APA's Early Career Program

Create Planning's Future. Connect with APA.

APA offers an essential complement to the education and experience you receive early in your career. And — equally as important — you are essential to APA. As an emerging professional, you'll not only shape planning's future, you'll shape APA's future as well.

Our Early Career Program connects you to a community of 40,000 planners, officials, and decision makers in more than 95 countries around the world. This five-year package of benefits and services is tailored to jump start your career and take you to the next level of success.

Connect to advantages
  • Mentoring from experienced planners
  • Career guidance
  • Training that meets the unique needs of emerging professionals
  • Path to professional certification by APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners
Connect to community
  • Affordable registration for APA's National Planning Conference, with focused programming for emerging professionals
  • Membership in a local chapter, with events and activities close to home
  • Chapter-based Young Planners Groups
  • Opportunities to network with planning professionals at all levels, in diverse specialties, and from various locales
  • Membership in APA's special-interest divisions (free or discounted)
Connect to information

Priced for Early-Career Budgets

The Early Career Program is affordable (less than the cost of a textbook!) for emerging professionals on tight budgets:

Year 1 Free or $40 Free or $10 Free or $50
Year 2 $40 $10 $50
Year 3 $55 $14 $69
Year 4 $70 $18 $88
Year 5 $85 $21 $106

Who Is Eligible?

You're eligible to join APA's Early Career Program if you:

  • are a full-time student, and
  • have never been an APA member.

If your academic program is not a full member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, you must be younger than 35 to join the Early Career Program. Students who attend ACSP full-member programs may enroll in the Early Career Program regardless of age.

See a list of participating ACSP full-member schools

What Are the Benefits?

For more information about Early Career Program benefits, read the Early Career FAQ.

Ready to Make the Connection? Join APA's Early Career Program Today!

If you attend a participating school and are eligible for a free year in the Early Career Program, ask your APA program administrator how to enroll. E-mail APA at studentmembership@planning.org if you don't know your school's contact.

A full-time student who is not eligible for a free year is welcome to join APA as a student member and enter the Early Career Program as long as he or she is younger than 35 and has never been an APA member.