Job Description of a Planner


A job description for a planner, referred to as an urban and regional planner, includes proposing different ways to develop land. These plans consist of mall, housing, or bridge developments.

An individual interest in an urban and regional planner career should have to skills, education, and understanding of job duties to be successful. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for a planner are expected to increase 19 percent by 2018.


  • An urban and regional planner assists local governmental officials to develop land, alleviate congestion and improve social or economic conditions. The planner researches the communities and how the proposed land is being used. He prepares development plans and reports for governmental officials. Reports include proposed locations of highways, schools, buildings and streets. Also, a planner creates materials for meetings, which explain details of the proposal. The planner talks with a variety of people besides governmental officials, such as community leaders and land developers. An urban and regional planner conducts public hearings.


  • An individual needs a master's degree in urban or regional planning, environmental planning, urban design or geography. The program must be from an accredited Planning Accreditation Board. Courses in the master's degree program include statistics, health administration, earth science, and economics. While working toward a master's degree, a person obtains part-time employment or summer internships in government planning departments.


  • An individual interested in the planning field needs skills such as good oral and written communication skills. Also, the individual needs to be flexible and be open to hearing and including different view points. The person must be able to visualize proposed plans.


  • New Jersey, as of 2009, is the only state that requires a planner to obtain licensure, according to BLS. The New Jersey licensure consists of two parts. The first part tests an individual's knowledge of the state's planning laws. The second part tests an individual's awareness of the planning field. Also as of 2009, Michigan requires an individual to register as a community planner. A person must have professional experience as a planner and pass any examinations to register, according to BLS.

Work Environment

  • Although an urban and regional planner works in an office, the planner travels to land sites. The planner spends time--on weekends or evenings--attending public hearings and meetings with officials. According to BLS, an urban and regional planner typically works 40 hours a week and as of 2008 earned a median income of $59,810 per year.

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