Public service isn’t generally a field that people think of when they envision high-paying jobs, but there are a surprising amount of positions that pay remarkably well for those willing to put in the work. Those with a degree in public administration have more prospects than people who chose a different degree, but there are still a lot of opportunities available to anyone with a college education. The median salaries for lower paying jobs range between $58,000 and $90,000, and the highest paying jobs yield six-figure salaries for those lucky enough to fill those positions. People may not expect to hear it, but it’s good to be a public servant.
1. Executive Director of a Non-Profit
People who fill this position earn an average of $60,000 per year. They’ve proven once and for all that it’s possible to dedicate oneself to doing good in the world without having to starve. Executive directors bear a large part of the responsibility for the successes and failures of their organization, and it’s a perfect position for anyone who desires responsibility and works well under pressure.
2. Human Resources Director
This is an excellent position for anyone who wants to work directly with people. This position boasts a median salary of $88,000, and those who fill this position are responsible for developing training materials and setting the criteria that determines who gets hired and who doesn’t. A human resources director needs to take an organization of individuals and turn them into a team where each member is just as invested in the success of the whole as everyone else.
3. Information Technology Management
Technology rules the world, and large organizations need all the help they can get when adapting to the new realities presented by exponential innovations. Information technology managers average $91,000 per year, and while this position often requires some extra training or certification, it’s well worth the effort.
4. City Manager
City managers are absolutely vital to local governments. They are responsible for ensuring that services are available where they need to be available, and that the lay of the land remains favorable for both the rich and poor residents of the community. This is reflected in an average annual salary of $94,000.
5. Financial Management
It doesn’t take an expert to realize that financial managers are vital to the health of entire countries. Sound fiscal policies can mean the difference between a thriving economy where everyone benefits and a catastrophic crash that destroys what people have worked so hard to attain. This is a federal position that pays $128,000 per year, and it’s easily one of the most important positions someone could volunteer to fill.
It’s More Than People Think
Public service is largely considered inferior to private industry, but the enterprising and conscientious mind will find more opportunities to do good and make money than most have ever dreamed. Public administrators accept a lot of responsibility by default, and while the competition isn’t nearly as heated the burden someone has to accept is the trade-off. It’s one of the noblest choices a person can make, and it’s why public administrators are compensated as well as they are.
Editor’s Note: Connie Lyons is an avid blogger. If you’re good with people and management and want to serve your community, you may want to consider a public admin degree, such as the one offered by publicadmin.usc.edu.