What does an Urban Planner do?

An urban planner is usually hired by a government entity at a state or local level to project manage land development. An urban planner will develop a plan for city expansion and consider important factors such as population growth, protected areas and more. They will meet with public officials and hold public forums to determine the best strategies for land usage and development.

Urban planners are required to have a master's degree in project management, public policy or a related field. An American Planning Association Certification (AICP) may also be required depending upon the state of employment. Additionally, they will research to remain up-to-date regarding zoning codes and environmental regulations. Urban planners who have exceptional communication skills and a keen analytical mind tend to excel in the position.

What responsibilities are common for Urban Planner jobs?
  • Conduct on-site investigations to determine factors affecting community development and potential decline including land usage
  • Account for traffic growth and manage solutions for common transportation needs
  • Research best practices to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from local businesses and warehouses
  • Oversee project development and help in providing affordable housing
  • Plan and design townships and cities promoting healthy and active lifestyles
  • Protect and preserve historical monuments and sites
  • Assist in planning and reviving low socio-economic areas within the district
  • Meet with industry experts to determine appropriate Disaster Risk Assessment plans for Emergency Management
What are the typical qualifications for Urban Planner jobs?
  • Master's degree in planning, public policy or a related field
  • Ability to analyze demographic data and identify trends in employment, health and other areas
  • Experience working in various database software programs including Microsoft Suite
  • Exceptional communication skills used when meeting with officials and presenting new plans
  • Detailed understanding of federal and local government programs and processes
  • Experience utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) software
  • Ability to conceptualize large-scale plans and established required milestones to complete projects
  • Professional work experience using a combination of creative and technical concepts in problem-solving
  • Full-scale understanding of the social and environmental effects of proposed plans and the best practices in design aesthetics
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does an Urban Planner make?

Confident
$98,440 /yr
Total Pay
$64,120
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$34,320
 /yr

Additional Pay

$98,440

 / yr
$48K$562K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Urban Planner Career Path

Learn how to become an Urban Planner, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Urban Planner
$98,440/yr
L3
L4
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
14%
2 - 4
37%
5 - 7
36%
8+
13%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Urban Planner Insights

Read what Urban Planner professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Graffito SPGraffito SP
Urban Designer/Planner
Apr 11, 2022

“ish years there so I experienced working with everyone in a 1:1 capacity and it was always great.”

IPE GlobalIPE Global
Urban Planner
Apr 19, 2021

“Good projects and teammates”

GHDGHD
Town Planner
Oct 13, 2020

“Great undergraduate program is good”

AtkinsAtkins
Urban Designer
Jan 19, 2021

“No work and life balance”

Undisclosed
Urban Planner
Feb 7, 2021

“Great work and life balance”

Dacorum Borough CouncilDacorum Borough Council
Trainee Town Planner
Dec 4, 2020

“good training and career support”

Brigil ConstructionBrigil Construction
Urban Designer
Dec 25, 2021

“no personal growth and development”

Dyett and BhatiaDyett and Bhatia
Urban Designer/Planner
Jun 3, 2021

“D&B is a great place to learn and grow your career.”

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Urban Planner Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of an Urban Planner

When working as an Urban Planner, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Excellent Communication, Critical Thinking, MS OUTLOOK, Judgement, and MQ.

The most similar professions to Urban Planner are:
  • Urban Designer
  • Operations Manager
  • Planner
  • Supply Chain Manager

The most common qualifications to become an Urban Planner include a minimum of a Associate's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Urban Designer
$102,315
Operations Manager
$70,913
No skills overlap
Planner
$88,940
13% skills overlap
Supply Chain Manager
$99,619
No skills overlap

Urban Planner Jobs