see State Job Trends
for regional occupational outlook information
Urban Planner Job Outlook
Faster than average employment growth is projected
for urban and regional planners. Most new jobs will be in affluent, rapidly
expanding communities. Job prospects will be best for those with a master’s
degree and strong computer skills.
Employment change. Employment of
urban and regional planners is expected to grow 15 percent from 2006 to 2016,
faster than the average for
all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by the need for State and
local governments to provide public services such as regulation of commercial
development, the environment, transportation, housing, and land use and
development for an expanding population. Nongovernmental initiatives dealing
with historic preservation and redevelopment will also create employment growth.
Most new jobs for urban and regional planners will
be in local government, as planners will be needed to address an array of
problems associated with population growth, especially in affluent, rapidly
expanding communities. For example, new housing developments require roads,
sewer systems, fire stations, schools, libraries, and recreation facilities that
must be planned for within budgetary constraints.
The fastest job growth for urban and regional
planners will occur in the private sector, primarily in the professional,
scientific, and technical services industries. For example, planners may be
employed by firms to help design security measures for a building that are
effective but also subtle and able to blend in with the surrounding area.
However, because the private sector employs only 21 percent of urban and
regional planners, not as many new jobs will be created in the private sector as
Job prospects. In addition to those
from employment growth, job openings will arise from the need to replace
experienced planners who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the
labor force for other reasons. Graduates with a master’s degree from an
accredited program should have better job opportunities than those with only a
bachelor’s degree. Also, computers and software—especially GIS software—are
increasingly being used in planning, and those with strong computer skills and
GIS experience will have an advantage in the job market.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition
Find related resources below:
Urban Planner Income
Urban Planner Training