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Old 01-27-2015, 12:19 PM
 
1,209 posts, read 1,484,873 times
Reputation: 923

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I am going to school for planning. I made a list of the pros and cons of me being a city planner.

Pros

I have always loved cities
I am into urban redevelopment and urban renewal particularly in neglected urban areas
I want to make a difference in distressed urban areas.

Cons
Salary isn't great when you consider the fact you have to have a master's
You have to live in the same city you work in? Can someone please confirm or debunk this?
You have to be creative

I don't know if I should be a city planner. The pay doesn't seem that great. I am a public policy major so I don't know if I should focus on that instead. I want to address inequality.

Any feedback?
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:27 PM
 
1,478 posts, read 2,001,198 times
Reputation: 1579
Quote:
Originally Posted by homenj View Post
I am going to school for planning. I made a list of the pros and cons of me being a city planner.

Pros

I have always loved cities
I am into urban redevelopment and urban renewal particularly in neglected urban areas
I want to make a difference in distressed urban areas.

Cons
Salary isn't great when you consider the fact you have to have a master's
You have to live in the same city you work in? Can someone please confirm or debunk this?
You have to be creative

I don't know if I should be a city planner. The pay doesn't seem that great. I am a public policy major so I don't know if I should focus on that instead. I want to address inequality.

Any feedback?
You don't necessarily need to work in the city in which you are employed. That will vary from municipality to municipality as a matter of their policy on the issue...although you certainly need to have a deep understanding of the area, stakeholders, political landscape, economic and social climate, etc.

Planning itself is not for me, but I do think it will vary greatly based upon the government for which you are working, the characteristics of the area, and the culture in the planning department. The process can be very bureaucratic and slow moving and you can expend an inordinate amount of time on something as monotonous as curb cut placement. Or it can be very gratifying in terms of being able to inform an assist a city in making positive changes. The differences can be vast.

You could do a lot with public policy/planning that isn't restricted to a city planning office: economic consulting, community development consulting, private developers focusing on affordable/mixed use hosing, etc.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:51 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,764 posts, read 54,390,602 times
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We have a few planners here where I work and they are making good money (over 100k) but it requires 10 years experience. A friend who just got her masters is working for a local major university and got a big promotion and raise (is in charge of their parking management) after 2 years doing entry level work right after the advanced degree.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:59 PM
 
1,209 posts, read 1,484,873 times
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Thank you guys for the info. I like to do research on cities and neighborhoods a lot. I don't know job is best for me with these interests.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,556,442 times
Reputation: 10299
Quote:
Originally Posted by homenj View Post
I am going to school for planning. I made a list of the pros and cons of me being a city planner.

Pros

I have always loved cities
I am into urban redevelopment and urban renewal particularly in neglected urban areas
I want to make a difference in distressed urban areas.

Cons
Salary isn't great when you consider the fact you have to have a master's
You have to live in the same city you work in? Can someone please confirm or debunk this?
You have to be creative

I don't know if I should be a city planner. The pay doesn't seem that great. I am a public policy major so I don't know if I should focus on that instead. I want to address inequality.

Any feedback?
Regarding your cons:


  • The salary is reasonable and allows me to live a solid, middle class lifestyle. And I don't have a master's degree;
  • I don't live in the city I work for and I'm not aware of such a requirement at other cities. This requirement does apply to the elected and appointed officials where I work;
  • Yes, it helps to be creative - with ideas, they way you approach work, the personal interactions, etc.
[the big one you forgot was the politics]
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:48 AM
 
2,046 posts, read 4,272,566 times
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what degree is necessarily needed?
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:13 PM
 
12,289 posts, read 15,184,803 times
Reputation: 8100
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEETC View Post
Regarding your cons:


  • The salary is reasonable and allows me to live a solid, middle class lifestyle. And I don't have a master's degree;
  • I don't live in the city I work for and I'm not aware of such a requirement at other cities. This requirement does apply to the elected and appointed officials where I work;
  • Yes, it helps to be creative - with ideas, they way you approach work, the personal interactions, etc.
[the big one you forgot was the politics]
Absolutely. If the mayor loses an election chances are you're gone. Not as secure as many City or County jobs.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
3,853 posts, read 7,632,128 times
Reputation: 1583
Quote:
Originally Posted by qjbusmaster View Post
what degree is necessarily needed?
A lot of places prefer a masters degree in urban planning, though some might accept a bachelors. I know since you live in NYC, Hunter has a great urban planning program for undergrad: HunterUAP | Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College

You don't necessarily need to have a bachelors in urban planning to go for a masters. I'm sure if you go for a degree in say, applied mathematics, engineering, sociology, political science, etc you'd qualify to go for a masters.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:51 AM
 
2,998 posts, read 4,699,156 times
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Pros making a ton of money in california
Cons, Nothing
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:45 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,386 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkmatechamp13 View Post
You don't necessarily need to have a bachelors in urban planning to go for a masters. I'm sure if you go for a degree in say, applied mathematics, engineering, sociology, political science, etc you'd qualify to go for a masters.
^Definitely. It's better to mix it up!

My undergrad wasn't in urban planning but rather in community development - there's a lot of overlap such that when I did my MURP they let me skip me a few of the early courses because I had already taken them.

My MURP colleagues were from all over the world and most of them had backgrounds in engineering, law, environmental science, or architecture. A lot of the engineers are on track for transportation planning or project management roles. The others should be obvious but graphic design is also a huge skillset to go into planning with. Photoshop, Sketchup, AutoCAD, and GIS are skills a lot of employers want - especially in the more design oriented firms.

Most people I know who did their undergrad in planning went to grad school for Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, or some closely related design field.
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