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Mar 15 2018

Career and Salary Info for a Masters in Public Policy Degree

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Career and Salary Info for a Masters in Public Policy Degree


Politicians are in charge of local, state and federal governments, creating the laws for their jurisdictions. They are elected to office, and the people they serve are their constituents. Executive politicians are governors and mayors. They enforce the laws that legislative politicians pass. A master’s degree in public policy provides public servants with the research, analysis and problem-solving abilities needed for political positions.

Salary for a Politician

Salaries for politicians differ widely, as some serve local municipalities on a part-time basis, while others work in the highest-level federal positions. According to simplyhired.com in 2016, median yearly salary for a politician is $64,183, with the lowest 10% earning a salary of $35,199 or less. This data includes a large number of careers in the general category of politician, and figures are approximations derived from third-party submissions. In the highest levels of government, salaries are typically six figures; according to PayScale.com. for example, Congress members typically earn at least $174,000 per year.

Political Scientists

M.P.P. degree holders that study and analyze most facets of government and policy are political scientists. They used the leadership, management and analysis skills learned through an M.P.P. program to assess how the public reacts to leadership. Based on their findings they predict economic, political and social trends. These professionals may work directly for the government or for private and nonprofit entities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), scientific research and development services have the highest level of employment of political scientists.

Salary for a Political Scientist

The BLS reported median annual salaries for political scientists in 2015 to be $99,730. Positions for political scientists are expected to decline by 2% from 2014-2024, according to BLS.

Policy Analysts

Policy analysts often work for think tanks, which are organizations hired to conduct research and use the results to make recommendations to a variety of government and other agencies. They use qualitative and quantitative methods, which typically require statistics and surveying, as well as conducting case studies to develop theories. A M.P.P. provides the solid theoretical background and research analysis skills needed for this career.

Salary for a Policy Analyst

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track the salary of policy analysts. However, according to PayScale.com, the median salary of policy analysts is $54,909, with most making between $38,124 and $83,104.


An M.P.P. degree programs trains students to influence populations and create practical solutions. It hones analytical skills and cultivates the ability to resolve new and complex obstacles. These skills are used by lobbyists to influence legislators and policy to benefit the purposes of the group they serve. Lobbyists can work for public relations firms, large corporations, unions or government consulting firms. They must be well versed in the legislative process and know important policy makers. They make presentations and facilitate the meetings and hearings necessary to accomplish their goals.

Salary for a Lobbyist

BLS does not have salary information on lobbyists, but they are most likely comparable to either political scientists or public relations specialists. According to BLS, public relations specialists earned a median salary of $56,770 in 2015.

Having an M.P.P. may greatly improve an applicant’s chances of securing an engaging, dynamic career in politics. A decrease in the number of positions, coupled with an increasing number of M.P.P. graduates, will intensify competition for these jobs in the coming years.

Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Cultural Studies
    • Ethnic and Gender Studies
    • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Public Administration
    • Religious Studies
    • Social Science and Studies
    • Social Studies and History
    • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

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9 Walden University

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Areas of study you may find at Walden University include:
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  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Human and Social Services
    • Political Science
    • Public Administration

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10 South University

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