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Public Affairs Specialist Careers

Public Affairs Specialists are in charge of crafting, growing, and maintaining a client's or company's brand and image. Their job involves finding opportunities to create positive public and media attention, as well as maintaining already existing relationships and forming new ones with the client's media network.

Some individuals in this role are specialized in avoiding and dealing with crises and issues. The job typically requires a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations, Communication, Journalism, or English, though some employers will accept a number of years of experience in this position instead, or a mix of education and experience. IT and social media knowledge is also a bonus.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a public affairs specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $31.34 an hour? That's $65,183 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 17,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Public Affairs Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many public affairs specialists 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 organizational skills, problem-solving skills and speaking skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a public affairs specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.5% of public affairs specialists included news stories, while 8.4% of resumes included emergency, and 7.0% of resumes included accurate information. 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 specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most public affairs specialists actually find jobs in the professional and finance industries.

How To Become a Public Affairs Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a public affairs specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 50.7% of public affairs specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 25.9% of public affairs specialists have master's degrees. Even though most public affairs specialists 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 specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a public affairs specialist, 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 specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$65,183
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
17,832
Job Openings

Public Affairs Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Public Affairs Specialist

Top Careers After Public Affairs Specialist

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 Specialist

Public Affairs Specialists in America make an average salary of $65,183 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $92,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $45,000 per year.
Average Salary
$65,183

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range69k - 118k$90k$90,493
Arlington, VA
Salary Range65k - 111k$86k$85,672
Manchester, NH
Salary Range61k - 104k$81k$80,504
Rockville, MD
Salary Range55k - 95k$73k$72,730
Seattle, WA
Salary Range55k - 90k$71k$70,625
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range54k - 87k$69k$69,246
$42k
$118k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Specialist
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$103,69001/28/2021
$103,690
Dora: Public Utilities Commission-Consumer Affairs Specialist (Compliance Specialist I)
Dora: Public Utilities Commission-Consumer Affairs Specialist (Compliance Specialist I)
Colorado State
Colorado State
01/22/2021
01/22/2021
$41,40001/22/2021
$41,400
Public Affairs Specialist, GS, Omaha, All Sources
Public Affairs Specialist, GS, Omaha, All Sources
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
11/10/2020
11/10/2020
$64,21911/10/2020
$64,219
Public Affairs Specialist GS 13 (FBI Only) Internal To Memphis Division Only
Public Affairs Specialist GS 13 (FBI Only) Internal To Memphis Division Only
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
10/28/2020
10/28/2020
$91,23110/28/2020
$91,231
Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
09/28/2020
09/28/2020
$84,04509/28/2020
$84,045
See More Recent Salaries

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Public Affairs Specialist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Public Affairs Specialist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Public Affairs Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Public Affairs Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Public Affairs Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

50.8 %

male

44.3 %

unknown

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

70.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.3 %

Black or African American

8.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.7 %

French

12.5 %

German

5.0 %
See More Demographics

Public Affairs Specialist Education

Majors

Business
14.7 %

Degrees

Bachelors

50.7 %

Masters

25.9 %

Associate

8.9 %

Top Colleges for Public Affairs Specialists

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. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

5. University of Houston

Houston, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,913
Enrollment
37,291

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

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

7. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,853
Enrollment
14,759

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

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

9. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

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

10. Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI • Private

In-State Tuition
$41,870
Enrollment
8,200
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Public Affairs Specialist

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, 9.5% of public affairs specialists listed news stories on their resume, but soft skills such as organizational skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For a Public Affairs Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a public affairs specialist. The best states for people in this position are Virginia, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maryland. Public affairs specialists make the most in Virginia with an average salary of $84,733. Whereas in Connecticut and New Hampshire, they would average $84,228 and $80,502, respectively. While public affairs specialists would only make an average of $72,978 in Maryland, 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 Specialist Jobs:
312
Highest 10% Earn:
$148,000
Location Quotient:
3.06
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. Virginia

Total Public Affairs Specialist Jobs:
703
Highest 10% Earn:
$136,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
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. Connecticut

Total Public Affairs Specialist Jobs:
187
Highest 10% Earn:
$141,000
Location Quotient:
0.93
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 Specialist Employers

1. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$63,400
Public Affairs Specialists Hired: 
453+
2. United States Marine
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$63,010
Public Affairs Specialists Hired: 
69+
3. United States Navy
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$63,258
Public Affairs Specialists Hired: 
52+
4. United States Department of Agriculture
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$65,457
Public Affairs Specialists Hired: 
45+
5. State Farm
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$68,695
Public Affairs Specialists Hired: 
43+
6. United States Department of State
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$64,444
Public Affairs Specialists Hired: 
27+

Public Affairs Specialist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020