Urban Planner

Urban planners who are sometimes referred to as “city planners” or “regional planners” design and promote ideas related to the use of land and facilities in towns cities counties and metropolitan areas. They are usually employed by local city and state governments or in some instances by the federal government. However some urban planners work for architecture or construction firms as independent consultants or for academic institutions where they teach and conduct research. Urban planners have extensive knowledge of geography as well as a solid background in mathematics and excellent computer skills. They must be capable of understanding budgets and they need excellent written and verbal communication skills because they write reports and hold public meetings to describe why proposed projects should be undertaken. Depending on the nature of the project they confer with architecture construction transportation or other experts prior to finalizing any proposal. Over and above factual information they must be sophisticated about political agendas that could influence whether or not projects will be approved. Urban planners have offices where they perform statistical and budget analyses and write reports. However they also spend time in the field inspecting various locations to determine their suitability for development. They also check ongoing projects to make sure that they are progressing on schedule and that those working on them are adhering to codes so that the project will pass the required inspections. Aspiring urban planners who complete a four-year bachelor’s degree and demonstrate skills in using computerized geographic mapping systems (GIS) usually qualify for entry-level positions. Those with a master’s degree from an accredited program in urban and regional planning have opportunities for more advanced job positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average annual salary for urban planners is approximately $62400.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $62400
High Salary: $72400
Low Salary: $52400
Tasks: Studies ways to revitalize underdeveloped areas.
Works to expand cities and towns.
Helps to plan transportation systems.
Conducts studies on how land is being used.
Also Called: City Planner
Regional Planner
City Developer
Urban Developer
Additional Resources: http://www.ehow.com/about_6302914_job-description-urban-planner.html
http://www.careerplanner.com/Job-Descriptions/Urban-and-Regional-Planners.cfm
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos057.htm