How Much is the Average MPA Salary?

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masters in public administration salary

Professionals in public service typically choose to return to school to get their Master of Public Administration (MPA) for practical reasons: to advance in their career and make more money. An MPA helps working professionals move into higher positions of authority, and with it, make a higher salary. Working adults in public service may not expect to become millionaires, but public administration is one of the most reliable career choices possible, and an online MPA can make a big difference.

What is an MPA and Who Should Get a Public Administration Degree?

A Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is a professional degree designed to prepare individuals for successful careers in public service. It combines the principles of management, policy analysis, and research to provide graduates with the skills needed to lead and manage organizations in the public sector. The MPA program focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and abilities that are essential for effective public service including communication, budgeting, policy analysis, organizational behavior, and leadership. Graduates of this program will be equipped with the necessary skills to work in a variety of roles within local or federal government or non-profit organizations.

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An MPA degree can open up a world of opportunity for those interested in public administration and policy. With an MPA, you can pursue a career in government, nonprofit organizations, or the private sector. With this degree, you will develop the necessary skills to analyze and solve complex problems related to public policy and management. You will also learn how to create strategies that effectively address social issues and build strong relationships with stakeholders. An MPA degree allows you to gain the knowledge needed to be successful in a wide variety of fields, such as urban planning, healthcare administration, economic development, education policy, or international affairs.

An MPA degree is a valuable asset for those who seek to make a career in the public sector or want to work in public service. It is especially beneficial for those who are interested in policy-making, public administration, and leadership roles. The degree provides theoretical knowledge and practical skills that are essential for these positions. It also provides an opportunity to gain experience in managing resources, understanding organizational dynamics, and solving complex problems – all of which are important skills for any leader. In addition, the degree gives students an understanding of how government works at different levels and how policies can be effectively implemented. Thus, an MPA degree is invaluable for those looking to pursue a career in the public sector or serve as leaders within their organizations.

An MPA degree program prepares students to work as:

  • public relations manager
  • financial manager
  • program administrator
  • financial analyst
  • human resources director

The job market for government positions is competitive, but an MPA can put you ahead.

Public administration is a field that requires individuals to have a combination of skills and qualities. Those who are successful in this field must possess excellent communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills. They must also be able to work with different groups of people, including elected officials, government employees, and the public. Additionally, they must possess strong leadership abilities in order to lead teams effectively. Finally, they must have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations that govern public administration in order to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.

Public Administration Salary Expectations

In general, a Masters in Public Administration average salary or median salary is around $68,000 per year. Although the average is slightly higher than the national average for income across most professions, you can expect some variation based on your experience level, your position, and the sector you work in for your job. The range of salary for an MPA is around $35,000 per year to $100,000 per year. The average income for an entry-level position is $53,000 per year. Mid-level positions or roles as an executive director range from $75,000 to $80,000 per year.

Expect your salary to increase as you gain experience in your field. You should also expect variation based on your location and your role in the company or organization. Private sector positions may result in a higher wage when compared to public sector jobs or roles in the government. A non-profit organization may have limited funds for your salary, so may result in lower wages. You should evaluate the position and your goals to determine a fair wage for your career.

How Much an MPA Makes vs an MBA

When you look at MPA salary vs MBA salary, you will notice a wide array of variation in the actual wages. The average income for an MBA depends on work experience and their role in a corporation. Entry level positions have an average income of roughly $53,000 per year. The wage increases to roughly $60,000 per year for an MBA after four to five years of work experience. By ten years of work experience, the average income is around $100,000 for many MBA graduates.

Comparing income levels depends on the role of the individual in a company. Since an MPA may earn between $35,000 and $100,000 per year, the average income after gaining experience is similar. Many MPA graduates will have a reasonable income based on their experience. You should keep in mind that you may have a slightly lower starting salary or a lower income if you choose to work in a field that offers lower salaries.

Exact wages and comparisons depend on where you plan to work and what type of job you intend to take for your career. An MPA has a similar average income when compared to an MBA, but your role in an organization, business, or government job impacts that actual wages.

Is a Public Policy Degree Worth It?

A question that may arise when you evaluate a program is the actual impact of your degree on your salary. Is a public policy degree worth it? As a general rule, a bachelor’s in public administration salary is lower than the salary you can expect with a master’s degree. The average income for a bachelor’s in public administration is around $50,000 per year. That compares to the average of $68,000 per year for an MPA.

Although the average for an MPA is higher, you should keep in mind that your role and experience level also impact your salary. In general, a master’s degree is worth the extra time and effort because it helps you increase your salary potential and allows you to improve your position in a company. You will earn more from the entry-level position through your career. It gives you more opportunity to advance into lucrative positions within an organization. A bachelor’s degree may limit your upward mobility, which results in a lower average income over the course of your career.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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