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Working for the Government in Public Administration

Many students and people looking for a career change have often wondered to themselves how to get started working for the government. These can be some of the highest-paying, most secure positions out there, and they touch many different fields and organizations – probably more than you imagine. Postal workers, municipal clerks, urban developers, and even workers that handle aircraft and artillery usually have one thing in common – a background in public administration. Public administration can lead you in many different directions, but some of the most common careers can also be the most lucrative.

Four Public Administration Careers to Consider

Policy Analysts

public administration government workerMany government agencies employ policy analysts, who evaluate their current policies and figure out ways to improve them or formulate new ones. They can be involved directly in finding the best ways to communicate with the public and also finding the best ways to address certain problems. This can mean conducting surveys or doing research on public perception – finding out which parts of an organization are working, and which need to be revised. Budget analysis is a similar job, but budget analysts focus on how much money is being spent and how a government organization can allocate its funds more wisely.

Municipal Clerks

Municipal clerks usually work for courts or city councils, but they may control other city services as well. The main purpose of their job is to keep records and keep track of schedules. They may be in charge of issuing licenses or permits, such as for marriages and divorces. The duties of a municipal clerk can vary greatly based on where they live and the policies of that particular state or county. They are often involved in local elections, and in some towns and cities they might even be elected themselves.

Urban Planners

People involved in urban planning, or city or regional development, work on the best ways to use public lands. They monitor population growth and construction projects, including figuring out the need for schools, hospitals, post offices, courts, or other public buildings in growing areas. Urban planners have to take into account both economic and environmental issues when looking at proposed projects.


The most basic kind of inspector jobs can be in building or sanitation. Some inspectors involved in public administration work in customs, or the FDA, or the ATF. Many government agencies employ an inspector general – an appointed position for someone who can monitor the inner workings of the agency or military branch and identify misconduct, fraud, or other forms of abuse. On a larger level, some of these positions can be appointed by the president.

Many public administration jobs can be thought of as a little routine, or lacking excitement, but public administration can be the most essential work in the country – and the salary for most positions reflects that. In public administration, you are basically charged with making sure government is doing its job as efficiently as possible. The government entrusts these professionals to look out for the well-being of everyone in the community and do the work that is behind the scenes but very necessary. And what could be more rewarding than that?

Nancy Meyers writes for several education sites and suggests finding information on the Top 10 Best Online MPA Degrees.