Public Administration
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Public Administration Overview

While in school, you were the treasurer of student council, editor of the school's newspaper, or class president; always acting as a catalyst for change. So, what's next for you? A Public Administration degree will prepare you for running the executive arm of local, state, and federal government - allowing you to create policies that will bring positive change.

Business principles as well as politics are important in a Public Administration program. Classroom lectures will infuse business lessons into public administration curriculum, with instruction focusing on: the management of public policy, public budgetary processes and financial management, public personnel management, professional ethics, administrative law, and research methods. Your program may even offer the option to specialize in urban studies, criminal justice, or public opinion.

Required Skills

Students in this program should have a passion for creating positive change for communities. Communication, teamwork, and policy development skills are crucial to creating change in the public sector. Public administrators often have to find common ground for a diverse group that are on opposite sides of an issue, so the ability to see all sides of an issue is also extremely helpful.

No matter what type of job you take in public administration, you will be expected to have a good understanding of the government and a knack for business. Analytical and research skills will be invaluable as you move forward with your career in public administration. Problem solving will become your specialty, as you discuss ways to fix society's most urgent issues.


A career in public administration encompasses a wide range of interests in federal, state, and local government, advocacy groups, and non-profit organizations. Graduates find jobs as administrative officers of a municipality, policy analysts, city or county managers, safety inspectors, criminal or private investigators, custom or border guard inspectors, and labor management relations specialists. At the government level, you can work for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Graduates with a degree in Public Administration average $38,931 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $64,040.

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Related Majors

Explore all the majors withing the field of Public Administration & Social Service

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Public Administration might open up.

Chief Executives
General and Operations Managers
Managers, All Other
Postmasters and Mail Superintendents
Social and Community Service Managers
Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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