Start a Career in Public Administration

Public administration jobs attract professionals aspiring to a career focused on making public services as effective as possible to the broadest range of citizens, particularly those in disadvantaged communities. Public administrators build bridges that connect people in need with the services and programs that can improve their lives. Their work impacts individuals, families, and communities.

PAs practice their profession in various settings, including government agencies, nonprofits, international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and social enterprises. Public administration jobs include working as civil servants, city managers, appointed officials, researchers, nonprofit managers, and more.

The PA Times, a publication of the American Society of Public Administrators, writes that “selecting a career in public administration is not about public accolades or just having a job. Public administration is about having the passion to serve residents and the city. Public administration is about public service.”

The most straightforward path to preparing for public administration jobs involves earning a Master of Arts in Public Administration. Much like an MBA prepares leaders for private businesses, an MPA provides graduates with the skills and knowledge required to become effective public service leaders.

Who Benefits From Earning an MPA?

An MPA program attracts motivated individuals with a passion for the successful management of public service programs, from multi-million projects to grassroots neighborhood initiatives. Public servants lean on that passion for overcoming setbacks and navigating roadblocks to ensure positive outcomes while managing the daily tasks necessary to keep public agencies running smoothly.

In addition to this dedication to public service, jobs in public administration also demand ethical decision-making and critical thinking skills. The program emphasizes ethical leadership, policy implementation, and program management.

The MPA allows graduates to dedicate their careers to serving the greater good. Their work can result in transforming lives and helping create strong, healthy, and vibrant communities.

Potential Careers and Salaries for Those With an MPA

Those who earn an MPA can work in public administration jobs in a wide variety of environments. The common theme is creating and implementing effective public services and programs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks the various potential careers available for professionals with an MPA degree. All salary figures from BLS unless otherwise noted.

Political scientist. Political scientists study how political systems and public policy impact citizens, as well as make recommendations for helpful changes. The median annual salary reached $122,510 in May 2021. The BLS projects 9 percent job growth in the field by 2030.

Nonprofit administrators. They oversee operations at nonprofit organizations, including fundraising and personnel management. reports an annual average salary of $92,500.

Social and community service manager. They manage government and nonprofit agencies that provide public services and help connect people to those services. The average annual salary reached $74,000 in May 2021. The BLS projects 15 percent job growth in the field by 2030.

Urban planners. Urban planners work on land use and public programs to improve communities. The average annual salary reached $78,500 in May 2021. The BLS projects 7 percent job growth in the field by 2030.

Public works managers. They provide administration and oversight of organizations and programs in the public sector. Listed by the BLS as “government managers,” public works managers earn an average salary of $99,333. Overall, the BLS projects a 9 percent increase in administrative services and facilities manager jobs by 2030.

Touro University Worldwide’s MPA Program

A graduate degree program in public administration typically attracts professionals with years of experience in government or the nonprofit sector. Students in MPA program from Touro University Worldwide learn the skills needed to excel in a public service-oriented career.

The MPA covers management topics and how they relate specifically to government and nonprofit organizations. Course topics include:

  • Public policy analysis
  • Organizational behavior
  • Law and public policy
  • Public budgeting
  • Human resources management
  • Performance assessment
  • Ethics
  • Public administration in a multi-cultural society

The TUW online degree offers professionals a flexible, affordable program geared toward non-traditional students. Full-time students can complete the program in one year.

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