The field of public administration spans multiple industries and occupations. In order to qualify for the highest-paying public administration jobs within your particular area of interest, first learn more about the landscape of the occupation — including its wage estimates, job outlook and educational requirements — from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Once you know more about the highest-paying jobs are and what will be expected of you as a candidate, you can do what it takes to become a serious contender, including earning an MPA degree.
Public Administration Job Groups
The BLS divides public administration jobs into 22 major groups, ranging from “Management Occupations” to “Transportation and Material Moving Occupations.” To learn more about a particular group, start at the “National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Public Administration” page at BLS.gov.
On the “Public Administration” page, you will find a chart detailing wage estimates. For example, for the occupation title “Management,” you will learn that the mean hourly wage is $32.32 and the mean annual wage $67,230. To find the highest-paying public administration jobs within that particular group, simply scan the chart. While you may have expected “Chief Executives” to earn the highest wages, “Engineering Managers” actually came in on top with the mean hourly wage coming in at $42.56 and the mean annual wage at $88,530 overall.
To learn more about the job outlook of a particular occupation, you will need to search BLS.gov by the subgroup that best fits your area of interest. For example, searching by “Medical and Health Services Managers” will bring back detailed information from the BLS “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” which will tell you that the occupation has faster than average growth expected at 22 percent. Knowing how fast the need for employees within a particular occupation will be equally important as wage estimates in determining a career path.
The “Occupational Outlook Handbook” also will provide a profile of the subgroup of public administration jobs at which you are looking. It will include the education requirements. For “Medical and Health Services Managers,” it will tell you that a bachelor’s degree will be required for entry into the occupation, but an MPA degree will often be required for advancement.
Once you know the wage estimates, job outlook and educational requirements of your particular area of interest, ensure you will be among the most qualified candidates when applying for the highest-paying public administration jobs by earning an MPA degree if you don’t already have one. Many websites exist that review public administration degree programs. They do not charge for their information, and they provide all of the information you will need to make a decision regarding a degree program.
About the Author: Jane Ellis recently earned her MPA degree. She pursued an advanced education so that she could have all of the qualifications necessary to apply for her dream jobs. She recommends thorough research before both choosing an occupation and a degree program.