Online Public Administration Degrees

Public administrators typically work within government agencies or nonprofit organizations and provide valuable services to their communities. A career in public administration may involve managing programs, people, and budgets, and professionals are often involved in the development and implementation of legislation and policies surrounding education, criminal justice, and economic growth.

Job opportunities in this field are abundant, and many graduates of public administration programs go on to become research analysts, government aides, city managers, political scientists, and program managers. The industry is expected to grow in coming years, and an increasing number of colleges and universities are now offering degree programs for a bachelor’s or master’s in public administration online, making this career path an attractive one for working students looking to enhance their skills and knowledge.


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Degrees

Online Public Administration Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $9,979 18.97% 2 years $29,800 $42,400 N/A
Bachelor's $17,448 10.73% 4 years $40,600 $62,700 6.1%
Master's $18,840 8.4% 2 years $47,100 $77,100 N/A
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

The average salary in the field of public administration increases with the higher level of degree earned. Individuals with more advanced degrees are also able to explore a broader variety of career options. Many public administration jobs are available to those with a BPA alone, while earning an MPA online (achievable with an additional two-year commitment at a comparable cost to the BPA) provides the tools needed for public administrators to advance to upper-level management positions and an average $6,500 salary increase.

Online Public Administration Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Public Administration

With a time commitment of two years and an average cost of $9,979, an associate in public administration degree is an affordable option for students interested in exploring the field. Aspiring professionals who earn an associate degree in public administration will be prepared to perform the functions required for entry-level careers with nonprofit organizations as well as local and state governments. APA programs cover the fundamentals of accounting, organizational management, and problem-solving, and students develop the foundational skillset required to run a department, group of staff, and to continue their education with an online BPA or online MPA.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Grant Management, State and Local Government, and Survey of Legal Concepts

  • COMMON MAJORS

    No specific majors

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Social Services Professional, Law Enforcement Administrator, and Financial Consultant

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $29,790

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    11% growth by 2024

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration

A bachelor’s of public administration degree provides students with training in public policy and management. Earning a BPA typically involves a time commitment of four years at a university and an average tuition cost of $17,448. During these four years, students gain a background in fields like economics, management, and political science. Students who earn their BPA either online or in the classroom are able to enter a wide variety of occupations in local levels of government, national or federal levels of government, or in the nonprofit sector. Many students also opt to further their education by pursuing a master’s in public administration online.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Human Resources in the Public Sector, Municipal Government Operations, and Values and Ethics in Public Administration

  • COMMON MAJORS

    No specific majors

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Budget Analyst, Nonprofit Administrator, and Public Relations Specialist

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $72,583

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    7% growth by 2024

Online Master’s Degree in Public Administration

At an average cost of $18,840 and a time commitment of two years, students may be interested in pursuing an in-class or online MPA after the completion of their bachelor’s degree. Degree curriculum builds upon the skills and knowledge developed in the first four years of a student’s education. Many schools offer an online master’s in public administration, allowing students the flexibility to advance their career at their own pace. Online MPA programs and MPA programs in the classroom both provide students with practical skills and training required for upper-level managerial positions.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Intro to Policy Analysis, Public Finance, and Communications for Public Administrators

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Specializations include Healthcare Policy, Global Public Policy, and Education Policy

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Political Campaign Worker, Criminal Justice Administrator, and Hospital Administrator

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $77,775

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    14% growth by 2024

Online Public Administration Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Public Administration Master’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill$$$$$103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

North Carolina's online public administration masters degree is a full-time cohort program for students aspiring to a career in city management or other public administration positions. Coursework explores management, public policy analysis and project evaluation. Students can graduate in just 18 months and are prepared for careers as public service leaders in government, nonprofit agencies and civic organizations.

Distance learners must complete a practicum in professional study as well as a capstone project to graduate. Online courses are delivered through ConnectCarolina, and distance students can also access several additional digital resources. These include the ITS help desk, an interactive course schedule and the mobile CarolinaGO app.

2

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

New York$$$$$524 W 59th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 237-8000

John Jay offers an online MPA with an emphasis in inspection and oversight. The program provides students with a general education in basic concepts of public administration, including applied research methods and public service. The curriculum helps students build the skills they need for a career within inspection and oversight organizations in the field. The school offers several specialization options, including:

  • Court Administration
  • Criminal Justice Policy and Administration
  • Emergency Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Law and Public Management
  • Management and Operations
  • Urban Affairs

An advanced certificate in forensic accounting is also available.

Online assignments are completed through Blackboard. Here, students can find a variety of online support tools for distance learners, including virtual library access, online workshop opportunities and a help desk for IT assistance. Additional resources are available for Blackboard-specific support, including supplemental software options and plug-in recommendations.

3

California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach$$$$$1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90840-0115
(562) 985-4111

Long Beach State offers an online public administration masters degree that prepares students for positions in community-based and nonprofit public administration bodies. The school uses a cohort model, meaning distance learners take courses on a linear progression with the same set of classmates. Online students may complete the required coursework in leadership and management topics in as little as 22 months.

Students must complete 39 credits to graduate. All online lectures and auxiliary course materials are available in Blackboard. The platform also hosts other digital resources for distance learners, including academic advising, tutoring services, fully integrated tech support and more.

4

University of Colorado - Denver

Denver$$$$$1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600

UC Denver's online MPA provides advanced courses in organizational management, law and public policy, local government politics and related topics. Coursework comprises 36 semester hours in a combination of core and elective topics, as well as a required internship and capstone project. Students can also pursue an optional concentration in nonprofit organizations.

Assignments are available through Canvas. Here, students can find a variety of online resources, including advising, tutoring, career planning and professional training options. Tech support and live communication features are also available on each student's UCD portal.

5

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington$$$$$107 South Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405-7000
(812) 855-4848

Indiana's online public administration masters degree provides students with a comprehensive education in a combination of public administration and public policy fundamentals. Coursework in the 48-hour program explores management, policy analysis, economics, communications and more through a variety of core classes and optional electives. Graduates are prepared for careers in public management, nonprofit management and policy analysis and other opportunities.

Online courses are delivered through Canvas, alongside a variety of student services provided exclusively for distance learners. Resources include live chat with the student support center, virtual library services and online tutoring options.

6

DePaul University

Chicago$$$$$1 E Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 362-8000

DePaul offers an online MS in both public service management and public administration. The MPA program features several optional specializations, including international public management, public management and metropolitan planning and urban affairs. Each program provides unique training for its respective area of expertise in public administration. The core curriculum is similar in every specialization of the program, and includes required coursework in governmental financial administration, ethical leadership, policy design and analysis, research methods and more.

Graduates from both the public service and MPA programs are well-versed in general public administration topics are and prepared for leadership roles in their respective areas of interest. Courses are delivered through Desire2Learn and Blackboard. Distance learners can also access a variety of additional student support resources, including CampusConnect, grad student advising, an online writing center and virtual library databases.

7

Northeastern University

Boston$$$$$360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115-5005
(617) 373-2000

Northeastern's online MPA comprises 42 total credit hours of combined core and elective courses. Students receive instruction in subjects like quantitative techniques, institutional leadership, organizational theory and more. The program culminates in a capstone project.

Graduates are prepared for leadership roles in state and nonprofit sectors of public administration. Online students complete assignments through Blackboard, where they'll find all course materials. Additional support services are available through each student's MyNEU portal, including online learning and tech support, academic advising services, video tutorials and more.

8

University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield$$$$$One University Plaza
Springfield, IL 62703-5407
(217) 206-6600

UIS offers an online MPA that provides comprehensive training in core concepts in public administration. Courses in the 40-hour program are divided equally between core and elective offerings, including a capstone at the end of the curriculum. Core topics explore the five major areas of public administration: an introduction to the profession, budget and finance, human resource management, organization dynamics and analytical tools.

Graduates are prepared for employment in governmental and nonprofit organizations. Online assignments are delivered through Blackboard, where students can also find additional support services. Other digital resources include tech support, plug-in and online app recommendations, virtual library access, video tutorials and more.

9

Barry University

Miami$$$$$11300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33161-6695
(800) 756-6000

The online MPA at Barry emphasizes ethical responsibility and solution-oriented policy. The program combines required and elective courses exploring human resource administration, values and ethics, applied organizational concepts and administrative strategies, among others. A capstone project tests students ability to integrate material learned from class in a practical application. As part of the capstone, students work directly with faculty members and professionals in the field.

Graduates from Barry’s online MPA are prepared for top leadership positions in nonprofit management and other arenas of public administration. Online assignments are completed in Canvas, Barry's online learning management platform. Canvas also hosts a variety of supplemental programs and software to support online learning, including WebAdvisor, WebLaw and PACE Online. Additional online support services include virtual library access, an interactive calendar, online tutoring and personal counseling services.

10

University of San Francisco

San Francisco$$$$$2130 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
(415) 422-5555

The curriculum in USF's 39-credit program explores public policy analysis and implementation, quantitative methods, management practice, organizational behavior, human resources and more. Students may pursue an optional emphasis in health services administration. They can also select from electives in leading across sectors and strategic communications.

Applicants are not required to submit a GRE for admission and may complete the accelerated program in just 13 courses. Online assignments are available in Canvas via MyUSF.edu. Canvas also hosts several other online student support tools, including an interactive calendar, course registration, a mobile learning app and more.

11

California State University - Northridge

Northridge$$$$$18111 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91330
(818) 677-1200

California State Northridge offers an online MPA with several concentrations. These include health administration, nonprofit sector management and public sector management and leadership. The curriculum combines foundational theoretical concepts with practical skills in public administration. Coursework comprises 36 credit hours and includes required courses in organization theory and human behavior, research methods, strategic management, public sector labor and more. Students must also take electives within their concentration and pass a comprehensive final exam to graduate.

Online materials are available on Moodle. The platform also hosts several additional support services for distance learners, including technical support, academic advising and career counseling. Other assistance is available in each student's myNorthridge portal.

12

University of Baltimore

Baltimore$$$$$Charles at Mount Royal
Baltimore, MD 21201-5720
(410) 837-4200

The University of Baltimore offers an online MPA with concentrations in public and nonprofit management. The 42-credit, two-year program provides training in basic concepts needed for leadership positions in public management and administration. The curriculum combines core classes in public management, public policy, information resource management, statistical applications and more. Electives include material in budgeting and fiscal administration, negotiations and conflict management, and global affairs and human security. Students must also complete an internship to graduate.

Distance students access assignments through Sakai and watch lectures and streaming content through Blackboard. Student support services are available through the UB online learning portal, including tech support, academic advising, online tutoring opportunities, social media accounts and more.

13

University of South Florida

Tampa$$$$$4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33620-9951
(813) 974-2011

USF's online master's in public administration is designed for professionals with experience in the field. The curriculum emphasizes public and nonprofit managerial skills and includes internship and capstone requirements. The program’s online format also helps students develop their communication, collaboration, research and technology skills.

Online assignments and other digital resources are delivered through Canvas. These include counseling services, career assistance, technical support and more. Additionally, distance learners can explore a wealth of online software and other programs available on the USF.edu site, including searchable databases and filesharing tools.

14

University of Missouri

Columbia$$$$$105 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-2121

Missouri offers an online master of public affairs, a program designed for experienced professionals hoping to advance into an administrative position. The program suits professionals in any branch of public administration, including public, nonprofit, government and nongovernment sectors. The 33-credit program features nine-week classes. Key courses include collaborative governance, organizational dynamics and leadership, research methods and economic analysis.

Assignments are available online through Blackboard, though the school also uses Moodle, Canvas and Sakai for some distance learning activities. Academic support services include student advising, video orientation and tutorial options, virtual library resources and tech support.

15

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha$$$$$6001 Dodge St
Omaha, NE 68182-0225
(402) 554-2800

Nebraska at Omaha offers a master's of public administration online with a variety of available concentrations. These include:

  • Aviation
  • Emergency management
  • Local government
  • Nonprofit
  • Public management
  • Public policy

Specializations are also available in criminology and criminal justice. The degree comprises a total of 39 credit hours in a combination of core, concentration, specialization and elective courses. General education coursework explores the foundations of public service, organization theory and behavior, planning and evaluation and more. Students must also complete a capstone project to graduate.

Assignments are delivered through Blackboard. Additional student support services for distance learners, including an interactive calendar, virtual library access, student advising and more, are offered through the Service Learning Academy.

16

The University of Texas in Arlington

Arlington$$$$$701 S. Nedderman Dr.
Arlington, TX 76013
(817) 272-2011

UTRGV offers a master's of public administration online. The program provides foundational background information in public services and emphasizes professional urban area planning. The two-year, 39-credit program explores general education, MPA-specific and elective topics in public administration, ethics in public service, evaluation research and more. To graduate, students must also complete an internship and a capstone project.

Online assignments are delivered through Blackboard, which also hosts supplemental online support for distance learners. Other resources include technology support, virtual library services and a variety of active social media accounts hosted by UTRGV student groups.

17

Lindenwood University

Saint Charles$$$$$209 S Kingshighway
Saint Charles, MO 63301-1695
(636) 949-2000

Lindenwood offers an online MPA with an emphasis in public administration. The curriculum in the 36-credit program draws from topics in budgeting and financial management, public policy, digital communication, public relations, business administration and human services. Graduates are prepared for careers as systems analysts, public safety directors, city managers and positions in similar offices.

Courses are delivered through each distance learner's student portal. Lindenwood offers technical support, student advising and career counseling to each student. The school has posted a helpful video for prospective students, introducing them to the online platform and preparing them for life in the MPA program.

18

California State University - San Bernardino

San Bernardino$$$$$5500 University Pky
San Bernardino, CA 92407-2397
(909) 537-5000

California State San Bernardino's master's of public administration online offers students plenty of flexibility in determining their course of study. Distance learners may pursue a generalist track or study one of several available concentrations, including cybersecurity, leadership or public financial management. Each concentration combines core classes with topics specific to the concentration, completed as electives of the student’s choice. In all tracks, students take courses in program evaluation, management of local economic development and public sector labor relations.

Courses are completed online through Blackboard. Here, they'll find all lectures, course materials, discussion forums and their grades. Additional digital resources include an interactive course schedule, student advising and career services.

19

Villanova University

Villanova$$$$$800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1699
(610) 519-4500

Villanova's online MPA programs emphasize leadership, ethics and creativity in public service. Coursework comprises core topics in public administration theory and history, organizational theory and design, and statistical analysis and research models. Students have the flexibility to choose several elective courses in an area of interest; they must also complete a three-credit internship and a comprehensive exam to graduate. Graduates leave school with the ethical and practical training for a career in public leadership.

Courses are delivered through Blackboard, where students find auxiliary class materials and discussion forums. On their student portal, students can also access additional resources designed specifically for distance learners. These include tech support, virtual library databases and student discounts for computer software and programs.

20

The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley

Edinburg$$$$$1201 W University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
(956) 665-2011

This brand new school offers an MPA that provides training in contemporary public administration issues in an engaging online environment. The accelerated 36-credit program can be completed in one to two years, and incorporates a graduate seminar in public administration. Students take classes in policy and policy evaluation, decision-making and management, and ethics in public service. Graduates are prepared for careers as public policy analysts, grant writers, non profit policy administrators and more.

All online assignments are accessible through Blackboard. Distance learners can find additional support tools, including a live chat option, academic advising and other services, through their student portal.

21

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

NSE's online MPA programs prepare students for local, state and nonprofit governance in public service. The curriculum provides public administration skills and also the soft skills needed to pursue employment in the industry. Course topics include public administration theory and analysis, managing information and technology, and administrative law and ethics. Accountability, integrity and ethical decision-making are themes throughout the program.

Online assignments are accessible on Blackboard, which also offers other support services for online learning. These include access to the virtual library and campus bookstore, as well as counseling services and a full-service help desk.

22

Marist College

Poughkeepsie$$$$$3399 North Rd
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 575-3000

Marist offers an online MPA with three available concentrations: public management, ethical leadership and healthcare administration. Students encounter core issues in all concentrations, including politics and policy, statistics for public managers, human resource management and more. Democratic governing principles, integrity and fairness are overarching themes throughout Marist's classes.

Online students complete assignments through the Marist student portal. As part of the program, they'll also have access to additional online resources. These include career services, technical support and elearning tutorials. Other services are available through the college's general Academic Resources page.

23

Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers$$$$$10501 Fgcu Blvd S
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000

FGCU offers online MPA programs in two concentrations: public leadership and management or environmental policy and planning. The program builds student competencies in state and local governance, as well as leadership, communication and critical-thinking skills. Students are provided with a combination of core training, scholarship and service-learning opportunities to master theoretical and practical applications of public administration concepts.

Online assignments are delivered through Canvas, and distance learners find a variety of student support resources available through their student portal. Additional resources include video conferencing opportunities, virtual library services and community service outreach options through social media and FGCU.edu.

24

Texas Southern University

Houston$$$$$3100 Cleburne St
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 313-7011

Texas Southern offers an executive MPA, designed for prospective administrators in urban planning and development. The 36-credit program explores several topics, including public administration theory and practice, research methods and intergovernmental relations. The program combines foundational and elective courses and culminates in a capstone experience.

Courses are delivered through Blackboard and incorporate virtual lectures, collaborative seminars and multimedia projects. The variety of presentation methods keeps students engaged and helps them develop the soft skills needed for successful leadership. Distance learning is supported by a range of additional services for online students, including online scheduling and registration, tech support and social media tools.

25

Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Harrisburg

Middletown$$$$$777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057
(717) 948-6250

Penn State Harrisburg's MPA blends conceptual study and field experience, helping students develop a broad skill set applicable in a variety of public service careers. The 36-hour program combines core and elective courses in subjects ranging from public organization and management to research methods and fiscal decision making. The curriculum also requires a 300-hour internship experience. Students with at least two years of relevant work experience may be eligible to forego the internship requirement.

Online assignments are delivered through ANGEL, where students can also access discussion forums and other class materials. Additional support resources for distance learners includes online advising, technical support and instant messaging software.

Online Doctorate Degree in Public Administration

The average cost and time commitment required to earn a doctorate degree in public administration varies depending on the institution. Like online MPA programs, many DPA programs are offered online and provide a flexible schedule for working and full-time students. Earning a doctorate in public administration often involves a research-based curriculum, requiring the completion of a dissertation and enrollment in advanced courses. Upon the completion of a DPA program, individuals are prepared to compete in the job market for leadership positions in government agencies, politics, or in public service organizations.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector, Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis, and Ethics and Social Justice

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Specializations include Global Leadership, Health Policy, and Nonprofit Management

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    College Professor, Policy Analyst, Nonprofit Executive, and Lobbyist

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $86,770

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    10% growth by 2024

Online Public Administration Choose Your Career

Average Public Administration Salaries

$55,680
$64,360
$102,750
$83,790
$104,920

City Public Relations Manager

Salary: $55,680
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 240,700 Bachelor's None

Many organizations and companies employ public relations managers to help create and maintain a favorable public image. City public relations managers work within a municipality to moderate between the local government and the community it serves by informing the public about the activities of government officials and agencies. Completing a master’s in public administration online better prepares prospective employees for the requirements of this managerial position. Specific duties of a city public relations manager may include writing press releases, drafting and arranging speeches, and responding to requests from the media. Individuals who possess organizational skills, excellent speaking and written communication skills, and who enjoy dealing with the public are ideal candidates for this occupation.

Public Safety Director

Salary: $64,360
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 10,500 Bachelor's CSP recommended

Public safety directors are employed by a city or county to work within a local government jurisdiction. The most important functions performed by public safety directors include the coordination and supervision of services provided to protect the citizens of their given jurisdiction. Public safety directors oversee and implement public safety budgets, procedural policies, and professional conduct codes. These duties involve close work with police departments, fire departments, emergency medical services, and animal control services. Flexible individuals with excellent organizational skills, problem solving skills, and analytical skills are ideal for this position, although related work experience in public safety is also typically required in order to be considered for employment.

Mayor

Salary: $102,750
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 2,467,000 Bachelor's None

Mayors are chief executive officers in charge of local governments rather than companies. Duties of a mayor include management, negotiation, and establishment and implementation of policies and procedures. Additionally, mayors oversee local programs, budgets, events and activities, and the use of resources within their city. Mayors must be elected to their position by the public they intend to serve. Prior experience in public administration and the completion of an MPA online or on-campus program can be invaluable for those seeking a political career path. Individuals with excellent social skills, problem solving skills, and leadership skills are ideal for a mayoral position.

Administrative Director

Salary: $83,790
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
8% 287,300 Bachelor's CAP recommended, not required

Administrative directors plan, manage, coordinate, and direct the supportive services of an organization. Specific duties vary from one organization to another, but it is typical for administrative directors to assist with maintaining facilities and supervising the supportive services of an organization, such as recordkeeping, mail distribution, and office upkeep. Detail-oriented people with analytical skills, communication skills, and leadership skills are ideal candidates for administrative director roles. While a bachelor’s degree is often all the education one requires to land this job, individuals seeking advancement in this field benefit greatly from the completion of an online master’s in public administration.

Public Administrator

Salary: $104,920
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
-2% 6,200 Masters None

Public administrators must be flexible and prepared to perform a variety of roles in their workplace. Specific job functions vary from one position to the next and are determined by the needs of the organization or company they work for. In general, public administrators are placed in important leadership roles overseeing, implementing, and evaluating programs, public policy, and services within an organization or government body. Individuals who have completed on-campus or online MPA programs earn higher salaries in this field. A slight decline in job growth is projected due to the limited number of higher level administration service management jobs available, however, an increased number of retirements in upcoming years is expected to create more job openings.

Online Public Administration Professional Requirements

Students pursuing a public administration degree can further advance their professional skills and career prospects by earning certification. While there are no certifications specifically catered to those in the public administration field, there are several related certifications available which individuals may consider applicable to their overall career goals.

Certified Public Manager

The Certified Public Manager (CPM) program is a nationally accredited leadership development program which consists of classroom instruction, at-home assignments, application projects, and examinations. Specific application requirements and scheduling vary from program to program, but all require a minimum of 300 hours of training in order to enhance students’ leadership skills, personal effectiveness, and to promote the creation of innovative solutions in the public administration field. As an added incentive, CPM participants may also be able to earn credit toward an MPA online program or other college degree plan for their completion of the program.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Typically 18-24 months

Joining the American Society for Public Administration

Formed in 1939, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is the largest professional association for public administrators. The ASPA offers varying levels of paid memberships, including memberships designed specifically for students, new professionals, or seasoned professionals, whether in the United States or abroad. Through the Chapters and Sections of the association, ASPA members are given the opportunity to become involved in local public administration communities, attend conferences, participate in professional development activities, and receive exclusive publications on public administration throughout the year. The benefits of an ASPA membership provide the keys to efficient networking and career advancement.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis