Careers in public administration involve the development, implementation and management of public and government policies. People who choose public administration as a career will find that there are a variety of paths that can be pursued for employment. This is particularly true for people who hold a public administration degree, such as a masters degree. As there are numerous job opportunities in public, state and federal agencies, it is important for students to explore all of the career options that are available to them when entering this field. Regardless of what career is selected, a bachelors degree is sufficient for entry-level positions to most public administration jobs. Graduates who are interested in future advancement opportunities and the best chance of initial employment, will find that a majority of employers prefer a masters in public administration.
Career opportunities for graduates
After obtaining a masters of public administration degree there are many career opportunities that are available. These job opportunities can be found at a local, state and federal level. Examples of careers for people with a masters in public administration include, but are not limited to, city manager, consumer safety inspector, medical and health services manager and foreign policy analyst. A city manager is a city’s administrative manager. It is typically an appointed position that is in charge of daily administrative operations of the city or town. Medical and health services managers are the executives and administrators that manage the delivery of health care services in either a specific medical department or of the general health care system where they are employed. Medical and health managers may be clinical managers or health information managers or administrators. People who work as foreign policy analysts address U.S. foreign policy and relationships with other countries. Consumer safety inspectors are people who work in private food processing plants to ensure that they are operating in accordance with sanitation and processing protocols to protect the consumer.
Public administration jobs can be found in various locations in the country and internationally. People with a public administration degree often work jobs in government agencies. Some of these agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to name a few. Positions for people with a masters of public administration may also be found in non-government agencies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
Salary information for different public administration jobs
Pay for people who are working public administration jobs will vary depending on the chosen career and whether or not the person holds a masters in public administration. The average public administration salary for a city manager is approximately $94,992. Pay rates for people who work as medical and health managers depend on the actual type, location and level of responsibility that is held. On average, the median salary for this type of job is $80,240. This changes however, when the type of facility is factored in. For example, the average annual public administration salary for health service managers in nursing care facilities is $71,190, and in physician offices it is $74,060. The median salary for a consumer safety inspector is $39,000; however a masters degree can increase the public administration salary for this job. A human resources director with a masters of public administration can expect to earn a median annual salary of $78,234.
There are numerous organizations for people who have entered the field of public administration. Some of the organizations are career-specific, while others address public administration as a whole. The American Association for Public Administration is an organization that was established for public administrators in general. The American Society for Public Administration, or ASPA, is the largest organization for public administrators and it is governed by four values. These values are Accountability and Performance, Professionalism, Ethics and Social Equity. Through the ASPA, members have access to events, publications and other resources and opportunities that are specific to public administrators.
The National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) is an organization that was established in 1983 and is located in Washington, DC. The purpose of this organization is to encourage the advancement of African-Americans with a public administration degree and who work in the field of public administration. It is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The organization currently has forty chapters across the U.S. Members of NFBPA have access to events, publications and a number of programs, awards and scholarships.