Most planners perform their work in one or more particular fields of specialization within the larger planning profession.

Collaboration Among Planners

These specializations represent specific areas of planning knowledge. Planners from different specializations work together to better the welfare of people and communities. While some planners spend their entire career within one of these specializations, most will move between them or find employment opportunities that combine specializations.

APA has 24 divisions that cover planning specialty and interest areas. Each divisionĀ is a community of professionals with shared interests.

See All 24 Special Interest Divisions

Most Common Specializations

Here are several of the most common specializations within the planning profession:

Community Activism/Empowerment

Community Development

APA Housing and Community Development Division

Comprehensive/Long-Range Planning

Economic Development

Economic Development Division

Environmental/Natural Resources Planning

Environment, Natural Resources and Energy Division

Food Systems Planning

Food Systems Division

Hazard Mitigation/Disaster Recovery Planning

Hazard Mitigation/Disaster Recovery Planning Division

Historic Preservation

Urban Design and Preservation Division


Housing and Community Development Division

Land Use and Code Enforcement

Parks and Recreation

Planning Management/Finance

Transportation Planning

Transportation Planning Division

Urban Design

Urban Design and Preservation Division