5 Characteristics of a Public Administrator

  • Strong Set of Ethics
  • Communication Skills
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Purpose

A list of the best characteristics of a public administrator would undeniably feature things such as conflict-resolution skills, negotiation skills and organization. But what are the characteristics that employers such as the government really looking for? Ethics and purpose top the list, along with other unique attributes. Here are five of the most in-demand characteristics of a professional in the public administration sector.

1. Strong Ethics

Ethics are incredibly important in the public administration field. From corruption to collusion, those with bad intentions may use the field to further their own personal goals, leaving the public to pay for their apathy. Professionals with a strong set of ethics are not swayed by money or power, remaining well within the confines of both legal and moral standards for the industry. Strong ethics also ensures that no shortcuts are taken when implementing a policy, preventing the public from having to deal with programs and services that are of low quality.

2. Communication Skills

Public administration is the science of communicating to the public what different services can do for them. Every professional in the field, regardless of their position, must have excellent written and oral communication skills. They must also have strong intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, enabling them to discuss their policies or concerns with a wide variety of people, including the public. Public administrators without this characteristic do not last long in the field.

3. Creativity

Public administrators tend to be creative people. This is because a large part of their job is to come up with solutions to problems that affect the programs that they oversee. Being able to think creatively and come up with a solution that solves the problem in a positive way ensures that the program runs as intended. Creativity can also branch out into communications. Public administrators often discuss their platform and policies on a variety of platforms, from speeches to social media. The more creative an administrator is, the more likely they will continue to rise to the top of their profession.

4. Critical Thinking Skills

No characteristics list for a public administrator would be complete without discussing critical thinking skills. Administrators will be acclimated to solving problems, overseeing the repair of programs and speaking with second and third parties. They will need to be able to think critically to discern what a problem actually is and whether or not the people they are working with on a project are the best ones for the job. It is a highly rated characteristic and is often one that is a requirement for most government jobs.

5. Purpose

Having a stated purpose is one of the top characteristics of a public administrator for a very good reason: this field is dedicated to serving the public, meaning that a professional with greedy ambitions would not be a good fit. In fact, The Economist ran an article that demonstrated that artificial intelligence, which will be used in the field in a more mainstream way in coming years, thinks like a corporation. But public administration officials who see their purpose as helping implement government policies to benefit the American people don’t think like corporations. This sense of purpose is found in the most successful administrators because they understand that their job is not about them; it’s about the entire country.

Related Resource: Top 50 Great College Deals: Master of Public Administration Online

Public administration is a challenging field, one that requires that public servants serve the will of the people in new and creative ways. Fortunately, there are thousands of professionals who are interested in working in the field, providing the public with experts who have their best interest at heart. While these five characteristics of a public administrator may not be unique to the field, they are nevertheless important to ensure that the job is done correctly.