Skip to content

Top 10 Career Paths for MPA Graduates

4 Min Read

Getting your Master in Public Administration degree doesn’t just allow you to succeed in the professional field, it gives you the opportunity to serve your communities in a variety of ways. From government work to nonprofit industries, careers in public administration demand the same skills that any business demands, while allowing professionals to help the public population.

The career outlook for new MPA grads is better than ever. The National Association of College and Employers’ Job Outlook 2016,1 reports increases in hiring and increased sentiment for the job market by employers. The 2016-2017 PayScale College Salary Report2 lists Master in Public Administration degrees among the top graduate degrees in salary increase potential.

In March 2016, the Competitive Service Act of 20153 was signed into law, enabling agencies to share talented applicants with each other so that more qualified professionals have the opportunity to be hired in public service positions.

Rewarding Careers for MPA Graduates*

If you’re wondering what the top public administration careers available to you might be when you graduate with an MPA degree, consider these promising occupations:

Accountant or Auditor

2015 median pay: $67,190/year, $32.30/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 11%

If helping public administrations manage their money well sounds appealing, then the accountant or auditor path can provide satisfying dividends. Auditors and accountants analyze and prepare financial records such as taxes to keep operations running smoothly.

Administrative Services Manager

2015 median pay: $86,110/year, $41.40/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 8%

Keeping businesses up and running is a vital position for organizations. Administrative services managers coordinate aspects of a business related to planning and directing business operations. An administrative services manager may advance to become a chief administrative officer, who typically reports to the chief executive officer and is a highly integral part of an enterprise.


2015 median pay: $99,180/year, $47.68/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 6%

Economists study how the distribution of resources such as raw materials and labor affects the production of goods, services and the financial sector. Research, data collection and analysis, and trend forecasts make this broad area of work always exciting.

Emergency Management Director

2015 median pay: $67,330/year, $32.37/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 6%

Changing climates and the prevalence of natural disasters make the role of emergency management directors vital to keep citizens, buildings and surrounding areas safe from the harm of emergencies. These directors help plan for how to deal with disasters and execute response coordination during and after emergencies.


2015 median pay: $102,690/year, $49.37/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 6%

If adding “chief” to your title has a nice ring to it, an executive position might be in your future. Top executives work with a variety of influential stakeholders within the public administration, planning and coordinating to help an organization achieve its long-term objectives. An MPA degree can lead to titles such as chief development officer or chief law enforcement official.

Financial Manager

2015 median pay: $117,990/year, $56.73/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 7%

To help meet financial goals of an organization, a financial manager identifies financial strategies and prepares reports to keep budgets balanced and healthy. Because of the many moving parts within an organization, a financial manager must be able to work cross-departmentally to ensure objectives are aligned and can be met.

Human Resources Manager

2015 median pay: $104,440/year, $50.21/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 9%

With the booming jobs industry comes the need for capable human resources managers to implement the best processes to source and hire top talent. Human resources managers are responsible for connecting management to employees, while also overseeing the coordination of administrative functions. They’re vital roles in many public administration organizations.

Operations Research Analyst

2015 median pay: $78,630/year, $37.80/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 30%

If you love data and statistics, researchers get to crunch numbers to glean meaningful insights that drive operational decisions. The power of data is exponentially increasing in importance to a variety of public administrations, making research work a field of immense potential.

Postsecondary Education Administrator

2015 median pay: $88,580/year, $42.59/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 9%

With of the increase in college enrollments, postsecondary education administrators are in high demand to manage admissions, student services, and faculty research. They are an essential key to keeping universities and other postsecondary education campuses operating efficiently.

Urban and Regional Planners

2015 median pay: $68,220/year, $32.80/hour
Projected job growth through 2024: 6%

From creating new parks to beautifying neighborhood spaces with innovative designs, urban and regional planners are responsible for optimizing public space for inhabitants and making places better areas to live and work in. If you really want to feel pride in your city, becoming an urban planner gives you the opportunity to make a significant mark in your community.

Become a Leader in your Field

Having five Masters in Public Administrations degree specializations, Anna Maria College has built proactive courses to prepare you for your dream job. Our exceptional faculty has extensive professional real-world experience in legal, government, and nonprofit sectors and give students the tools to obtain the career of their dreams.

Learn more about our online MPA program and careers in public administration. Speak to a Program Manager for more information, 877-265-3201.

Sources and Disclaimer


*Salary and job growth figures gathered from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.4 We’ve listed the careers in alphabetical order to avoid bias.

Recommended Articles

View All
Back to Top