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7 Local Government Jobs for an MPA Grad

Many graduates from a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program will find that working in local government jobs is a rewarding use of their knowledge, skills and experience. All areas of local government need managers and directors with the expertise that MPA graduates have to offer. The following is a list of seven local government jobs perfectly suited for MPA graduates.

1. City Manager

City manager is an excellent option for MPA grads looking for a job in local government. An executive-level position, the city manager acts as chief administrative officer for a city and is responsible for managing all city departments, coordinating the administration of city affairs, implementing city policies, and planning the city’s budget.

2. Urban Planner

Local governments typically hire urban planners to oversee the development of city land. An urban planner will oversee a variety of city projects and coordinate the work of architects and engineers to meet the needs of the local government and city residents. Urban planning requires a knack for big-picture thinking, as well as the ability to manage the details of multiple city projects simultaneously.

3. Budget Analyst

A budget analyst can work at the city or county level to assist departments and agencies with their budgetary needs. A budget analyst must be able to evaluate the finances of multiple departments on an on-going basis, as well as understand various city and county policies and their effects on local economies.

4. County Administrator

Similar to a city manager, a county administrator is an upper-level local government job with authority over a county’s administrative affairs. A county administrator supervises the work of every department in the county, in addition to preparing the budget and reporting to its board of supervisors on the county’s financial condition. A county administrator must wear many hats as he or she oversees staff development, county growth, strategic planning and budgeting.

5. Policy Consultant

A policy consultant can work within the local government to ensure that departments comply with city, state and federal policies and regulations. One aspect of a policy consultant’s job might be to assist city departments, law enforcement, or fire safety programs in developing their employee policy manuals.

6. Human Resources Management

Although most people think of human resources management as a corporate role, cities and counties also need administrators to manage the human resources within their departments and agencies. Individuals interested in a local government job as a human resources manager would benefit from an MPA degree program that helps them understand the implications of public administration as it relates to human resources.

7. Parks and Recreation Manager

For an MPA graduate who enjoys the outdoors and coordinating community programs, a parks and recreation management position might be a fulfilling local government job. A parks and recreation manager oversees all aspects of recreational activities for a city, from sports leagues to citywide holiday celebrations to the local community center, and he or she is responsible for staffing, scheduling and budgeting of these activities and events.

Graduates from an MPA degree program have a wide variety of options when it comes to seeking a local government job. Available positions include roles in executive leadership, city program management, and budget preparation and analysis, making an MPA degree a practical asset for any professional seeking fulfillment through local government work.

Learn more about the UT Arlington online MPA program.


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