MPA Salaries

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MPA degrees increase your salary, but can take years to pay for in student loans.
MPA degrees increase your salary, but can take years to pay for in student loans. (Image: Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The U.S. Bureau of Census reported back in 2004 that master's degree holders earned 28.1 percent higher salaries than those with a bachelor’s degree. The U.S. is one of the few countries to provide systematic data regarding the salaries of Master or Public Administration (MPA) and other master's degree holders. MPA salaries vary by job type. In addition many MPA degree holders may also receive benefits, but the specifics vary widely depending on the position.

Salary Range by Job Type

MPA salaries vary depending on the job type. An executive director of a non-profit business earns a salary ranging between $34,000 and $66,500, according to the Master of Public Administration website, while a program administrator at a non-profit business earns a salary ranging between $40,000 and $55,000. Human resources directors with an MPA degree earn some of the highest salaries reported by the Master of Public Administration website, with a salary ranging between $79,525 and $97,750 a year, while policy analysts with an MPA degree earn some of the lowest reported salaries, between $35,000 and $53,844.

Median Salary by Job Type

The median salaries of MPA degree holders also vary by job type. MPA entry level federal employees (Grade 11) earn a median salary of $53,000, while mid-career federal employees (Grade 13) earn a median salary of $75,000, according to the Master of Public Administration website. Purchasing managers earn a median salary of $52,500; directors of program management and human services, as well as business consultants who have MPA degrees, both have a reported median salary of $60,000.

Salary Increase with a MPA

The Baruch College reported that students who graduate with an MPA degree make substantially more money than people without the degree. Earnings before an MPA degree, according to the Baruch College data as of 2003, are reported as follows: 76 percent earn between $20,000 and $50,000; 19 percent earn between $50,000 and $75,000; and only 5 percent earn over $75,000 a year. Earnings after an MPA degree are reported as follows: 47 percent earn between $20,000 and $50,000; 33 percent earn between $50,000 and $75,000; and 20 percent earn over $75,000 a year.

Non-Profit MPA Salaries

A large number of MPA graduates end up making their careers working for non-profits. Those employed by non-profits earn as much as in many other sectors, according to the Master of Public Administration website. Top government affairs executives earn an average annual salary of $100,400, with a bonus of $9,119, one of the highest earnings for non-profit MPA salaries. Top development executives earn a reported average salary of $86,500, with a bonus of $6,000. Writers with an MPA in a non-profit business earn some of the lowest earnings, with an average salary of $40,183 and a bonus of $1,200.

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