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
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does an Urban Planner make?

$69,368 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

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.

Urban Planner
Senior Urban Planner
Urban Planner

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

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.”

Ethos UrbanEthos Urban
Senior Urban Planner
Nov 27, 2022

“The pay is bad and usually remains stagnant across your tenure within your consultant bracket type (i.e.”

IPE GlobalIPE Global
Urban Planner
Apr 19, 2021

“Good projects and teammates”

Urban Strategies (Canada)Urban Strategies (Canada)
Urban Planner
Jul 27, 2022

“great and inspiring people make this rewarding (challenging in a good way)”

Urban Designer
Jan 19, 2021

“No work and life balance”

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”

See More

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
Operations Manager
No skills overlap
13% skills overlap
Supply Chain Manager
No skills overlap

Urban Planner Jobs