If you consider yourself to be a good planner, then you might be considering becoming an urban planner. But what is that exactly? An urban planner creates land-use plans and programs to establish communities, help existing communities expand and revitalize old facilities.

Generally, they only work full-time. But there is an occasional meeting after work that they'll need to attend. And as for education, you'll want to earn a master's degree from an accredited program. Of course, that's only if you want to qualify for the majority of positions. Which we think you'll probably want to.

What Does an Urban Planner Do

Urban and regional planners develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

Learn more about what an Urban Planner does

How To Become an Urban Planner

Urban and regional planners need a master’s degree from an accredited planning program to qualify for most positions.

Learn More About How To Become an Urban Planner

Urban Planner Career Paths

Average Salary for an Urban Planner

Urban Planners in America make an average salary of $65,316 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $89,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $47,000 per year.
Average Urban Planner Salary
$65,316 Yearly
$31.40 hourly
$47,000
10 %
$65,000
Median
$89,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become an Urban Planner
How To Become an Urban Planner Career Overview

States With The Most Urban Planner Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active urban planner jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where urban planners earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Urban Planner Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California831$76,862
2New York368$67,917
3Texas322$57,363
4Florida271$53,741
5Pennsylvania270$64,320
6Virginia237$68,194
7Illinois236$59,605
8Massachusetts201$72,563
9North Carolina201$55,755
10Maryland181$71,052
11Georgia178$54,244
12Colorado154$70,703
13Ohio151$62,373
14Minnesota125$62,546
15Washington122$70,847
16Arizona121$49,370
17New Jersey120$61,987
18Michigan105$59,936
19Wisconsin104$55,670
20Indiana100$53,244
21South Carolina99$52,029
22Connecticut95$70,872
23Tennessee89$55,007
24Oregon81$73,472
25Alabama77$54,144
26Missouri67$56,195
27Iowa61$55,729
28Nevada57$71,195
29Utah55$55,747
30Kentucky54$57,537
31New Hampshire46$57,724
32Nebraska34$56,489
33Arkansas33$46,515
34Hawaii32$63,221
35Kansas27$65,826
36Mississippi24$54,144
37New Mexico21$43,319
38Louisiana20$63,703
39Delaware17$69,871
40North Dakota15$58,219
41Oklahoma15$57,365
42Alaska11$68,378
43Idaho11$55,431
44Rhode Island10$69,513
45Maine9$59,407
46Vermont7$70,016
47West Virginia6$48,439
48South Dakota3$51,938
49Montana2$53,657
50Wyoming1$63,959

Urban Planner Education

Urban Planner Majors

Urban Planner Degrees

Bachelors

64.3 %

Masters

29.9 %

Doctorate

1.9 %

Top Colleges for Urban Planners

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

4. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

5. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

7. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

Top Skills For an Urban Planner

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.1% of urban planners listed gis on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Urban Planner Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Urban Planner templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Urban Planner resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Urban Planner Demographics

Urban Planner Gender Distribution

Male
Male
67%
Female
Female
33%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among urban planners, 33.4% of them are women, while 66.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among urban planners is White, which makes up 73.0% of all urban planners.

  • The most common foreign language among urban planners is Spanish at 45.2%.

Work Experience Programs For Urban Planners

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Wealth Management Program

Company: Goodbody

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Software Development Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4.5-5.5 hours

UK Public Service Program

Company: Transform Society

Cost: Free

Duration: 2.5 hours

Process Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

StartUps for Smarter Cities Program

Company: Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Cost: Free

Duration: 7-9 hours

Professional Skills Development Program

Company: Two Sigma

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Engaging the community Program

Company: Teach for Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 2 hours

Public Health Policy & Management Program

Company: Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Developer Program

Company: Accenture Nordics

Cost: Free

Duration: 2-3 hours

Design Program

Company: BCG

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Online Courses For Urban Planner That You May Like

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Urban Design for the Public Good: Dutch Urbanism
edX (Global)

Are you an urban planner, designer, policy maker or involved or interested in the creation of good living environments? This course will broaden your scope and diversify your take on the field of urban planning and design. We will focus on a unique Dutch approach and analyze how it can help those involved with urban planning and design to improve the physical environment in relation to the public good it serves, including safety, wellbeing, sustainability and even beauty. You will learn some of...

Management of Urban Infrastructures - part 1
coursera

Sustainability, Resilience and Efficiency are fundamental considerations for city managers in managing urban infrastructures. Today, more than 3.9 billion people, making up more than 54% of the global population, live in cities. Urbanization is expected to continue in the coming years, raising the urban population to 6.0 billion by 2045. This dramatic increase in urban populations will inevitably increase the demand for energy, mobility (transportation), water, and other urban services in every...

Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems
coursera

Learn about the three phases of the urban value chain: planning, governance and regeneration. With lecturers from all around the world and concrete case studies, this course will give you a comprehensive overview about the "Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems". This course has assembled some of the most relevant experiences and knowledge from our Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems (IGLUS) Executive Master's program, which has been offered by EPFL during the past 5 years. IGLUS...

Show More Urban Planner Courses
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Best States For an Urban Planner

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an urban planner. The best states for people in this position are California, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Urban planners make the most in California with an average salary of $76,862. Whereas in Oregon and Massachusetts, they would average $73,472 and $72,563, respectively. While urban planners would only make an average of $71,195 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Urban Planner Jobs:
43
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
1.33

2. Nevada

Total Urban Planner Jobs:
57
Highest 10% Earn:
$101,000
Location Quotient:
1.41

3. California

Total Urban Planner Jobs:
831
Highest 10% Earn:
$111,000
Location Quotient:
1.47
Full List Of Best States For Urban Planners

How Do Urban Planner Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Urban Planner Employers

Most Common Employers For Urban Planner

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Parsons$80,778$38.846
2Jacobs Engineering Group$78,466$37.7214
3Kittelson & Associates$70,641$33.9618
4NBBJ Design$68,346$32.869
5Skidmore, Owings & Merrill$67,330$32.3720
6AECOM$67,123$32.2725
7IBI Group$66,919$32.178
8HNTB$66,378$31.9113
9CallisonRTKL$65,802$31.645
10SWA Group$65,605$31.547

Becoming an Urban Planner FAQs

Where Do Urban Planners Work?

Urban planners work for local or regional governments, although some may work in the private sector. Urban planners work with architects, engineers, landscape architects, and other professionals to create comprehensive plans for developing and revitalizing urban and suburban areas.

What Are Careers In Urban Planning?

Urban planners, architects, and structural engineers are careers in urban planning. Here are some details on each of these careers and others in urban planning:

  • Urban Planner

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