Working in the area of public administration can be a very challenging career choice, but it’s also a very rewarding opportunity for many people with an interest in working with and for the community. Two of the most important factors you will need to have in order to make a mark within this particular department are motivation and ambition. However, there is another thing that can assist you to a great extent when it comes to ensuring that you perform well in your job, and that’s your master’s degree in public administration.
Although many people will consider getting a public administration master’s degree because of their general passion for helping people and their interest for working in the public field, it’s worth noting that salary is an important deciding factor for those seeking the ideal job opportunity. Those with a master’s in public administration have the opportunity to earn quite a large salary. In fact, in May 2015, the average wage for someone in a management position in the public administration sector was approximately $94,590.
Why Earn a Master’s in Public Administration?
While there may be a range of opportunities available to people with a bachelor’s level education when it comes to public administration positions, it’s worth noting that your best bet to earn a high paying job will generally come from a willingness to further your education. Statistics often indicate that the entry-level wage for public administrators who already hold a master’s degree is far higher than for those people who only have an undergraduate level education.
There are plenty of educational pathways for people interested in earning their own master of public administration degree today. In fact, for those who are worried about earning their degree alongside other life commitments, an online public administration program is perfect for those who don’t have the time to attend classes. The format of online learning offers a convenient alternative to traditional education by giving prospective leaders in the world of public service the chance to educate themselves without having to give up on their current career, or deal with a frantic schedule.
Where your career in public administration will take you will depend on your specific educational focus. For instance, graduates might choose to work in government sectors as managers of certain information or groups. However, there are also a wide range of other opportunities available today for those who want to pursue their education in a range of different industries. For instance, some of the available careers in this sector might include:
- Labor relations specialist
- Public sector manager
- Policy analyst
- Nonprofit manager
Once you have completed your master’s degree in public administration, you will be able to start considering career opportunities within the government at different levels, such as state, federal, and even local levels. Additionally, you may consider working with nonprofit organizations too. As a potential policymaker and leader in your industry, you might be able to get involved with different international relations, non-profit management, consulting, finance, art management, human resources and more.
Of course, the highest-paying jobs are generally reserved for those who have the best education, which is why it’s so important to consider moving on from a bachelor’s degree in public administration to a master’s level degree.
Salaries for these degree levels are just as varied as the different job titles that are available in the field. According to information from PayScale.com, the tenth to the 90th percentile range salaries for different job titles in the world of public administration can vary all the way from $38,453 to around $129,525 per year. In most cases, the people with the highest education in public administration will be able to demand the highest salaries and the most exciting jobs.
It’s worth remembering that the level of experience that you have in your sector will also have an impact on your potential salary. In most cases, employers believe that extensive experience leads to greater skills and more talents within the industry, so you may find that simply getting your master’s degree opens the door to a range of new solutions in terms of employment.
At the same time, it’s worth noting that you should focus on areas of experience within your field that help you to gather the skills most applicable to your area of interest. For example, essential public administration skills are key, as they can give you a detailed knowledge of the politics surrounding the career, and a better understanding of your work area. Additionally, building your communication, organizational and data gathering skills may be important too. These skills can help you to excel by helping you to communicate your thoughts more effectively and clearly.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that the best job positions are often given to people who can show their experience with working in and managing a team. Leadership skills are preferred in jobs to do with administration, particularly as team work and team management will be a crucial part of your job as a public administrator. When you have a master’s degree in public administration, you will be able to interpret and analyze the information that has been given by your team members in a more productive way.
Effect of Your Location
When you’re examining the different opportunities for growth and employment in the world of public administration management, it’s worth noting that you will be more likely to achieve a higher-paying salary in certain areas. Interestingly, some cities and states are simply more appealing to individuals with this particular level of education in public administration, and if you want to make sure that you’re getting the highest possible salary level, then you will need to ensure that you consider some of the following locations when deciding where to work:
- New York, New York
This is a fantastic place for budding public administrators. At present, annual salary can reach as high as $90,374.
- Atlanta, Georgia
This is another well-paying location for those who have a master’s degree in public administration management. Here, the entry-level lowest wage is around $37,271 per year, while the highest-paid individuals in the organization are receiving an average of $91,208 per year.
- Seattle, Washington
Residents of Seattle are in a great position when it comes to obtaining a master’s degree in public administration management. They can earn anywhere between $38,907 per year and $89,181 per year.
- Washington, DC
Residents potentially earn the most out of any state for those with a master of public administration degree. The wage ranges between $49,928 and $106,336 per year.
- Chicago, Illinois
This city offers between $44,099 and $106,339 per year for those with a master of public administration degree.
Though interested in becoming a certified public manager can earn a certification with the American Academy of Certified Public Managers (AACPM). This group is responsible for offering multiple different levels of membership for people who want to expand their position in public administration. The most basic entry level is called a “fellow” wherein individuals who have taken a CPM program will be able to get involved with all of the benefits that are offered by AACPM.
The field of public administration management is growing significantly, at around the same rate as other high-level jobs within the country. This means that you don’t just earn a good salary but your position should be relatively secure too. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected an average growth in demand of around 8% from 2014 to 2024.
- Be a Certified Public Administrator: Certification and Career Roadmap. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://study.com/articles/Be_a_Certified_Public_Administrator_Certification_and_Career_Roadmap.html
- What Can I Become with a Master’s in Public Administration? (2016, Feb. 23) Retrieved from http://www.mastersportal.eu/articles/586/what-can-i-become-with-a-masters-in-public-administration.html
- Master of Public Administration (MPA) Degree Average Salary. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Public_Administration_(MPA)/Salary