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The Job Outlook for Public Administration and Policy

The job outlook for careers in public administration and policy is strong, with higher than average job growth and clearly defined career paths in both government and the nonprofit and private sectors.

Where Public Policy Administrators Work

Between 30 and 50 percent work for the government—federal, state, city, and county.

Roughly 25 percent work for nonprofit organizations.

Careers include:

Public policy analysis; Project Management; Regulatory impact assessment; Public policy consulting; Program evaluation; Leadership roles in government agencies; Nonprofit management; Community development; City and local government management; Congressional office work; Budgeting and financial management; Political consulting, advising, and campaign management

Fields include:

Education; Homeland security; Environmental and energy policies; Health and human services; Social services; Utilities; Transportation; Urban planning; International development and management; Law and policy enforcement; Housing; Parks and recreation

The Job Outlook for Public Policy Administrators

Within six months of graduation, 95 percent of master’s program graduates from American University’s School of Public Affairs were employed, continuing their graduate education, or both. Employment statistics for policy administration-related fields as a whole are also excellent.

Job growth in policy administration-related fields is higher than average. For example, jobs for management analysts are expected to grow by 14 percent through 2024 with a median salary of 81,320 dollars.

Careers offer room to grow:

When public administration and policy graduates begin their careers, they might start out as research associates or policy or budget analysts with a median salary of 69,000 dollars; Federal employees with a degree in public administration or public policy typically enter between the G S 7 and G S 9 levels, and sometimes higher; They can then progress into senior roles like program analysts, who earn median salaries of 94,000 dollars; Employees can progress to the G S 13 level within the first few years.

What Public Policy Administrators Do

Public policy administrators are problem-solvers who meet complicated challenges in the service of the public good. They: Develop policies and procedures; Project policy outcomes; Evaluate projects and programs; Estimate economic impacts; Gauge budgetary consequences; Anticipate legal implications; Assess staff and program performance; Oversee organizational change; Advise elected and appointed leaders.

Networking Opportunities for Public Policy Administrators

There are many useful organizations and tools that allow you to connect with others in the field and learn about job openings in both the private and public sector. Some resources include:

The American Society for Public Administration (hyperlink to; The American Public Works Association and its local chapters (hyperlink to; The American Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (hyperlink to; The National Academy of Public Administration (hyperlink to; The National Conference of Minority Public Administrators (hyperlink to; The federal government’s U S A JOBS site (hyperlink to; The American Political Science Association (hyperlink to; The International City/County Management Association (hyperlink to; The Alliance for Nonprofit Management (hyperlink to; Governing Institute / Governing Magazine (hyperlink to

American University: Bringing D C to You

American University has been named a top school for public affairs. Its online Master of Public Administration and Policy degree program brings the experience and expertise of the nation’s capital to you—whether you’re inside or outside of the Beltway. Students receive analytical, contextual, ethical, and substantive skills and knowledge to advance their careers and lead in government, nonprofits, and the private sector in the U S and abroad.

You can request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614. (hyperlink to

  2. For information on federal salaries, visit

American University

Washington, D C