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Public Affairs Manager Careers

A company's reputation and relationship with the public are crucial in business success and longevity. Therefore, it is the public affairs manager's job to ensure that the company maintains its public reputation by planning, implementing, and monitoring appropriate external communications strategies.

More than that, a public affairs manager stays on top of public policy changes that can affect their organization. They also maintain open lines of communication with government agencies, business organizations, and communities to preserve the best interests of their organization.

When hiring a public affairs manager, companies look for candidates that possess a degree in communication, political science, business, and other relevant fields. Furthermore, they highly consider those that have lots of experience in the industry and have a good track record in public affairs, PR relations, or other related lines of business.

Considering the critical nature of this job, a public affairs manager earns an average of $103,000 a year, which comes as no surprise seeing that a huge part of their company's reputation rests on their shoulders.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a public affairs manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $49.57 an hour? That's $103,108 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 6,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Public Affairs Manager Do

There are certain skills that many public affairs managers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, leadership skills and organizational skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a public affairs manager, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.5% of public affairs managers included key stakeholders, while 6.4% of resumes included press releases, and 4.7% of resumes included government relations. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the public affairs manager job title. But what industry to start with? Most public affairs managers actually find jobs in the manufacturing and health care industries.

How To Become a Public Affairs Manager

If you're interested in becoming a public affairs manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 71.5% of public affairs managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.3% of public affairs managers have master's degrees. Even though most public affairs managers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a public affairs manager. When we researched the most common majors for a public affairs manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on public affairs manager resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a public affairs manager. In fact, many public affairs manager jobs require experience in a role such as public affairs specialist. Meanwhile, many public affairs managers also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or reporter.

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Average Salary
$103,108
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
11,204
Job Openings

Public Affairs Manager Career Paths

Top Careers Before Public Affairs Manager

Top Careers After Public Affairs Manager

Public Affairs Manager Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Public Affairs Manager

Public Affairs Managers in America make an average salary of $103,108 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $159,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $66,000 per year.
Average Salary
$103,108
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Mountain View, CA
Salary Range93k - 188k$133k$132,514
New York, NY
Salary Range74k - 148k$105k$105,063
Rochester, MN
Salary Range60k - 118k$85k$84,763
Boca Raton, FL
Salary Range41k - 95k$63k$63,274
$41k
$188k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Legislative Affairs Manager (WMS Band 2) Doh5272
Legislative Affairs Manager (WMS Band 2) Doh5272
State of Washington
State of Washington
12/26/2020
12/26/2020
$79,94412/26/2020
$79,944
Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager
Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager
Google LLC
Google LLC
11/23/2020
11/23/2020
$206,00011/23/2020
$206,000
Public Affairs Partnership and Investment Head
Public Affairs Partnership and Investment Head
Netease Information Technology Corporation
Netease Information Technology Corporation
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$69,05610/29/2020
$69,056
Public Affairs Partnership and Investment Head
Public Affairs Partnership and Investment Head
Netease Information Technology Corporation
Netease Information Technology Corporation
10/21/2020
10/21/2020
$57,45010/21/2020
$57,450
Communications and Public Affairs Manager
Communications and Public Affairs Manager
Google LLC
Google LLC
06/26/2020
06/26/2020
$165,00006/26/2020
$165,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Public Affairs Manager Demographics

Gender

female

48.6 %

male

46.9 %

unknown

4.5 %

Ethnicity

White

75.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.4 %

Black or African American

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.3 %

French

13.2 %

German

7.5 %
See More Demographics

Public Affairs Manager Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

71.5 %

Masters

13.3 %

Certificate

8.4 %

Top Colleges for Public Affairs Managers

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

7. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

8. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

9. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

10. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Public Affairs Manager That You May Like

Public Relations: Media Crisis Communications
udemy
4.5
(692)

Public Relations: You can shape and control your media messages at the worst possible times...

Identifying Community Needs for Public Library Management
edX (Global)

Public libraries are becoming dynamic hubs for learning, civic engagement, and community. This course will discuss strategies for gathering statistical and descriptive data about public library communities. Learners will identify local partners in education, social services, government agencies, and more. While conducting real-world investigations, learners will gain deeper insight into the wants and needs of community organizations. This will empower learners to make better management...

Press Coverage, Publicity & Public Relations For Branding
udemy
4.3
(339)

Public relations to reach 100,000+ potential clients with strategies to get publicity & press coverage for branding ASAP...

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Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Public Affairs Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.5% of public affairs managers listed key stakeholders on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and leadership skills are important as well.

Best States For a Public Affairs Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a public affairs manager. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Public affairs managers make the most in California with an average salary of $112,870. Whereas in Washington and New Jersey, they would average $105,389 and $104,340, respectively. While public affairs managers would only make an average of $104,067 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Public Affairs Manager Jobs:
318
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
4.99
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Public Affairs Manager Jobs:
1,955
Highest 10% Earn:
$200,000
Location Quotient:
1.76
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Public Affairs Manager Jobs:
332
Highest 10% Earn:
$187,000
Location Quotient:
1.2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Public Affairs Manager Employers

1. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$85,117
Public Affairs Managers Hired: 
49+
2. Google
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$157,009
Public Affairs Managers Hired: 
14+
3. Ford Motor Company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$110,440
Public Affairs Managers Hired: 
8+
4. State Farm
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$131,529
Public Affairs Managers Hired: 
7+
5. United States Navy
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$81,512
Public Affairs Managers Hired: 
7+
6. Merck
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$139,531
Public Affairs Managers Hired: 
7+

Public Affairs Manager Videos

Updated October 2, 2020