If you’re thinking of seeking employment in government or politics, perhaps you’re wondering about the future employment outlook for careers in public administration. Which types of positions are currently showing a favorable outlook for the future? Which public administration jobs are risky to train for due to shrinking opportunities and high levels of competition? Read on for a better understanding of the US government job market at the local, state and federal levels.

The Employment Outlook for Political Scientists

Expect to work hard to find suitable employment if you want to launch a new career as a legislator, policy analyst or politician in the near future. Most jobs for political scientists are with the US federal government, and current budget cuts have made it challenging to find work in this field. Experts at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are forecasting a 2 percent decline in job openings for political scientists through the year 2024.

Because many university students are choosing to major in political science and seek work in the field after graduation, analysts are also predicting high levels of competition for the jobs that do become available. To get hired in the current climate, you’re likely to need a graduate degree, research experience, exceptional writing skills and some connections from activities like volunteering, networking or interning.

The Employment Outlook for Urban and Regional Planners

If the idea of working to shape your community’s land and environmental policies appeals to you, the role of a local urban planner or regional planner is a viable career option right now. The future outlook for this vocation is neither exceptionally good nor unbearably bleak; US Department of Labor analysts are forecasting 6 percent growth for jobs in this niche through the year 2024. This is a rate that just barely keeps pace with the overall state of the US economy right now.

Local, state and federal governments are all employing urban and regional planners, but your best chances of finding work are at the local level. Overall the salaries in this field are comfortable; the median pay as of 2016 is $70,020 per year. At a mean of $94,170 annually, pay is much better for federal employees in this occupation. Unfortunately, there are fewer federal jobs, and getting hired is not easy, as there is significant competition for each available position.

The Employment Outlook for Economists

Federal, state and local governments all need economists. The future employment outlook for government economists is fair, with projected growth of new jobs in this field expected to be about 6 percent through the year 2024. Your best chances for finding a well-paying job lie at the federal level, with mean annual salaries of $115,610 being the norm for federally employed economists as of the year 2016. Local governments employ fewer economists and pay them less, with mean annual salaries of $80,530 being typical.

For the most part, it’s a tough time to embark on a career in public administration. In many public sectors, the job market is either contracting or growing at a rate of pace that’s slower than the rest of the US economy.

Despite these issues, talented public administrators are always needed. If you’re convinced that a public administration career is truly your calling, educate yourself well, gain the credentials necessary for the job you want and be persistent in seeking work in the field. There will be people who successfully launch careers in public administration despite the many challenges, so do not be discouraged from pursuing this career path if it is what you really want to dedicate your life to.

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