There are many things to consider when choosing a career path. Many people choose the type of field in which they would like to work. They don’t consider whether they would prefer working in the public or private sector.
There are many reasons to consider a job in the public administration field. They offer great job security since it is unlikely for the government to go out of business. Many government jobs offer benefit packages that are far more generous than those offered by employers in the private sector.
Interested? Read on to learn about who public administrators are and what they do!
What Is a Public Administrator?
“Public Administrator” is a broad term that is used to describe people who work in the public sector. The majority of people who work in the public administration field work for the government. This includes city, state, and federal employees alike. It also includes employees of public schools, universities, and colleges.
Public administrators also work at non-profits and corporations in various capacities. In these roles, public administrators make sure that non-profits and corporations follow the rules of applicable government laws and policies.
Do Public Administrators Need a Degree?
For the most part, yes. There are entry-level jobs within the public administration field for which you won’t need a degree, but your income and career advancement potential is limited.
For government work, including city, state, federal, and public university jobs, there are particular guidelines set by human resources that a candidate must meet in order to be considered for an open job. Most guidelines specify a particular level of education and years of experience within the field. In certain circumstances, experience and education can substitute for each other.
Salary range is also dependent upon education level and experience. So even if you have ten years of experience, you won’t make as much money as someone who has ten years of experience and a degree.
What kind of degrees do public administrators get? They get a wide variety of degrees! You can work in public administration with a degree in human resources, computer science, geography, law, or criminal justice, among others.
Many public administrators go beyond bachelor’s degrees and obtain a Master’s of Public Administration. Public administrators may also get graduate degrees in areas like law.
What Specific Jobs Do Public Administrators Hold?
There’s not enough time to cover all the jobs public administrators hold! Read on for examples of jobs that are commonly held by public administrators.
A county clerk is in charge of managing vital records for a county. Vital records include birth, death, and marriage certificates. Did you lose your birth certificate? The county clerk is the person to whom you submit a request for a replacement copy, and they issue you a new one.
Side note: there are also city and court clerks who fulfill similar duties, but on a court or city level. Court clerks maintain all filings within the court in which they work.
City attorneys are attorneys who work solely for a city. They handle all legal duties for that particular municipality. This can include defending litigation against the city for things like housing code violations or challenged ordinances.
City attorneys typically have many years of experience in a wide variety of legal fields. They serve as an advisor to the city council to make sure that any ordinances or resolutions are legally sound.
City attorneys make an average of $76,500 per year.
Urban planners oversee a city’s development. Each city has what is called a zoning map that is developed in part by the planner. Zone maps designate what kind of buildings go in each part of the city.
Common zones include business, residential, industrial, and mixed use. Zoning ordinances are the reason why you won’t find an oil refinery next door to a housing community.
The city manager is essentially the CEO of a city.
A city manager oversees all city operations. They work with all departments within the city, create new departments and programs, maintain the budget, and serve as an advisor to the city council.
Everyone knows what a police officer does, but not all people realize that a police officer’s duties fall within the scope of public administration.
Police officers are in charge of enforcing federal, state, and local laws. They also go to court to defend citations they’ve issued, execute welfare checks when someone is concerned about the wellbeing of a family member, and are present when a landlord evicts a tenant.
A criminal investigator is a law enforcement officer whose job it is to investigate crimes that have been committed within their jurisdiction.
When someone reports a crime, the criminal investigator gathers evidence and speaks with witnesses and persons of interest to determine who committed the crime. Criminal investigators, like police officers, follow federal rules of criminal procedure to ensure that all police action against a suspect is within the law.
Just like all employers, public administration jobs have a need for human resources professionals to manage the hiring, retention, and discharge of employees and the benefits they receive.
Human resources professionals who work for government employers generally have to work with employee unions and government-funded pensions — things they would not ordinarily deal with in the private sector.
Check Out Our Website for More Information about Public Administration Careers
Public administrators hold a wide variety of interesting and fulfilling jobs. Depending on your major, it is likely that you’ll be able to find a career within the field of public administration. Between the generous benefits, the job stability, and personal fulfillment of a rewarding career, public administration is a field in which anyone would be happy.