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Career Profile: Urban and Regional Planners

Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 39,100 people employed as urban and regional planners in the United States. The median annual salary is $76,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $46,830 per year and senior employees earn approximately $118,280 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Design, promote, or administer government plans or policies affecting land use, zoning, public utilities, community facilities, housing, or transportation.
  • Advise planning officials on project feasibility, cost-effectiveness, regulatory conformance, or possible alternatives.
  • Create, prepare, or requisition graphic or narrative reports on land use data, including land area maps overlaid with geographic variables, such as population density.
  • Hold public meetings with government officials, social scientists, lawyers, developers, the public, or special interest groups to formulate, develop, or address issues regarding land use or community plans.
  • Mediate community disputes or assist in developing alternative plans or recommendations for programs or projects.
  • Recommend approval, denial, or conditional approval of proposals.
  • Conduct field investigations, surveys, impact studies, or other research to compile and analyze data on economic, social, regulatory, or physical factors affecting land use.
  • Evaluate proposals for infrastructure projects or other development for environmental impact or sustainability.
  • Discuss with planning officials the purpose of land use projects, such as transportation, conservation, residential, commercial, industrial, or community use.
  • Keep informed about economic or legal issues involved in zoning codes, building codes, or environmental regulations.
  • Assess the feasibility of land use proposals and identify necessary changes.
  • Determine the effects of regulatory limitations on land use projects.
  • Review and evaluate environmental impact reports pertaining to private or public planning projects or programs.
  • Supervise or coordinate the work of urban planning technicians or technologists.
  • Develop plans for public or alternative transportation systems for urban or regional locations to reduce carbon output associated with transportation.
  • Identify opportunities or develop plans for sustainability projects or programs to improve energy efficiency, minimize pollution or waste, or restore natural systems.
  • Coordinate work with economic consultants or architects during the formulation of plans or the design of large pieces of infrastructure.
  • Advocate sustainability to community groups, government agencies, the general public, or special interest groups.
  • Investigate property availability for purposes of development.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
39,100
Annual Openings:
3,700
Increase in Openings by 2030:
7%
Annual Salary Range:
$46,830 - $118,280
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher