Top Highest Paid Public Administration Careers

Consider a Featured Online MPA Program

School and Program Information Online Program? GRE Requirements Course Information
University of North Carolina
Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)
check_circle Online GRE Waivers available Complete in as little as 18 months, includes a Practical Work Experience practicum at a public service organization.
American University
Online Master of Public Administration and Policy (MPAP)
Master's in Public Policy (MPP)
NASPAA Accredited
check_circle Online Ask representative. Graduate with your MPAP in 24 months

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants

Earn a top-ranked Master of Public Administration online from UNC-Chapel Hill without relocating. MPA @ UNC can be completed in less than two years and no public service experience is required to apply. Advanced degree GRE waivers are available to those who qualify.
Click for admissions information at

Earn a master’s degree from a top-ranked school for public affairs. American University brings DC to you with the online Master of Public Administration and Policy (MPAP), combining our nationally recognized and NASPAA-accredited Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) and Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) degree programs into one foundational, highly marketable credential. Click here for more program information.

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Advanced Governmental Studies brings together theory and practice in the study of government and its effects, domestically and abroad. Earn a master’s degree (choose from 3 specialty programs) or graduate certificate (4 different options) with the prestige of Johns Hopkins University and the flexibility of AAP’s online options. Choose to study Government, Public Management, Government Analytics, and more.

Listed below are the top ten highest paying careers within public administration for individuals with a Masters in Public Administration.

10. Financial Analyst – $80,310

Financial Analysts can be found in banks, nonprofit organizations, or even nationally known businesses. These professionals assist companies with making smart and beneficial investment and spending decisions. Financial planning is a necessity for companies that wish to get the most out of their business. Companies rely heavily on the expertise of financial analysts to monitor and track financial transactions so that business is conducted efficiently. On average, financial analysts earn $80,310 per year (BLS, 2015).

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Administration
Average Salary: $80,310

9. Urban Planners – $42,940 to $102,200

Urban planners are the leading source of information for accommodating growing communities and promoting proper utilization of resources throughout urbanized areas. These professionals are vital to cities that are experiencing a population growth or simply wanting to make their cities more comfortable for the community. By changing local facilities and upgrading existing structures, urban planners can create areas that are more functional for large communities. The salaries of these professionals vary depending on location and city size, so the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates salaries for this profession ranging from $42,940 to $102,200 per year.

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Affairs
Average Salary Range: $42,940 to $102,200

8. Logistician – $45,830 to $115,960

Logisticians are found in nearly every industry. It is the responsibility of the logistician to monitor the transfer of products or services from the beginning stages of development to delivery. Since most employees within organizations are only responsible for specific sectors or branches of an organization, logisticians provide a very valuable service to the companies in which they work. Depending on location and industry, salaries can vary for this position. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that logisticians earn between $45,830 and $115,960 per year.

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Affairs
Average Salary Range: $45,830 to $115,960

7. Medical/Health Service Manager – $94,500

Medical/health service managers are a major part of the smooth operation of hospitals and medical centers. In the busy healthcare environment, medical or health service managers can be found overseeing a staff, planning effective policies, and coordinating healthcare services. These managers can potentially be found in specific clinical areas or overseeing operations for an entire hospital. On average, medical/health service managers earn around $94,500 per year (BLS, 2015).

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Administration
Average Salary Range: $94,500

6. Training and Development Managers – $102,640

Most companies require training and development for their employees. In order to incoming employees to learn the basic requirements or safety procedures for their company, training specialist must properly inform them of the company’s individual requirements. Training and development managers plan, coordinate, and implement effective training programs for employees in various organizations. These managers are vital to the efficiency of companies and have the potential to earn $102,640 per year on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Administration$102,690

5. Executive Director – $102,690

Executive directors are the overseers of nonprofit organizations. These professionals are responsible for hiring new employees, budget management, and staff management. Executive directors monitor the company as a whole to ensure that the business practices being conducted are efficient and effective. The executive director is the leader of nonprofits and provides a great deal of service to his or her respective company. The BLS reports that executive directors earn $102,690 per year on average.

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Administration
Average Salary Range: $102,690

4. Public Relations Manager – $104,140

Public relations managers deal directly with public opinion. It is the responsibility of public relation managers to provide support to clients and provide a great influence into the opinion of others. Public relations can be an important part of how popular a business is within the public eye. Since all business is reliant on how involved the community is, the public relations manager is the lead source of publicity for a company. On average, Public relations manager can earn around $104,140 per year depending on their area and business (BLS, 2015).

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Relations
Average Salary Range: $104,140

3. Human Resources Manager – $104,440

When it comes to the administrative functions in a business, the human resource manager is the go-to person for information. It is this manager that plan, coordinates, and implements the various administrative factors that go into a successful business. Human resource managers are responsible for managing pay and benefits for employees as well as assisting in strategic planning for better business practices overall. Dealing with both intracompany employees and business clients, human resource managers having a variety of responsibility. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that these professionals earn $104,440 per year on average.

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Administration
Average Salary Range: $104,440

2. Financial Managers – $117,990

Financial managers are responsible for monitoring the overall financial health of the organizations in which they work. Without an able financial manager, it would likely be impossible for businesses to exhibit successful financial planning. Strategy is the key to success in this line of work, as it is needed to plan and organize financial decisions that can have a direct impact on how well a business performs. Financial managers typically earn around $117,990 per year, according to the BLS.

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Administration
Average Salary Range: $117,990

1. Chief Executive Officers – $185,850

At the top of the private sector, chief executives, or CEOs, are the leaders of large private organizations. This career differs from the executive director in that CEOs are typically found in private organizations rather than public service or nonprofits. These directors are responsible for the everyday operations of various types of companies and provide strategies for reaching goals and meeting guidelines for future business. CEOs typically oversee hiring decisions and cooperation with other organizations. This is a top tier career option for individuals wanting the most out of their degree program. These directors have the potential to earn $185,850 per year on average (BLS, 2015).

MPA Degree to Consider: Masters of Public Administration
Average Salary Range: $185,850

Public Administration Occupations – Wages, Growth by 2024

Below is a list of many different jobs that you may consider with a public administration degree.

Public Administration Career Program
% Employment Change
AVG Median
Chief executives Public Administration -1.20% $175,110
Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates Law 0.60% $126,930
Lawyers Law 5.60% $115,820
Law teachers, postsecondary Legal Studies 21.70% $105,250
Public relations and fundraising managers Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication 7.10% $104,140
Advertising and promotions managers Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication 4.70% $95,890
Medical and health services managers Health Policy Analysis 16.90% $94,500
Administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers Law -3.60% $90,600
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers Public Administration 2.20% $86,630
Financial examiners Financial Forensics and Fraud Investigation 9.70% $78,010
Geographers Geography -1.60% $74,260
Sociologists Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods -0.70% $73,760
Postmasters and mail superintendents Public Administration -26.20% $70,640
Technical writers Technical and Scientific Communication 10.20% $70,240
Producers and directors Radio and Television 9.10% $68,440
Emergency management directors Critical Incident Response/Special Police Operations 6.20% $67,330
Broadcast news analysts Journalism -12.60% $65,530
Multimedia artists and animators Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects 6% $63,970
Social and community service managers Human Services 9.50% $63,530
Communications teachers, postsecondary Communication 9.70% $63,410
Social work teachers, postsecondary Social Work 13.90% $63,390
Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes Sports Communication 2.50% $62,940
Film and video editors Photojournalism 17.60% $61,750
Writers and authors Communication 2.30% $60,250
First-line supervisors of correctional officers Corrections 3.10% $59,720
Transit and railroad police Security and Loss Prevention Services 3.50% $59,670
Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary Corrections 21.40% $58,770
Social workers Social Work 3.80% $58,560
Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators Law 9.20% $58,020
Public relations specialists Communication 6.20% $56,770
Fire inspectors and investigators Fire Prevention and Safety Technology/Technician 5.50% $56,730
Editors Communication -5.30% $56,010
Legal support workers Legal Assistant/Paralegal -0.40% $53,920
Sound engineering technicians Communications Technology/Technician 7.60% $53,330
Healthcare social workers Social Work 19.30% $52,380
Health educators Health Communication 12.20% $51,960
Judicial law clerks Law -6.30% $50,740
Set and exhibit designers Design and Visual Communications 6.80% $49,530
Court reporters Court Reporting/Court Reporter 1.50% $49,500
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists Social Work 3.60% $49,360
Camera operators, television, video, and motion picture Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician 2% $49,080
Paralegals and legal assistants Legal Assistant/Paralegal 7.60% $48,810
Marriage and family therapists Social Work 14.80% $48,600
First-line supervisors of protective service workers Securities Services Administration/Management 4.60% $46,900
Meeting, convention, and event planners Facilities Planning and Management 9.90% $46,840
Private detectives and investigators Criminal Justice/Police Science 5.20% $45,610
Counselors Social Work 11% $45,530
Media and communication workers Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia 10.30% $45,220
Title examiners, abstractors, and searchers Legal Assistant/Paralegal -0.30% $44,370
Legal secretaries Legal Administrative Assistant/Secretary -4.10% $43,200
Eligibility interviewers, government programs Community Organization and Advocacy 1.60% $43,170
Social science research assistants Social Sciences 5.60% $42,480
Child, family, and school social workers Juvenile Corrections 6.20% $42,350
Mental health and substance abuse social workers Social Work 18.90% $42,170
Community and social service specialists Developmental Services Worker 8.20% $41,890
Bailiffs Criminal Justice/Police Science 4.70% $41,670
Correctional officers and jailers Corrections 3.70% $40,530
Prepress technicians and workers Graphic Communications -24.60% $38,270
Broadcast technicians Communications Technology/Technician -6.50% $37,490
Community health workers Health Communication 14.90% $36,300
Printing press operators Printing Management -12.50% $35,240
Photographers Photojournalism 3.10% $31,710
Radio and television announcers Communication -14.30% $30,960
Social and human service assistants Developmental Services Worker 11.40% $30,830
Etchers and engravers Graphic Communications -2.70% $29,810
Public address system and other announcers Speech Communication and Rhetoric 2.90% $26,930
Legislators Public Administration -0.70% $20,500