The public administrator works to implement policy handed down from government into government, non-profit and other organizational structures eventually impacting citizens directly. Public administration is the management of organizations, analytics of government policies and the effective implementation at the organizational level to minimize any potential problems caused by integration of policy. Using a mixture of tools and knowledge bases drawn from political science, business management and administrative law, the effective public administrator will have not only the practical understanding of their work but also the interpersonal skills to carry out their tasks as a public servant.
The public administrator will be expected to perform a variety of different tasks depending on their specific position, such as:
- Researching and planning the implementation of government policies to meet benchmarks and adhere to administrative and government law
- Working within their agency to bring about a quick integration of new policy
- Interacting with members of their agency and the public to educate and inform about the process of implementation focusing on adhering to legal requirements of policy implementation.
- Organizing meetings within their agency to increase understanding of new policy and create a streamline plan for implementation
- Making sure agency goals and benchmarks are met during implementation process
- Creation and review of agency budgets
How Public Administration is a Service
The public administrator works in the public eye as one of the leaders of their agency and focuses their personnel on creating best case outcomes in terms of policy implementation. This serves people by making sure that the laws and regulations created by publicly elected officials are implemented in a streamlined fashioned to create the effects desired by elected law makers. This is where “the rubber meets the road” in terms of law becoming a day-to-day reality for citizens and workers within various agencies. It is the implementation of the governing rules of society itself and impacts the individual, family and society as a whole in a very significant manner.
Impact on Society
- The public administrator has a very large impact on their community. They can influence the lives of citizens in a diversity of ways such as:
- Increasing public awareness of new laws through planning and implementation of media information efforts.
- Helps agencies conform to new rules, regulations and laws as created by local, state and federal governments.
- Creating and reviewing budgets of public agencies so taxpayer dollars are spent in an efficient and effective manner with maximum accountability.
- Reduces length of transition periods by planning and executing implementation processes to promote maximum efficiency.
Impact on the Individual
The public administrator impacts individuals by helping new laws and public policies to become a reality through implementation. For example, a public administrator of public safety might help educate the public on new seat belt laws so citizens know they are now required to wear seat belts or face a fine or penalty. The public administrator can also indirectly impact many individuals by ensuring that their agency is conforming to new laws and regulations.
For example, a public administrator working with the local water bureau can help to make sure new standards for water quality are met in a timely fashion to insure citizen health from access to clean water. There are many ways the public administrator impacts the individual.
Impact on the Family
A public administrator can have a significant impact on families in a variety of ways. For example, a public administrator working with the school system can make sure that new budgets for the local schools include an allocation for more computers per student to insure that students are receiving adequate technical training at school.
The public administrator can impact the lives of a family on many levels from schools for children, to public health, to public safety and traffic laws that keep families safe on city streets. The public administrator has a profound impact on the lives of families in their municipality in a wide variety of ways.
Education to Join the Work Force
While some positions only require Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration or a degree related to the field being administrated (e.g. biochemistry for an administrator at DEQ), the vast majority of positions will require at least a Master’s or Ph.D. in Public Administration or a degree specific to the field in which the administrator works.
Range of Salaries for the Job
Nationwide, the average salary for public administrators in local government is $97,910, while those in state government earned an average of $92,370.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019. National average for Administrative Services Managers in state and local government. Salaries based on national data not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2021.
What’s Next to Pursue this Career?
To insure that you are able to find a job in this field it is recommended that you earn your Master’s or PhD. in Public Administration. While a sector specific degree can also be substituted an advanced degree in Public Administration is usually sufficient and gives one the greatest degree of career latitude. Having a Bachelor’s in the related field and at least a Master’s in Public Administration is highly advisable. Here’s a list of schools in your area offering these degrees.