Salary and Benefits of MPA/MPP Graduates

MPA/MPP Degree Boosts Salaries of Graduates

Pay and benefit statistics about MPA/MPP graduates are very limited across the world. The United States is one of the few countries which has systematic collection of data about salaries of graduates with different degrees. Therefore, the pay and benefits information in this section mostly refers to MPA/MPP graduates (including foreign students) working in U.S.


Salary Statistics and Trends of MPA/MPP Graduates in U.S.

The general salary data indicates that a masters degree substantially improves pay and benefit level of graduates. The U.S. Bureau of Census reports that in 2004 for people 25 years and over, the median income was $52,581 for a Bachelor’s Degree and $67,361 for a Master’s Degree. In overall a Masters Degree earned 28.1 percent more than a bachelor’s degree. The following table includes salary data for MPA/MPP graduates by different types of job and position.

Job Type
Salary Range
Median Salary
Executive Director of a non-profit
$34,000 - $66,500
$60,000
Human Resources Director
$79,525 - $97,750
$88,000

Management Analyst
$43,750 - $56,163
$51,000
Policy Analyst
$35,000 - $53,844
$45,000
Consultant, Business
$57,500 - $74,500
$60,000
Program Administrator in an non-profit
$40,000 - $55,000
$40,000
Director of Program Management, Human Services
$55,000 - $70,000
$60,000
Purchasing Manager
$48,750 - $56,250
$52,500
Entry-Level Federal Position (Grade 11)
$46,189 - $60,049
$53,000
Mid-Career Federal Position (Grade 13)
$65,832 - $85,578
$75,000
Source: US Office of Personal Management and Pay Scale

The comparative salary statistics from the Baruch College also indicate that after the graduation with MPA degrees their graduates have started to make substantially more. As graphs below demonstrate the number of graduates making more than $50,000 a year has increased by five times after getting their MPA degree.

Baruch College. 2003.

Salary and Benefits in Not-for-Profits

Non-profits are one of the main sectors where many MPA/MPP graduates end up making their careers. The survey of 3,000 non-profits in US to find out what their managers were earning revealed that salaries in non-profits are as good as in many other sectors. The table below includes average annual salary and bonus information for different positions in non-profits.

Position
Salary ($)
Bonus ($)
Top government- affairs executive
100,400
9,119
Top development executive
86,500
6,000
Top program executive
85,250
6,909
Top publications executive
71,295
3,722
Top grant administrator
60,000
650
Top membership executive
70,135
3,715
Director of chapter/affiliate
76,613
6,314
Director of volunteer services
41,650
2,227
Research director
66,091
--
Fundraising manager
49,341
1,859
Top marketing executive
89,000
4,890
Top research executive
101,800
10,000
Research manager
58,973
2,500
Production director
56,650
--
Program director
52,500
1,464
Education director
59,817
3,500
MIS director
80,000
5,974
Web-site director
60,261
4,200
Special-events planner
41,600
1,742
Advertising director
75,886
--
Advertising manager
52,138
--
Marketing director
63,856
4,214
Marketing manager
45,000
1,000
Managing editor
58,000
2,867
Systems analyst
55,568
2,867
Grant-proposal manager
48,740
--
Editor
45,000
2,736
Writer
40,183
1,200
Fulfillment manager
46,913
--
Source: The Nonprofit Times. (2002 Salary Survey).

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The Occupational Outlook Handbook (published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, ) is a nationally recognized source of career information designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. The Handbook is revised every 2 years and describes working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.