These Are The 10 Best States For Urban Planners

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Planners are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as planners in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.

Since planners are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where planners have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around, and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.

To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for planners. After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s planners:

  1. Washington
  2. Colorado
  3. Nebraska
  4. Wyoming
  5. Nevada
  6. Illinois
  7. Arizona
  8. Minnesota
  9. Texas
  10. Virginia

So there you have it — Washington is the best of the best when it comes to being a planners.

How did it end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for planners and for more on the top ten states.

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How we determined the best states to be a planner

Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Pay

So in order to find out the best states for planners in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well planners get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2015:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across states, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for planners in California is $82,770 and the average salary in Illinois is $81,990, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.

In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a state into a Job Score with the state having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best state for planners in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each state so great for planners.

1. Washington

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 2,150
Average Annual Salary: $78,030
Average Entry Level Salary: $54,150
Average Experienced Salary: $102,720
Location Quotient: 2.8

2. Colorado

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 830
Average Annual Salary: $78,470
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,370
Average Experienced Salary: $108,510
Location Quotient: 1.31

3. Nebraska

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 240
Average Annual Salary: $66,510
Average Entry Level Salary: $43,700
Average Experienced Salary: $96,300
Location Quotient: 0.99

4. Wyoming

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 110
Average Annual Salary: $62,700
Average Entry Level Salary: $42,880
Average Experienced Salary: $91,830
Location Quotient: 1.55

5. Nevada

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 180
Average Annual Salary: $83,830
Average Entry Level Salary: $58,810
Average Experienced Salary: $110,830
Location Quotient: 0.55

6. Illinois

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 680
Average Annual Salary: $81,990
Average Entry Level Salary: $48,270
Average Experienced Salary: $118,130
Location Quotient: 0.45

7. Arizona

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 770
Average Annual Salary: $68,910
Average Entry Level Salary: $47,570
Average Experienced Salary: $95,990
Location Quotient: 1.16

8. Minnesota

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,020
Average Annual Salary: $69,400
Average Entry Level Salary: $51,010
Average Experienced Salary: $93,180
Location Quotient: 1.43

9. Texas

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 2,000
Average Annual Salary: $66,790
Average Entry Level Salary: $40,950
Average Experienced Salary: $101,400
Location Quotient: 0.67

10. Virginia

Best States For Planners

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,190
Average Annual Salary: $69,860
Average Entry Level Salary: $43,360
Average Experienced Salary: $101,220
Location Quotient: 1.26

There You Have It

If you’re looking to start out your career as a planner these are the states that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst states to be a planner in America:

  1. Arkansas
  2. New York
  3. North Dakota

Detailed List Of The Best States For Planners

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Washington $78,030 $54,150 2,150
2 Colorado $78,470 $51,370 830
3 Nebraska $66,510 $43,700 240
4 Wyoming $62,700 $42,880 110
5 Nevada $83,830 $58,810 180
6 Illinois $81,990 $48,270 680
7 Arizona $68,910 $47,570 770
8 Minnesota $69,400 $51,010 1,020
9 Texas $66,790 $40,950 2,000
10 Virginia $69,860 $43,360 1,190
11 Oregon $77,820 $53,650 860
12 Missouri $65,600 $42,360 370
13 Oklahoma $68,320 $41,110 140
14 Florida $67,640 $43,610 1,910
15 Utah $62,410 $39,130 460
16 Delaware $64,240 $45,150 220
17 Ohio $64,420 $43,120 530
18 Montana $65,530 $37,220 250
19 North Carolina $61,540 $42,490 1,180
20 Kansas $58,560 $38,990 380
21 Mississippi $59,240 $30,200 170
22 Alaska $81,130 $55,420 170
23 Michigan $60,140 $35,340 720
24 Alabama $60,680 $36,150 330
25 California $82,770 $54,050 7,020
26 Connecticut $81,990 $55,880 340
27 Wisconsin $63,870 $33,840 480
28 New Mexico $58,430 $36,100 380
29 Idaho $56,330 $36,100 250
30 South Carolina $61,540 $40,400 410
31 Iowa $59,500 $32,960 250
32 Rhode Island $72,400 $53,510 160
33 New Jersey $78,730 $47,320 530
34 Tennessee $57,620 $33,960 400
35 West Virginia $56,210 $34,250 100
36 Maine $65,330 $48,470 110
37 Georgia $55,810 $37,610 530
38 South Dakota $52,940 $39,880 200
39 Massachusetts $75,410 $50,080 1,170
40 Pennsylvania $58,970 $28,820 1,760
41 Kentucky $54,470 $34,940 320
42 Louisiana $57,440 $35,070 90
43 Vermont $57,230 $38,930 180
44 Maryland $66,100 $43,280 1,040
45 Hawaii $68,960 $45,510 400
46 Indiana $51,200 $31,080 600
47 New Hampshire $63,410 $42,170 190
48 North Dakota $55,680 $33,720 80
49 New York $73,800 $41,420 1,330
50 Arkansas $46,840 $18,550 100