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Old 02-05-2012, 02:33 AM
 
1,682 posts, read 2,719,931 times
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What's the deal on U.S. Urban Planning (as a career)?

In demand? According,to the department of labor, yes. According to what I read on message boards and comment,sections of planning blogs, no.

Pay?

What is a day in the life?

Education required?

Any other info would be great.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
1,112 posts, read 3,430,553 times
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Keep in mind, the people you see venting on the internet because they can't find a job and 'hate' the field are.. well.. Unemployed. There are many employed planners, and there are job openings pretty regularly if you're open to moving clear cross the country. A lot of the time, people don't want to leave a certain region, and end up shooting themselves in the foot because of it.

Pay is a tricky thing - if you're working for a local or regional government as most planners do, you won't be rich. It's a solid middle-class salary. If you're lucky after 10+ years of experience and manage to land the right job, you just might inch over the $100,000/year mark.

Planning in the US is often paired with a specific degree of the same name. Usually somewhere along the lines of Bachelor/Master of Urban/Regional Planning. You can also occasionally get into planning from geography, economics, or even civil engineering - Though I think it's safe to say most planners have PLANNING degrees. You can find a job with a bachelors, though most open positions will require a masters and a couple years experience.. So get lots of internship time!

For those who are in it - it can be a rewarding field. You can have an impact on the community you live in, and though many veterans in the field will call me naive for this - you CAN make a difference. Many planners seem bitter toward younger planners. My theory is that after dealing with years of political opposition and interest groups, seeing a new planner with utopian thoughts is hard to stomach.

A planner can wear many different hats throughout the day.. There are a lot of deadlines and pressure to meet goals. In any given day you may meet with developers, visit a development site, meet with members of the community, or tackle endless piles of bureaucratic paperwork. If working for a government agency, you'll probably be required to attend council and public meetings a few times a month, usually involving public speaking.

Sorry for the length of this one. Hope it was some help though!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,554,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyW View Post
Keep in mind, the people you see venting on the internet because they can't find a job and 'hate' the field are.. well.. Unemployed. There are many employed planners, and there are job openings pretty regularly if you're open to moving clear cross the country. A lot of the time, people don't want to leave a certain region, and end up shooting themselves in the foot because of it.

Pay is a tricky thing - if you're working for a local or regional government as most planners do, you won't be rich. It's a solid middle-class salary. If you're lucky after 10+ years of experience and manage to land the right job, you just might inch over the $100,000/year mark.

Planning in the US is often paired with a specific degree of the same name. Usually somewhere along the lines of Bachelor/Master of Urban/Regional Planning. You can also occasionally get into planning from geography, economics, or even civil engineering - Though I think it's safe to say most planners have PLANNING degrees. You can find a job with a bachelors, though most open positions will require a masters and a couple years experience.. So get lots of internship time!

For those who are in it - it can be a rewarding field. You can have an impact on the community you live in, and though many veterans in the field will call me naive for this - you CAN make a difference. Many planners seem bitter toward younger planners. My theory is that after dealing with years of political opposition and interest groups, seeing a new planner with utopian thoughts is hard to stomach.

A planner can wear many different hats throughout the day.. There are a lot of deadlines and pressure to meet goals. In any given day you may meet with developers, visit a development site, meet with members of the community, or tackle endless piles of bureaucratic paperwork. If working for a government agency, you'll probably be required to attend council and public meetings a few times a month, usually involving public speaking.

Sorry for the length of this one. Hope it was some help though!
Well said.

[can't think of anything to add]
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:48 PM
 
6,056 posts, read 10,837,768 times
Reputation: 3063
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyW View Post
Keep in mind, the people you see venting on the internet because they can't find a job and 'hate' the field are.. well.. Unemployed. There are many employed planners, and there are job openings pretty regularly if you're open to moving clear cross the country. A lot of the time, people don't want to leave a certain region, and end up shooting themselves in the foot because of it.

Pay is a tricky thing - if you're working for a local or regional government as most planners do, you won't be rich. It's a solid middle-class salary. If you're lucky after 10+ years of experience and manage to land the right job, you just might inch over the $100,000/year mark.

Planning in the US is often paired with a specific degree of the same name. Usually somewhere along the lines of Bachelor/Master of Urban/Regional Planning. You can also occasionally get into planning from geography, economics, or even civil engineering - Though I think it's safe to say most planners have PLANNING degrees. You can find a job with a bachelors, though most open positions will require a masters and a couple years experience.. So get lots of internship time!

For those who are in it - it can be a rewarding field. You can have an impact on the community you live in, and though many veterans in the field will call me naive for this - you CAN make a difference. Many planners seem bitter toward younger planners. My theory is that after dealing with years of political opposition and interest groups, seeing a new planner with utopian thoughts is hard to stomach.

A planner can wear many different hats throughout the day.. There are a lot of deadlines and pressure to meet goals. In any given day you may meet with developers, visit a development site, meet with members of the community, or tackle endless piles of bureaucratic paperwork. If working for a government agency, you'll probably be required to attend council and public meetings a few times a month, usually involving public speaking.

Sorry for the length of this one. Hope it was some help though!
This post makes the Urban planning career in the USA sound more positive than the Architecture career in the USA.

Most of the post responses I got so far about the Architecture career field in the USA was surprisingly negative. I assume the Architecture career field in the USA is still in a rather positive state and it seems like a positive career choice too.

What are your opinions about the Architecture career field and how would you compare it to the Urban Planner career in the USA?

About 2 years ago, I was deciding whether I should go with a future Architecture career, Urban Planner career, or a career related to Environmental Studies/Environmental Science.

I eventually decided that the Architecture career is the best option for me.

However, I have a tiny bit more doubt than a year/two years before, and I am still trying to see other possible career options.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:44 AM
 
642 posts, read 960,541 times
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Does anybody know if there are interdisciplinary master's programs? Say, civil engineering/urban planning, civil & corporate law/urban planning, architecture/urban planning, psychology/sociology/urban planning, public health/urban planning, economics/business/urban planning?

I find it a little disheartening that the veterans in the field may feel jaded and not welcoming to naive/optimistic newcomers. The field needs to expand (and I'm sure it already is) into a broader field that addresses the major causes of whatever factors impede with healthy urban design. It'd be nice to see the new planners and architects with utopian thoughts have the ideas, tools and plans realize their visions and potentials rather than getting sucked into designing gas stations and strip malls.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:42 AM
 
3,628 posts, read 9,209,907 times
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I have a masters in urban planning and policy and I believe nearly all of my friends from the program has a job related to their degree, including me.

As far as the details of the programs, I know only mine. I went to UIC in Chicago. We had several concentrations: community development, economic development, physical planning (land use and urban design) and urban transportation (mine, and I am now doing EXACTLY what I wanted to do upon graduation.) they are also developing an environmental planning program. There's also opportunity to develop a self chosen concentration, and I know more than one person who paired planning with public health.

Every program is different but it's definitely viable, at least in my experience.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
1,112 posts, read 3,430,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abqpsychlist View Post
Does anybody know if there are interdisciplinary master's programs? Say, civil engineering/urban planning, civil & corporate law/urban planning, architecture/urban planning, psychology/sociology/urban planning, public health/urban planning, economics/business/urban planning?

I find it a little disheartening that the veterans in the field may feel jaded and not welcoming to naive/optimistic newcomers. The field needs to expand (and I'm sure it already is) into a broader field that addresses the major causes of whatever factors impede with healthy urban design. It'd be nice to see the new planners and architects with utopian thoughts have the ideas, tools and plans realize their visions and potentials rather than getting sucked into designing gas stations and strip malls.
A LOT of schools have these programs. Usually though, for the fields that are already technical - you need an undergrad in them. Like arch or civil. You can't just walk into a masters program without the bachelors. Those programs are geared more toward arch and civil people that want to venture into planning than the other way around.

Many schools have joint planning/law programs and planning/public policy programs. Those are the most common. A few have planning/landscape arch as well, and I think you can get into landscape arch without an undergrad in it.

Last edited by CodyW; 02-11-2012 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
1,112 posts, read 3,430,553 times
Reputation: 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
This post makes the Urban planning career in the USA sound more positive than the Architecture career in the USA.

Most of the post responses I got so far about the Architecture career field in the USA was surprisingly negative. I assume the Architecture career field in the USA is still in a rather positive state and it seems like a positive career choice too.

What are your opinions about the Architecture career field and how would you compare it to the Urban Planner career in the USA?

About 2 years ago, I was deciding whether I should go with a future Architecture career, Urban Planner career, or a career related to Environmental Studies/Environmental Science.

I eventually decided that the Architecture career is the best option for me.

However, I have a tiny bit more doubt than a year/two years before, and I am still trying to see other possible career options.
Arch is what you make of it. Everyone I know that's gone into arch as a major has switched to something else, and the few architects I know are struggling to find work, and have been for quite some time. I think it's quite a bit more rough to make it in than the planning field.

Architecture is much more technical and creative than the planning field - and that's what appeals me about it. If I could have my way, I'd venture into community and urban design, but I feel like it would be tough to get into.

If you want to do it? Then by all means, go for it. If you're artistic and creative and can see the potential in things others cannot, you're probably very well suited for architecture. But it isn't glamorous - designing a home for someone much less exciting than doing the new worlds tallest in Dubai. I think the starchitects are what people look to in the architecture field, not realizing that more architects are limited to custom homes and small office buildings - or worse, working for a national builder, producing small variations of old floorplans.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:16 PM
 
6,056 posts, read 10,837,768 times
Reputation: 3063
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyW View Post
Arch is what you make of it. Everyone I know that's gone into arch as a major has switched to something else, and the few architects I know are struggling to find work, and have been for quite some time. I think it's quite a bit more rough to make it in than the planning field.

Architecture is much more technical and creative than the planning field - and that's what appeals me about it. If I could have my way, I'd venture into community and urban design, but I feel like it would be tough to get into.

If you want to do it? Then by all means, go for it. If you're artistic and creative and can see the potential in things others cannot, you're probably very well suited for architecture. But it isn't glamorous - designing a home for someone much less exciting than doing the new worlds tallest in Dubai. I think the starchitects are what people look to in the architecture field, not realizing that more architects are limited to custom homes and small office buildings - or worse, working for a national builder, producing small variations of old floorplans.

That is true it is what someone makes of it for something such as a college major in Architecture and a career in Architecture.

For all of the people you know that was studying architecture as a major, and also the people that pursued careers in that, where do they all live?

It seems like for a career such as Architecture the success for that can highly depend on the exact location someone is in.

I guess I was a bit too overly idealistic with that career path possibility.

That does seem true that there are plenty of different types of projects someone can have as an architect, and some of those types of projects are much more glamorous and interesting than other types.

However, it still seems like a great subject for me to study in college and for a career. I like how technical and creative it is.

These are the website links to the first sketches I did myself of a building at 17 years old:

The photo of the building for my first sketch: P1050466 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/76867996@N08/6888778127/in/photostream - broken link)

The photos of the first sketch I did for that building:
P1050464 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/76867996@N08/6888778759/ - broken link)

P1050467 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/76867996@N08/6888779445/ - broken link)
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:16 AM
 
1,682 posts, read 2,719,931 times
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Anyone here pursuing a career in Urban Planning in NYC?

I am seriously considering a career in planning, I am just so afraid that I will not be able to find work in the NYC area, or have a comfortable quality of life (pay).

It's a very interesting career to me. I would love to help redesign NYC for the better. (walkability/density/transit)
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