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Public Administrators

Introduction

Public administrators coordinate the organization of all governmental departments. They implement policies, oversee all personnel matters, develop annual budgets and serve as liaisons with other governments, businesses and agencies. In the last decade, the role of the public administrator has drastically changed and evolved due to technological advancements. Computers have replaced and simplified some of the once traditional tasks of the administrator such as paper filing, operating dictaphones and using a typewriter. Functions such as training new staff members, conducting research on the Internet and public policy and operating new office programs such as multimedia presentations are good examples of some newer administrative duties. As managers or director, public administrators may find themselves creating and executing public policy.

Interests and Skills

Public administrators must have a keen knowledge of all regulations and ordinances relating to their governmental bodies. Job candidates must have good communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to develop cost-effective alternatives.

Typical Tasks

Participating in the development of policies

Organizing department units and establishing operating procedures

Direct and advise researchers, consultants and program officers

Planing, administering and controlling budgets for research and administration, support services, and supplies

Organizing and directing committees in planning, managing and evaluating services and programs

Preparing meeting agendas, attend meetings, and record and transcribe minutes

Drafting correspondence and reports

Developing and maintaining a records management system, including classifying and coding electronic and hardcopy files

Public administrators almost always work in office environments. A standard, 40-hour workweek is the norm for public administrators unless they work part-time. Administrative personnel spend considerable time in an office environment working with computers and communicating with others by phone or in person. From time to time, meeting attendance is required on evenings or weekends.

Workplaces, Employers and Industries

Public administrators are employed in every sector of the public working world. They usually work in offices, in schools, hospitals, government services and medical and social services. Any type of public policy or public records work, including estate management, will be administered by a public administrator.

Educational Paths

Most employers require that a prospective administrator have at least a bachelor's degree in public administration and a minimum of three to five years experience with related work or training.

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