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Master of Public Affairs: Salary & Jobs

A graduate degree in public affairs can be applied to many jobs in different levels of the government, education systems, social services and more. We discuss a few of the career options for those with a Master of Public Affairs (MPH).

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A Master of Public Affairs is a flexible degree that opens doors to many different careers in the private and public sectors. Here we explore a handful of possible careers for those with a Master of Public Affairs degree and how the degree applies to each career.

Related Careers for a Master of Public Affairs

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $107,320 7%
Social and Community Service Managers $64,680 10%
Health Educators $53,070 12%
Postsecondary Education Administrators $90,760 9%
Urban and Regional Planners $70,020 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Descriptions

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Some positions as public relations or fundraising managers require applicants to have a master's degree in order to be prepared to properly and effectively interact with the public. Public relations managers focus on maintaining a positive public image for their client through press releases, marketing strategies and training their client on effective communication with the media and public. Fundraising managers are responsible for finding and securing donors for their organization, as well as raising funds through fundraising events, grants and other sources. Both positions must highlight the positives of their organization and clients to build a solid relationship with the public.

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers may be required to have a master's degree and some work experience to develop and promote programs and services to a community. These managers identify the specific needs in their community and create and implement programs to meet those needs, such as battling hunger, mental health issues, and homelessness. They usually oversee the budgets for their programs and are responsible for managing the various staff members involved. Social and community service managers are constantly evaluating their programs for effectiveness and making improvements and changes as needed.

Health Educators

Health educators may need a master's degree to identify particular health needs in a community and work to educate the public about these issues. They do this by developing programs that teach people about various health conditions and help people find important health resources and information that they need. Health educators often train community health workers and oversee staff that implement the programs. Health educators need to monitor the effectiveness of their programs and make changes as necessary, as well as advocate for additional resources as needed.

Postsecondary Education Administrators

Many areas in a postsecondary institution could benefit from having a postsecondary education administrator with experience communicating and interacting with the public. Many of these administrators are required to have a master's degree or higher, and can work in various areas of the school such as admissions or student affairs. Depending on their area of work, these administrators may be in charge of meeting prospective students, scheduling students' classes, communicating with parents and creating programs and services for students. Their specific duties and responsibilities also vary greatly on the size and needs of the institution that they work for.

Urban and Regional Planners

Urban and regional planners need a master's degree, and a background in public affairs could prove beneficial as these planners must work closely with public officials and the public. Urban and regional planners need to understand the developmental needs of a community to help them plan for growth or to revitalize various areas of the community. This requires planners to meet with officials, analyze data, review proposed plans and make suggestions on what plans may be best for a particular area or community. These planners also make presentations about the projects to the public and ensure that all projects comply with current regulations.

A Master of Public Affairs degree can be applied to several different careers that interact and communicate with the public on a variety of community projects. These careers vary across the fields of education, management, social services and community planning.

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