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How to Land a Secure Job in the Urban Planning Industry

For most people, the job description of an urban planner’s is new and not well understood. This field is indeed a bit different than most of its similar counterparts and can be difficult to understand. Essentially this job is much like an architect’s. But instead of planning buildings and complexes, you are to design whole urban areas and schemes where several families can live together, and offices can commence while roads are built for the community to thrive and live under modern and enhanced conditions.

A person who has a passion for bettering living conditions for homes as well as commercial areas and better tracks for vehicles, including several other circumstances, can strive to take the role of an urban planner. These professionals must have exceptional diagramming skills and an eye to detail, among several other skills that will be explained later. Here is the journey on becoming an urban planner laid down comprehensively below to get a good idea from:

Get Advanced Education

The first step for climbing any ladder to becoming of use to the world or gaining profits or both is by getting acquainted with the skills. Urban planning is a vast subject, and there is a lot to self-teach and understand that can’t be handled by oneself. It requires the expertise of others who have studied about it and have several years of experience in it.

So for this, you’ll have to find the right school that can provide you with a master’s degree in the field. If you haven’t yet started your master’s, know that you will need to have a bachelor’s in at least economics, political sciences, environmental design, or geography to pursue planning studies. Make sure to complete all these studies for the job and any required certifications or experience requirements by the state or the company you’re to work for.

Have the Skills

Different sets of skills are needed for any kind of job and workplace. These skills prove that the employee is not only capable of undertaking their duties satisfactorily but can also work well in a workplace environment. The primary skills that are necessary for every urban planner that come while taking the course for it are:

Decision-making Skills. Planners need the finest mindsets when it comes to choosing between designs and electing the better options for constructing communities. They need to make several fast and hard decisions every day with their job.

Analytical Skills. Another important technique planners need to pick up during their course is understanding and evaluating through analysis of different areas and their conditions to come up with better solutions for new plans.

Leadership Abilities. Urban planners may not need to use their leadership abilities at the start of their careers. Still, soon enough, they will have to guide the employees working under them, construction workers, contractors, and many more.

Other skills can be communication, flexibility, policy knowledge and making, and strategic thinking.

Urban Planning

Weigh Your Options

No matter how passionate you are about creating blueprints or presenting sustainable designs, an urban planner job can be quite demanding. It requires you to build whole communities, which are not informal as a little mistake can hold you accountable for huge losses and unfunctional designs. For this reason, make sure to survey all things that come with an urban planner job description.

The most important parts of a job for any one pursuing can be salary, job outlook, and work environments, among others. The annual wage of an urban planner with a moderate job can be around $72,000. Of course, you can work your way up to an advanced position from there or choose a higher-paying private company to work with.

Although this job is not yet scouted highly or looked upon by potential architects, it is said to have a better lookout in terms of job positions. For the upcoming six years, the urban planning job opportunity rate is going to go up by 13%, needing more planners with better salary packages.

Urban planners have to mostly work for local or regional government firms where a planner is needed to make necessary plans or changes to existing infrastructures. They have to take commands and make any changes required to plan by the head of the community of the time. While with a private sector, work can be more lenient and more toward the liking of the professional, but pay varies.

Understand the Duties of an Urban Planner

As discussed above, an urban planner’s duties are several and are not very well understood by a vast public. This can be because the area of work is enormous and needs broad-minded thinking. As a planner, you will need to construct whole communities based on your knowledge of planning sustainable, environmentally safe, and compatible infrastructures. Your proposals have to be top-notch and fully descriptive of what you plan to build and achieve with an area. Here are some more of the duties that are needed in every urban planning job:

  • Meet with public officials, the population, and developers of an area to discuss and find out their needs, plans, and the proper use of the land.
  • Create plans and feasible infrastructures.
  • Make changes when needed in the proposals and amend any weak points.
  • Check the zoning codes, rules, and regulations, and other necessities of an area for legal issues with planning.
  • Gather market research data for building better and up to date plans.
  • Review site and conduct research for weak points that help you get the whole picture.

These are some of the many duties a site or urban planner has to take on in their professional journey to make a name and build better solutions for the nation.

Create a Resume

There is nothing more important to a job seeker than a shiny suit, a briefcase in one hand, confidence, and a piercing and crisp resume and portfolio. Like other jobs of the same nature, a portfolio included in a CV can help increase hiring chances at the interview. Your CV, as an urban planner, must contain all the skills you have with the duties you can undertake.

It must also contain all the descriptions of your past jobs in detail with proof in the portfolio. Make sure never to compromise quality in your portfolio photographs and use an image converter to better formats with high resolutions. Name your educational institutions clearly and comprehensively.

For further reading and getting more information about Urban Planning you can read the following articles (all articles open in new tab/ window):

  1. Urban Planning Job Description
  2. Why political agendas never actually solve your problems whereas planners can!
  3. Planning process without planners
  4. Loss to community because of incompetent planners
  5. Planners as knowledge workers
  6. Understanding the limitations of planning
  7. Urban Planning – Largely Unknown Profession