The Bureau of Labor and Statistics offers outlook information on various careers and details what their projected hiring will be in the future. Since there are many different jobs under the public administration umbrella, a few will be broken down now. Listed are some Bureau of Labor Statistics job classifications that align with the type of budgeting, labor relations and employee compensation work that public admins do in government offices (shown with median salary and job growth rate for the ten-year period leading up to 2029:
- Compensation and Benefits Managers: $122,270 / +3%
- Human Resource Managers (in government): $102,660 / +6%
- Labor Relations Specialists (in government): $72,890 / -7%
- Budget Analysts (in government): $83,070 (federal), $72,880 (local), $67,230 (state) / +3%
May 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics data for Compensation and Benefits Managers, HR Managers, Labor Relations Specialists, and Budget Analysts. Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2021.
These figures all show increases for demand of those with experience and education in public administration. The average national salary figures included are from the salary section of careerbuilder.com. Each of the salaries listed are linked to the site to show you the figure represented. As with all averages, many actual jobs would pay quite a bit more, and many would pay less. The national average figure is helpful in finding relative salaries between the available job types under the public administration specialization.
#1 Local Government Administrator
These careers take place in the public sector where employees are given the task of performing in the best interests of the citizens of the community. There is often the need to incorporate the opinions of the public in order to assess what their ideas are. Things that a government administrator may need to do include:
- Supervising staff
- Organizing meetings
- Creating and maintaining fiscal budgets
- Communicating with all levels of government
- Creating goodwill for the local government with citizens and businesses
#2 Charity Executive Director
People in these positions need to be able to run an entire organization around the idea of raising money and best distributing it to fulfill their mission and goals. All activities fall under the command of the executive director and that person must be familiar with the overall production of the agency. Common duties of a charity’s Executive Director consist of:
- Managing all fundraising activities
- Recruit and train sufficient volunteers to execute plans
- Maintain budgeting and related record keeping
- Supervising staff
- Provide visibility and education of charity goals to public
#3 Budget Director
Being in charge of this career means that this person is specialized in the financial processes of the organization. They are the ones with the responsibility of making sure that each of the departments within the group are aware of the budgets that have been established for them to operate within, as well as update them through the year how their spending compares to the amount they are allotted. These professionals are often charged with using analysis to determine where profit can be increased, or where to make budgetary cuts if such reductions are necessary for the business to survive.
#4 Non-Profit Director
This person is the primary leader for all aspects of the non-profit organization. Depending on the industry or the orientation of the non-profit, the roles of this director can vary. As the ultimate authority to the Board of Directors, an established record of successful experience is often required for these jobs. It is important for this director to make all decisions with the framework of goals established by the group, since profit is not their primary motive for business.
#5 Policy Manager
An important part of the job of policy manager is in the presentation of the policy details and proposals of new policy details. This makes their presentation and planning skills of utmost importance. All of the work that goes into the policies and policy positions of an organization are extremely necessary to a well-defined mission and goals to direct future planning and strategy. Some important aspects of this job include:
- Assess policies for timeliness and appropriateness
- Reevaluate and research new policy ideas as warranted
- Must work with little or no supervision
- Make important decisions without delay
- Determine timelines and keep to them
- Effective problem-solving skills
#6 Labor Relations Specialist
These professionals are relied upon to maintain communications open between companies and the labor leadership of their workers. By studying and being familiar with all regulations and requirements, these specialists can play a big role in keeping up smooth relations with the represented labor in their facilities. Other duties are:
- Negotiating contracts
- Involve both sides in reaching equitable decisions
- Communicate and represent the needs of both sides to each other
- Examine compensation details between employees
- Ability to play peacekeeper during tension-filled arguments
#7 Public Housing Manager
This person oversees all operations within the public housing of a particular area or housing complex. These people must control all aspects of the housing, dealing with rentals, utility assistance, and to ensure that all regulations are enforced and followed through with. They must supervise all staff members, and produce all necessary paperwork to document government compliance with all procedures and requirements. An effective public housing manager demonstrates leadership to those that work for them, and must be able to look through all reports and financial statements to ensure that all requirements are being met.
#8 City/County Manager
This executive position within local government is the equivalent of a chief executive officer in business. All primary authority and responsibility for the functioning of the city/county fall on their shoulders. While these positions are normally appointed by the city council or the mayor.Typical duties are:
- Provide leadership to the various departments within local government
- Oversee activities related to policy and procedure development and implementation
- Contribute in meeting setting with other division representatives
- Coordinate with other similar agencies for improvement ideas.
#9 Transportation Planning Director
The types of issues that a transportation planner vary widely depending on the size and existence of infrastructural systems in that area. Larger metropolitan areas can have several planners and a director that oversees the planners. The kinds of things that a transportation planning director myst keep an eye on are:
- Assessment of current transportation condition
- Research areas of particular concentration or conflict
- Meetings with elected officials and government agencies on possible improvements
- Conduct research that aims to focus on particular areas of concern
- Keep current on the changing regulations and restrictions on government transport.
#10 Economic Development Director
Attracting new business and creating development opportunities for their jurisdiction are the primary goals of an economic development director. These professionals work mainly for local governments and look to shape the growth of the local area through the influx of jobs and hiring companies. Other tasks consist of:
- Evaluate existing policies to determine if “business friendly”
- Consider alternative policies that could make the community more attractive to incoming businesses.
- Work with industry and community leaders to encourage development
- Create marketing information that touts the real advantages of doing business in that local area.
#11 Human Resources Manager
This generalist is for smaller organizations that do not have the size to support a highly specified human resources department. This person would take care of all issues regarding employees and their particular concerns. This one executive would be responsible for compensation, payroll, benefits, insurance questions, training and hiring. For larger organizations, many of these individual functions within human resources would be handled by their own dedicated professional that deals with just that topic.
#12 Compensation and Benefits Manager
In larger corporations, there would be a dedicated professional that only deals with compensation and benefits and the management of those services for the employees. These include payroll, retirement plans, insurance offerings, and any other benefit provided to employees at the workplace. Job responsibilities include:
- Compare benefits package to competitors’ offerings
- Track the process that delivers benefits to the employees
- Maintain competitiveness with other companies to attract the best employees
- Ensure compliance with all regulations and labor representatives, if applies
- Create and maintain budget for regular operations
#13 Government Relations Lobbyist
These professionals of the public sector are charged with getting their voices heard in governmental chambers and to represent the needs of their organization in that manner. Bringing this attention to elected officials is done to encourage preferential treatment for bidding, contracts, and favorable treatment relative to the market. A keen understanding of how a particular branch of the government works is crucial for a person looking to succeed in this position. In addition, excellent presentation and sales skills would benefit this person because they are hired to be convincing of the leaders in power.
#14 Public Utilities Specialist
For those interested in leadership positions in the public utilities sector, this career path would be a good one. Getting intimately familiar with all aspects of public utilities and the systems used to manage them would be the main portion of the duties for this professional. This analyst of the public utilities would be required to:
- Evaluate work processes for organizational changes
- Review internal processes and procedures
- Research results to determine whether desired outcomes are being achieved
- Coordinate with leadership for upgrades to any information systems necessary
- Incorporate all relevant factors towards future policy and programs
#15 Community Revitalization Director
The duties that fall under this position are similar to those of an economic development director. The need to bring positive business to the area in hopes of better availability of jobs as well as retail and shopping for the residents. In revitalization, the main difference is that development needs to be brought to an area that has fallen into disrepair and has fallen out of favor with the same people they are looking to attract. This makes the challenge exponentially more difficult to bring new business in, because often times there need to be substantial concessions made by the municipality in order to entice the new businesses in. That can take the form of reduced property taxes on property, low interest loans for building construction, or reduced payroll taxes for a certain amount of time after the business relocates to the target area.
- NASPAA – Search for a accredited school for administration, policy, science and more.
- American Society for Public Administration – Since 1939, they’ve been advancing excellence in public health.
- CareerBuilder.com – Public Administration Jobs – Search over 10,000 jobs with keyword, ‘public administration’