A Master of Public Administration is a master’s level degree in public affairs for folks interested in a management and leadership degree. It is commonly referred to as an MPA.
The MPA is considered the public sector equivalent of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in the private sector.
Let’s break down how much money you can make with this versatile degree.
Crunching the Numbers
According to the site Burning Glass, a company that analyzes growth rates, income rates, and other factors of jobs in the workforce. A public administrator’s average salary is $84,231.
Burning Glass also estimates that those who hold a master’s degree in public administration have the potential to earn 13% more than those who hold just a bachelor’s degree.
Salary will vary greatly and depends on multiple factors such as whether a graduate is working in the public or private sector, or even the nonprofit sector.
The Congressional Budget Office put out a report stating that federal employees with a professional degree made an estimated 18% less than employees in the private sector.
If you do find yourself drawn to the public sector, and are at the beginning of your career, $45,627 is the estimate of what you will make when you begin. This is the national salary for most employees who come directly out of graduate school once obtaining their Master’s Degree.
That being said, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration believes that you won’t be stuck at that pay for long! They estimate that federal workers are promoted one to two steps up in pay grade every single year that they work.
Salary levels for public administrators vary a lot depending upon your setting.
So before you start asking about average pay, you may want to ask yourself questions such as:
- Is the job I want in the private or public sector?
- What region of the country do I plan on working in?
- What is the size of the government unit I want to work for?
Where you live, the organization you work with, and the size of the administration will determine how much you earn with an MPA degree.
Different Careers and Different Salaries
Obviously, the career you choose will greatly affect the salary you make. Here are some examples of jobs you may hold after graduating with this degree, along with their respective salary.
Public Sector Careers
- Local Government Analyst: $25,000 – $45,000
- Policy Analyst: $38,000 – $68,000
- Chief Adm. Officer: $100000 – $108,000
Private Sector Careers
- Program Coordinator: $28,000 – $48,000
- Statistician: $45,000 – $65,000
- Program Manager: $30,000 – $63,000
- Marketing/PA Specialist: $66,000 – $85,000
- Research Associate: $48,000 – $60,000
Mater’s in public administration graduates enter into exciting careers as program directors, management analysts, research analysts, and many others. The salaries of these jobs will reflect the hard work and time you put into this degree.
In addition- many new public administration careers are created each and every year. There is no end to exciting career paths for those with an MPA degree!