Job Tips for Recent Graduates and New Planners

Suggestions for planners who have just received a degree or who are looking for their first job in planning.

  • Read APA's Career Development pages, which offer a comprehensive review of the planning profession.
  • Contact the administrator of your college planning program administrator and all of your planning instructors. Ask them for help and referrals. Your alma mater's planning program has a vested interest in seeing that its grads get jobs because placement is a measure of student assessment and achievement.
  • Before you start looking for a full-time position, try to build up a well rounded body of experience — which is attractive to potential employers — by working at several varied internships and at least one short-term job.
  • Take advantage of the networking opportunities and other resources offered by your local APA chapter.
  • Post your resume for free at Jobs Online. Interested employers can see it once they have posted a vacancy.
    Note: This service is available to APA members only.
  • Every APA National Planning Conference offers sessions, facilitated discussions, workshops, and even mobile workshops for new planners.
  • Get your foot in the door of a municipal planning office or consulting firm by temporarily volunteering your services.
  • Start out in the zoning administration program of a planning department.
  • Take a long view of your career and plan to obtain AICP certification in addition to your master's degree.
  • Above all, be realistic and strategic. Your dream job may be an Environmental Planner in Hawaii, at a salary of $100,000, but until such a position becomes available to you, spend your time gaining a variety of professional experiences and developing key skills.

Sources for Job Leads

APA Jobs Online

APA Chapter Websites