Average Income of an Urban and Regional Planner
The salary of an urban and regional planner can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as location, years of experience, level of education, and the type of employer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for urban and regional planners in May 2020 was $76,240. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $46,260, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $115,900.
It's worth noting that salaries can also vary based on the type of organization a planner works for. For example, the BLS reports that local government planners had a median annual wage of $75,790 in May 2020, while those working in architectural, engineering, and related services had a median annual wage of $84,760.
Additionally, salaries can vary by geographic region. For example, urban and regional planners working in high-cost cities or regions may earn higher salaries to account for the higher cost of living.
Here are a few additional factors that can impact an urban and regional planner's salary:
- Level of education: Urban and regional planners with a Master's degree may be able to command higher salaries than those with just a Bachelor's degree.
- Type of employer: Urban and regional planners can work for a variety of employers, including local governments, consulting firms, nonprofit organizations, and private sector companies. The salary offered by these different employers may vary.
- Years of experience: As with many professions, urban and regional planners with more years of experience may be able to command higher salaries.
- Geographic location: The cost of living in different regions can impact an urban and regional planner's salary. For example, urban and regional planners working in urban areas with high costs of living, such as San Francisco or New York, may earn more than those working in rural areas.
It's also worth noting that urban and regional planning can be a rewarding career for those interested in public service and community development. While the salary may not be as high as some other professions, urban and regional planners can have a positive impact on their communities and work to create more sustainable, equitable, and livable environments.
How to earn much being an Urban and Regional Planner?
Some highly paid urban and regional planners are those who have gained significant experience in the field, often with a specialty in a high-demand area such as transportation planning or economic development. Additionally, planners who have advanced degrees such as a Master's in Urban Planning or a related field may have a higher earning potential.
There are a few ways that an urban and regional planner can potentially earn more:
- Advance in your career: As urban and regional planner gains more experience, they may be able to take on more senior roles with higher salaries, such as project manager or director of planning.
- Specialize in a particular area: Urban and regional planners can specialize in different areas, such as transportation planning, environmental planning, or affordable housing. By developing expertise in a particular area, planners may be able to command higher salaries.
- Seek opportunities in high-cost regions: As mentioned earlier, salaries can vary based on geographic location. Urban and regional planners may be able to earn higher salaries by working in high-cost regions, such as large urban areas or coastal cities.
- Consider working for private sector employers: While many urban and regional planners work for public sector employers, such as local governments or nonprofit organizations, some also work for private sector companies, such as real estate development firms. Salaries for planners working in the private sector may be higher than for those working in the public sector.
- Continue your education: Urban and regional planners with a Master's degree may be able to command higher salaries than those with just a Bachelor's degree. Additionally, earning additional certifications or licenses may also lead to higher salaries.