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Old 11-08-2014, 06:22 AM
 
1 posts, read 680 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello. As read above, I am a prospective Urban Planner and I would like to go to school for this. I am a sophomore in high school, and I go to a trade highschool where I am in an engineering program and I found that Civil Engineering really fascinates me. However, as I did more and more research into the subfields of Civil Engineering, I found Urban Planning and I was very intrigued. Ever since I was younger, I have been interested in bug cities and how everything works. Being from a suburb of a big city, when I got to go into the big cities, I always found why the engineers did what they did. So as I ak still young enough to make my decision for a career, I would appreciate if an Urban Planner could answer my following questions:

1. What are some good colleges in New Jersey for Civil Engineering and Urban Planning? My plan is to do Civil Engineering for my undergraduate and get my Master's, and go to a different college to do my graduates work and graduate with my Bachelors of Science in Urban Planning.

2. Where are some potential jobs that an urban planner can get when a student graduates college?

3. What are the pros and the cons about being an Urban Planner?

4. What are most of the days on the job like? Are you in an office? Out in the field? Doing reports? Making up drawings?

5. What is the initial salary and the salary after experience?

6. What are the subfields of Urban Planning?

7. Would you reccomend getting a internship with a Civil Engineer before going into college?

8. What are some books on Urban Planning or Civil Engineering I could read upon to quench my thirst for the subject?

I know this post is rather length, but any answers would highly be appreciated. I look forward to hearing responses from actual proffesionals. Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:58 PM
 
283 posts, read 350,993 times
Reputation: 314
I can't totally answer all your questions, as I'm a student too (college freshman, looking to submatriculate into a masters program in CP) but I know Rutgers has an excellent city planning program if you care to check that out. City Planning is definitely a field in which you want to get a masters degree. With a masters, you can expect to get a starting salary around $50,000, it depends on your specialization - I hear that transportation and smart growth planning are where the jobs are at. As for other subfields of City Planning, there is management, community development, redevelopment, transportation systems, corridor planning, land-use/green development, etc... a lot of niche positions. It's a competitive field to get into, so you may have to take some unpaid internships to get some experience first. Learning GIS and taking classes in Real Estate are a major plus.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:22 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,386 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshFaust View Post
Hello. As read above, I am a prospective Urban Planner and I would like to go to school for this. I am a sophomore in high school, and I go to a trade highschool where I am in an engineering program and I found that Civil Engineering really fascinates me. However, as I did more and more research into the subfields of Civil Engineering, I found Urban Planning and I was very intrigued. Ever since I was younger, I have been interested in bug cities and how everything works. Being from a suburb of a big city, when I got to go into the big cities, I always found why the engineers did what they did. So as I ak still young enough to make my decision for a career, I would appreciate if an Urban Planner could answer my following questions:

1. What are some good colleges in New Jersey for Civil Engineering and Urban Planning? My plan is to do Civil Engineering for my undergraduate and get my Master's, and go to a different college to do my graduates work and graduate with my Bachelors of Science in Urban Planning.

If you're looking for in-state tuition then Rutgers is really the only game in town. The planning program is well known nationally and (being a grad myself) it's a good school in general in case you change your mind in your 2nd year.

I don't know where in NJ you live but Temple also has a good program (but most of the planning classes are at the Ambler campus) and of course there's NYU if you're at the other end of the state.

That said it's hard to answer the rest of your questions because civil engineering and planning are not the same thing. A lot of current planning positions are filled by older people with civil engineering degrees but thankfully that practice is winding down (it's the reason for a lot of the mess with our transportation networks).

If you graduate with dual degrees (planning & engineering) I would imagine that you'd get sucked into the project management pipeline - which is good for you because those jobs pay well and it will be relatively easy for you to find work overseas when the US economy tanks again (which will probably be within a year or two of your university graduation). IMO, it would be a better idea to do your undergrad in engineering and get a masters in planning. It would be a much better career move.
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,501,291 times
Reputation: 15950
Get a job where you are participating in the creation of something people actually want to buy; "Urban Planning" is merely a cover for a group of very Politically Correct elitists who want to tell people of average means -- particularly if they run a business -- what the high-placed want them to do.

Except for the people who came here in slave ships (and many of them caught on quick once given the opportunity), most of our ancestors came here to escape what the power structure wanted to force upon them.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,311,621 times
Reputation: 3600
The great bulk of planning jobs worldwide have more to do with regulation than new development or "urban design."

You can work in an office, behind the desk, or you can work part of the time in the field, looking at development proposals (by others) to see how they fit into the bigger picture. Occasionally you might work on some "forward planning" projects - large scale redevelopment, for example, but these tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Planning is generally a public-sector activity, although often planning consultants are employed (by private developers and/or local governments) for specialty knowledge or - sadly rather often - in order to "take the heat" in politically delicate circumstances.

I studied and taught planning in the UK, and later worked as a planner and city administrator in the US. For someone still in school and looking to the field in career terms, I'd definitely agree to make it a postgraduate activity - study engineering, economics, architecture, or public administration/political science as an undergraduate, then look at planning (if you're still interested) as an advanced degree.

There's no rush - cities aren't going away anytime soon, and they're constantly re-planning and re-making themselves. At your age, you will probably hit your stride right when things change enormously on many fronts - transportation, changed definitions of "workplace" and "home," and who knows what changes in the social and cultural fabric of our cities and countries.

Good luck!
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