting dignitaries
- Maintaining the town’s budget
- Overseeing the actions of the panel of citizens
In places where the mayor is the legislative head of the region, you’ll have the ability to veto decisions and to directly hire or fire department workers.
The median salary is round $61,000 for mayors and $70,000 for city managers.
Qualify for Public Administration Jobs
Your public administration career path begins with getting the right education.