Urban and Regional Planners

Overview
Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Experience

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Education

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Job Training

Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Examples

These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.

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

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $46K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $59K
Median Salary: $75K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $96K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $118K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

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.

Develop plans for public or alternative transportation systems for urban or regional locations to reduce carbon output associated with transportation.

Supervise or coordinate the work of urban planning technicians or technologists.

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.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Analytical or scientific software
Transportation planning software
Compliance software
Accela PERMITS Plus
Computer aided design CAD software
e-on VUE
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft Access
Data mining software
Data mining software
Desktop communications software
RhinoSoft FTP Voyager
Desktop publishing software
Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
Development environment software
Software development tools
Document management software
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
Electronic mail software
Microsoft Outlook
Enterprise application integration software
Extensible markup language XML
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Internet browser software
Web browser software
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Object or component oriented development software
Oracle Java
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Project management software
Microsoft Project
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Time accounting software
Sage Timeslips
Web page creation and editing software
Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
Web platform development software
Hypertext markup language HTML
Word processing software
Microsoft Word
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Audio and visual presentation and composing equipment
Microfiche readers
Communications Devices and Accessories
Multi-line telephone systems
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Desktop computers
Consumer electronics
Global positioning system GPS receivers
Developmental and professional teaching aids and materials and accessories and supplies
Planimeters
Office and desk accessories
Drafting scales
Office machines and their supplies and accessories
Photocopiers
Photographic or filming or video equipment
Digital camcorders
Top 10 Knowledge Required
Law and Government
92%
Importance

Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

English Language
88%
Importance

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Geography
84%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Transportation
81%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

Communications and Media
72%
Importance

Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Administration and Management
69%
Importance

Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Sociology and Anthropology
68%
Importance

Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Customer and Personal Service
66%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Computers and Electronics
61%
Importance

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Design
60%
Importance

Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Top 10 Skills
Active Listening
83%
Importance

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Judgment and Decision Making
83%
Importance

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking
83%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking
80%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension
80%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Systems Analysis
80%
Importance

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Writing
78%
Importance

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Complex Problem Solving
75%
Importance

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Systems Evaluation
75%
Importance

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Social Perceptiveness
73%
Importance

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Top 10 Abilities
Oral Comprehension
83%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Oral Expression
83%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Problem Sensitivity
80%
Importance

The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Speech Clarity
80%
Importance

The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Written Comprehension
80%
Importance

The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Written Expression
80%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Deductive Reasoning
78%
Importance

The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Inductive Reasoning
78%
Importance

The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Near Vision
78%
Importance

The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Speech Recognition
78%
Importance

The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Top 10 Work Activities
Getting Information
93%
Importance

Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
92%
Importance

Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
92%
Importance

Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Developing Objectives and Strategies
91%
Importance

Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
90%
Importance

Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
89%
Importance

Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
88%
Importance

Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Analyzing Data or Information
87%
Importance

Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
86%
Importance

Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
86%
Importance

Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Detailed Work Activities

Communicate with the public on environmental issues.

Promote environmental sustainability or conservation initiatives.

Develop environmental sustainability plans or projects.

Review plans or proposals for environmental conservation.

Analyze impact of legal or regulatory changes.

Obtain property information.

Design civil structures or systems.

Inform the public about policies, services or procedures.

Advise others on business or operational matters.

Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys.

Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.

Prepare maps.

Record research or operational data.

Compile geographic or related data.

Analyze geological or geographical data.

Provide technical information or assistance to public.

Research impacts of environmental conservation initiatives.

Communicate with government agencies.

Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.

Mediate disputes.

Collaborate with technical specialists to resolve design or development problems.

Review environmental permits, plans, or reports.

Supervise scientific or technical personnel.

Work Context
Electronic Mail

How often do you use electronic mail in this job?

Face-to-Face Discussions

How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled

How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Work With Work Group or Team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Deal With External Customers

How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?

Spend Time Sitting

How much does this job require sitting?

Coordinate or Lead Others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?

Contact With Others

How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?

Structured versus Unstructured Work

To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?

Education
Majors
Major
City/Urban, Community, and Regional Planning
Environmental Design
Real Estate Development
Sustainability Studies
Design for Human Health
Public Administration
Urban Studies/Affairs
Interests
Investigative
96%
Importance

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Enterprising
67%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Artistic
58%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Conventional
43%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Realistic
43%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Social
29%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Top 10 Work Styles
Integrity
97%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Cooperation
92%
Importance

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Dependability
90%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Analytical Thinking
88%
Importance

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Self Control
88%
Importance

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Attention to Detail
86%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Concern for Others
85%
Importance

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Stress Tolerance
85%
Importance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Achievement/Effort
84%
Importance

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Adaptability/Flexibility
84%
Importance

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values
Relationships
77%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Achievement
72%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions
72%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition
67%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Independence
62%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Support
53%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.