APA Planners Salary Survey

About the Survey

The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, seek to promote the success of planners and the organizations they work for. To that end, APA periodically surveys compensation in the profession and reports results to its members.

The 2018 web-based survey instrument — designed jointly by APA and Readex Research, an independent company — was similar to instruments used biennially since 2004. Readex collected, tabulated, and analyzed the results and developed this report, all in accordance with accepted research standards and practices.

APA invited regular, life, faculty, and new professional members in the United States to participate in the survey. Excluded were members outside the United States; student, retired, and group planning board members; and members who opted out of receiving these types of communications from APA. The response rate was significant: 38 percent (7,724 of 20,181 members surveyed). Survey results are scientifically valid and representative of APA members in the invited categories.

Unless otherwise noted, the results reported here represent the 6,770 respondents who

  • supplied salary data;
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • work full-time and year-round as planners or in planning-related positions.

The survey provides information about a variety of issues of interest to members, many of which are already being discussed in a number of ways by APA leaders and volunteers.

Data Collection

On March 15, 2018, Readex broadcast email invitations to 20,181 APA members who met the designated criteria and for whom well-formed and unduplicated email addresses were available. The message, "signed" by APA's chief executive officer, invited the recipient to complete the survey at a designated website and offered the opportunity to enter a drawing for one of five $100 Visa gift cards.

Readex emailed reminders to non-respondents on March 21, 27, and 30. The survey was closed for tabulation on April 4.

Summary of 2018 Planners Salary Survey Results

Full Survey Results

APA Members Only

Full survey results are available to and may be used by APA members only. APA members may not distribute survey results either in print or electronically.

Benefits Offered

Planners' Compensation Packages

What Comprises Annual Base Salary?

Employment and Work Environment Characteristics

A Portrait of Planners

Salary Survey Results Breakout Tables

Salary Worksheet

Planners Salary Calculator