5 High-Paying Public Administration Jobs 

Do you know what a career in public administration looks like? The story of public administration leads in many directions, intersecting finance, government, research, public policy analysis, implementation, and management. It encompasses one or more of the “three Es” of public admission – economy, efficiency, equity – the common denominator for all public administration jobs serving the public interest.

The variety of public administration jobs available for well-trained, dedicated people is growing. An aging workforce of government workers, evolving public challenges, and shifting priorities drive the demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an average annual salary of $96,180, projected growth for jobs within the aggregate category of Administrative Service Managers is 8 percent in the decade from 2018 through 2028, faster than average. There are, however, many specializations within public administration where demand is growing at a much faster clip, with much higher salaries available. Let’s peel back the cover for an inside look.

Top 5 Public Administration Jobs 

The following list includes jobs in public administration requiring extensive prior experience in a related field. It’s unlikely you’ll be hired to run a large scientific research organization without the prerequisite training and experience in science. Nearly all public administration jobs require a bachelor’s degree, but to land these top leadership jobs, obtaining an MPA degree is recommended.

Executive Director, Nonprofit

Average annual compensation: $102,690

Nonprofits operate in nearly all sectors of the economy, addressing social issues and advancing single-issue advocacy. Skilled leaders are needed to hire and manage staff, set organizational strategy, and deal with fundraising and fiscal management.

Scientific Research and Development

Average annual compensation: up to $253,340 or more

This is a broad category, including government research and development organizations and scientific organizations like NASA and NOAA. Becoming a leader in such institutions is often the culmination of a prestigious career in science. Adding a Master’s of Public Administration degree to your CV can help open the door to these capstone positions.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Average annual compensation: $114,800

Public relations and fundraising go to the core of any public administration organization. Getting your message out to stakeholders and acquiring funds to carry out your mission, whether by government allocation, philanthropy, or private donations, is essential. Job growth is projected at 8 percent, faster than average as compared to the overall economy.

Healthcare Service Managers

Average annual compensation: $99,730

Healthcare administrators oversee the planning, development, and management of healthcare service centers, including nursing homes, public hospitals, and medical groups. The demand is high. According to BLS data, 18 percent job growth is projected between 2018 and 2028, much faster than average.

Foreign Service Officer

Average annual compensation (political scientist): $117,570

Ambassadors, envoys, diplomats, political scientists. These are some of the duties of the foreign service officer. While it is possible to enter the foreign service without a degree, it’s extremely unlikely any of the aforementioned jobs are available without at least a bachelor’s degree. Some positions, like a political scientist, expect a minimum of a master’s degree.

Prepare for a Career in Public Administration  

The scope of public administration jobs requires a comprehensive understanding of a broad range of issues, concepts, and practical applications. As we’ve mentioned, the jobs we just looked at are theoretically open to those holding a bachelor’s degree. Practically speaking, your odds of working in the top echelons of public administration increases by obtaining the extended knowledge and expertise acquired through a Master’s of Public Administration degree.

Designed for working professionals, the online Master of Arts in Public Administration program offered by Touro University Worldwide provides students with a solid grounding in the full range of public administration. Whether to enhance or launch a career, students enjoy an affordable and flexible option for reaching their goals.

Touro University’s MPA program blends theoretical concepts with real-world applications and case studies. Students develop their ability to understand, analyze, strategize, and manage complex government and nonprofit institutions. Graduates are prepared to take the helm of these organizations to affect social cohesion and promote positive change.

No list can include all the fields open to public administrators. Use this list to explore all the possibilities that excite your interests and passions. Pursuing what is important to you will ultimately lead to the most rewarding career.

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