Find out what it means to be a planner and what it takes to become a professional planner.
A profession is defined as an occupation requiring the mastery of a complex body of knowledge and specialized skills through a combination of formal education and practical experience, with its primary orientation to the community interest rather than to individual self-interest, and having a code of ethics.
Planning Career Fundamentals
- Find out what planners do and how to begin your planning career.
- Most planners attend school for a degree in planning.
- Explore the importance of certification in the planning field and how licensing differs from certification.
What Skills Do Planners Need?
Successful planners need to possess a set of specialized skills that allow them to navigate through the complexities of the planning process. Find out what kind of skills a great planner possesses.
Where Do Planners Work?
Planners work in every state and around the world. They work in rural areas, suburban areas, and large cities. They are a part of federal, state, and local governments; nonprofits and real estate development companies and multi-disciplinary consulting firms.
Most planners perform their work in a field of specialization within the larger planning profession. Some planners spend their entire career within one of these specializations; others move between them or find employment opportunities that combine specializations.
A Typical Day for a Planner
Planners spend much of their time working with others. The planner's role is to help others see the big picture and to relate the project to a community's goals and guidelines.
Whether you need to brush up your resume, cover letter, or online profile, refer to these tip sheets for spot-on advice. Speaking at a career day event or participating in a job hunting conference panel? Print copies of these flyers and share with other planners.
Explore the salary potential of planning jobs in APA's Salary Survey.
Read "Silver Lining: Planners find bright spots in tough times," from Planning magazine.
Planners work in multidisciplinary teams and frequently work with engineers, architects, landscape architects, and economic development specialists. See descriptions of associated professions, including mandatory continuing education comparisons.