A Master of Public Administration (MPA) is an advanced professional degree that prepares students for successful careers in public service. It is ideal for people interested in public policy and developing strong leadership skills across a variety of sectors. The degree often leads to work in nonprofits, the private sector or in local, state or federal government. Further, public administration work involves government and media relations, social and corporate responsibility, and information dissemination. Earning an MPA can lead to work in numerous public administration jobs in Texas.
Which Jobs Are Available to MPA Graduates?
Graduates of an accredited online MPA program can fill a number of professional roles. Many find work as elected officials, program managers, policy advocates, political lobbyists or researchers. For example, a graduate may work for a think tank that explores how private companies and government agencies can collaborate on environmental issues. Another may secure funding for educational or social programs as a development director. Yet others may work as operations research analysts, helping managers with resource allocation, production scheduling, supply chain management and price setting.
An MPA degree can lead to a variety of positions with average yearly pay ranging from roughly $33,000 to $140,000, according to representative data from Payscale.com as of September 13, 2016.
Job Outlook and Average Salaries in Texas
Projected 2014-2024 growth for operations research analysts is 30 percent, more than four times the average for all occupations combined. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state added 27,700 government jobs in 2015 alone. Texas ranks second after California for number of operations research analysts employed. The state is also fourth and fifth in the nation for employment of political scientists and fundraising managers, respectively.
Here are Texas-specific average salaries for a few roles that MPA graduates can fill.
Fundraising manager — $ 129,270 per year
Operations research analyst — $84,230 per year
Political scientist — $68,910 per year
Starting Pay for Federal Employees
The federal government’s General Schedule (GS) pay scale includes several “grades” and “steps.” MPA graduates typically begin working at the GS-9 level — GS-11 if they have applicable work experience.Â In 2015, a GS-9’s yearly pay started at $42,399, while a GS-11’s started at $51,298. Federal workers can expect promotions within their grade in 1 to 2 steps per year.
Annual Salaries for Jobs in the Nonprofit and Public Sectors
Salary.com reports these median figures across the U.S.:
- Government affairs director — $138,876
- Program coordinator (nonprofit) — $57,661
- Program manager (nonprofit) — $78,938
- Urban planner — $45,252
Annual Salaries for Specific Private Sector Jobs
MPA graduates who choose to work in the private sector can find positions within companies and businesses that work closely with public sector organizations. PayScale.com reports these median salaries:
- Director of operations — $86,004
- Executive director — $70,471
- Human resources director — $82,158
- Operations manager — $60,572
An online MPA program like the one offered by the University of Texas at Arlington can lead to a rewarding and lucrative career in public administration. Graduates of the UT Arlington online MPA program gain the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed in a career in public administration.
Learn more about the UTA online MPA program.
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