Regional planners help make decisions on ways a region, such as a city or county, should grow and change. They will look at traffic, air pollution, and where businesses and homes are located. They work with builders to make sure structures are built properly. For example, in some areas the planner must make sure buildings are at a high enough elevation so that they won't get flooded. Knowing the history of the region helps planners in their job. Regional planners work with elected officials to make decisions which can affect social, economic and environmental issues.
Regional planners work indoors in offices. They usually work standard hours, but evenings may be required sometimes to attend meetings.
Beginning salaries average $30,000 and increase depending on years of experience.
Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study
Familiarity with computer models and statistical techniques is necessary as well as courses in architecture, law, earth sciences, economics, finance, and management.
Similar occupations include architects, landscape architects, city managers, civil engineers, environmental engineers, directors of community or economic development, and geographers.
Education & Training
Most government jobs require a master's degree in urban and regional planning. Some entry-level jobs in urban design, traffic, or the environment require a bachelor's degree from a planning program coupled with a master's degree in architecture, landscape architecture, or civil engineering.
Employment is expected to grow more slowly than average through 2006. There will likely be more competition for these jobs.