Because of the different sizes and unique needs of various communities, there are a wide variety of roles that fall under public administration. If you're interested in being a part of positive change, consider earning a Master of Public Administration (MPA).
What Is Public Administration?
Broadly speaking, public administration examines how we can impact the underlying social and economic factors within our society to improve the wellbeing of local communities. The government usually spearheads these efforts by funding essential services and creating policies that improve the quality of life of its citizens. However, charter schools and environmental researchers are just two examples of the many roles that the private sector and nonprofits can play in public administration. Here are just a few examples of the career paths you can pursue after earning an MPA:
If you're a confident decision-maker with strong communication skills, you may be a good fit for nonprofit management. These administrators oversee the budget, programs, and daily operations of the organization while working closely with other members of the leadership team. Depending on your role, you might act as the nonprofit's spokesperson, lead fundraiser, or program director. If you recognize a need that other organizations aren't currently addressing, you'll also develop the skills needed to form a new nonprofit to fill that gap. On average, entry-level nonprofit development officers make about $42,500 annually, while the median base salary for a nonprofit executive director is $68,000.
To determine the most efficient use of public property, government agencies hire urban planners. These professionals coordinate plans for projects that range from playgrounds and public housing developments to highway expansions and floodplain management. Typically, urban planners either work within a government agency or as government contractors who collaborate with architects, engineers, and economists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median pay for urban planners was about $75,000 in 2019, and this sector should grow by 11% over the next decade.