A career in public administration typically involves taking on a role that helps the government-run more smoothly. You can work in the state, local, or federal government and play a part in creating and enforcing policy, handling finances, or planning projects to improve the community.
Public administration is a very broad field. Students who earn a degree in public administration have the ability to choose from a wide range of careers with different areas of focus. Some people working in the public administration sector are passionate about managing and improving public services, whereas others are interested in helping organizations analyze and allocate budgets. Public administration can be a diverse field with many roles.
Here are eight careers in public administration you could consider pursuing:
1. City Manager
The job market for city managers (also called chief administrative officers, town managers, and village administrators) is a competitive one, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting growth at a slower-than-average rate of six percent through 2022.
While city manager salaries vary widely depending on the size of the community they serve, they are significant and often include benefits like retirement contributions and health insurance. The average salary for a city manager was $103,000 per year as of 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage was $91,610 per year, while the top 10 percent earned more than $166,400 per year.
The potential salary and benefits make being a city manager an attractive career choice for professionals who have experience in public administration or urban planning and who have an interest in law enforcement or public safety issues and politics, as well as working with local government officials like mayors and council members.
2. Public Health Administrator
The benefits of being a Public Health Administrator are numerous and far-reaching. It is a great way to use your skills in the field of public health. As a Public Health Administrator, you will have the opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives and make a positive difference in the community. You will be responsible for developing health policies, procedures, and guidelines that are best suited for the community you serve.
A career as a Public Health Administrator offers many opportunities for advancement and professional growth. You can work your way up to higher positions within the health service, or you can move into other areas of health care administration, such as hospital administration or nursing home administration. There are many benefits that come with being a Public Health Administrator.
- 1. Working in a rewarding field where you are able to help others regain their health.
- 2. Developing programs that will benefit both patients and families.
- 3. Providing quality care to all those who need it.
- 4. Using your expertise in public health to help those in need of assistance.
- 5. Making decisions that affect others.
- 6. Improving quality of life for everyone involved.
- 7. Creating programs that will benefit both patients and families.
Some public health administrators may choose to specialize in a particular area of interest, such as environmental health or geriatrics. Others may pick to work in areas such as disease prevention, women’s reproductive health, family planning services or occupational safety.
3. Nonprofit Administrator
A nonprofit administrator is a professional who manages the daily operations of a nonprofit organization. A nonprofit administrator wears many hats, including accountant, fundraiser and human resources manager. The job can be very demanding and sometimes stressful, but the rewards are great.
The duties of a nonprofit administrator vary by organization. Some organizations have separate staff members to handle specific functions like fundraising or bookkeeping, while others rely on their administrators to do all of these jobs.
- Nonprofit Administrator Career Paths: Nonprofit administrators can work in a variety of settings, such as animal welfare organizations, environmental groups or churches, to name only a few. You might find yourself working in an office managing employees and overseeing the organization’s budget one day and staffing an event booth representing your organization the next day. In some cases, you might even travel overseas to perform your duties.
- Nonprofit Administrator Career Requirements: A bachelor’s degree is generally required for an entry-level position in nonprofit administration. However, some employers prefer candidates with business degrees or those that include coursework in accounting or finance. In addition to a degree, nonprofits often require experience in fundraising and grant writing; some even require that candidates have experience as program directors at other nonprofits.
Nonprofit administrators work in a variety of different organizations, including charities, social service agencies, educational institutions, and trade associations. Many nonprofit organizations are located in urban areas.
4. Human Resources Specialist
The median annual wage for human resources specialists was $54,500 in May 2012. The annual wage for human resources managers was $99,720 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,440, and the top 10 percent earned more than $147,350.
Human Resources Specialist is a person who helps the organization and employees manage their job in the organization. As a human resources specialist, your job will depend on what kind of company you work for, but most likely you will handle some or all of these tasks:
- Recruiting new employees
- Helping current employees with their questions about benefits or compensation
- Writing policies for the company and making sure that those policies are followed.
- Keeping records of current employees’ performance and attendance.
Human resources specialist is a good job because it helps the organization in managing their affairs, and also it is a good career to choose for because as an HR specialist one should be able to communicate clearly and help other people.
5. Management Analyst
A management analyst also called an industrial analyst or a business analyst is an expert who conducts research and analysis to help improve the efficiency and profitability of businesses. In particular, the management analyst may look for ways to reduce costs or increase revenue by making changes in operations or marketing strategy.
Management analysts are in demand. These consultants help businesses of all sizes solve a wide range of problems, from streamlining manufacturing processes to increasing sales. Management analysts typically specialize in a particular industry, such as health care or information technology.
The benefits of being a management analyst include:
- Many large companies have entire departments dedicated to management analysis.
- Management analysis is a growing field that has seen strong growth since the late 1990s.
- Some management analysts become partners in their consulting organization.
- Management analysts often specialize in certain industries.
Management analysts make an average annual salary of $83,610, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They also report that employment opportunities for management analysts are expected to grow by 14% over the next decade — much faster than most occupations. Management analysts are in demand because they help organizations figure out how to save money and become more efficient. Many management analysts specialize in a particular industry, such as health care, finance or information technology.
6. Budget Analyst
The federal government is the nation’s largest employer, and budget analysts are in high demand to assist with the preparation of a budget. The federal government annually employs more than 10,000 budget analysts. The U.S. Department of Defense alone employs more than 4,000 budget analysts
- Budget analysts are regularly hired by companies or organizations that need assistance preparing their annual budgets. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that nearly 23 percent of all budget analysts worked for local governments. Nearly 10 percent worked for consulting companies and 7 percent were employed by hospitals
- The federal government is the nation’s largest employer, and budget analysts are in high demand to assist with the preparation of a budget. The federal government annually employs more than 10,000 budget analysts. The U.S. Department of Defense alone employs more than 4,000 budget analysts
- Budget analysts are often hired by companies or organizations that require assistance preparing their annual budgets. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that nearly 23 percent of all budget analysts worked for local governments. Nearly 10 percent worked for consulting companies and 7 percent were employed by hospitals.
In addition, budget analysts are responsible for creating detailed spreadsheets that show how much money the company or agency has available to spend in each area of their operation. They also keep track of expenditures, so supervisors can assess whether they’re staying within their budget.
7. Public Relations Specialist
A public relations specialist is someone who creates and maintains a favorable public image for the organization in which he works. A PR specialist might write press releases, plan events, make speeches or assist in other PR campaigns designed to make the public view his employer in a positive light. A PR specialist’s job may involve writing speeches and arranging interviews for an executive of a large corporation, for example. He may also act as a spokesman for his organization to the media.
Public relations specialists should also possess the following specific qualities:
- Creativity. Public relations specialists need to be able to come up with new angles to present old news, as well as develop unique campaigns that attract attention.
- Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists often interact with the media and the public. They must be able to communicate clearly and convey a positive image of their organization or client.
- Listening skills. Public relations specialists must be able to understand the needs of their clients in order to develop effective public relations strategies and messages.
- Organizational skills. Public relations specialists handle multiple projects simultaneously and must keep organized records of their work, including details about project budgets, clients, and schedules.
- Writing skills. Public relations specialists prepare press releases, articles, newsletters, speeches, and other written materials for their clients or employers.
While some people work as PR specialists for their employers, others work as independent contractors, taking on clients and offering their services as needed. Public relations professionals may be experts in crisis communication; they may also have experience with social media marketing and other ways to communicate with a company’s target audience.
8. Fundraising Manager
A fundraising manager is responsible for developing and implementing the fundraising strategy of a charity or nonprofit organization.
Fundraising managers direct the activities of their staff and volunteers to ensure that fundraising targets are met and that donor relationship are maintained. They also manage budgets, monitor expenditure, report to senior management, and ensure operations comply with regulations.
Their job is to develop strategies in order to raise money from individuals, businesses, grant-making organizations, and public sector bodies.
Fundraising managers are often the face of their organization, dealing with donors and the media. In smaller organizations, they may also be involved in some of the day-to-day tasks associated with generating funds.
The primary goal of a fundraising manager is to raise funds in support of an organization’s mission while maintaining good donor relations. Fundraising managers must identify potential donors and cultivate relationships with them in order to secure funds. In some cases, this may include organizing special events or other activities designed to attract donors. A fundraising manager typically works under the supervision of a chief executive officer (CEO) or board chairman.
They are in charge of planning, directing, and coordinating activities designed to cultivate potential donors.
Functions of a Fundraising Manager include:
- researching and evaluating potential donors
- developing strategies to connect with individual donors
- managing donor relations
- motivating volunteers to donate
- organizing events to raise funds and awareness
Ultimately, you will raise awareness about our organization and increase the number of donations we receive.
There are several types of public administration careers to consider. Depending on your interests, training, and skillset, you could work as a lawyer or legal aid, work in policy or law, work with finances and budgets or plan public improvements. You can find information on all of these on sites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Institute for Public Administration.