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.
Public Administration Salary Expectations
On average, a Masters in Public Administration 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.