Job Growth and Salaries for Typical Urban Planning Jobs
Projected Job Growth
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in this position is expected to be about 19 percent from 2008 to 2018. The Bureau predicts that the majority of these positions will go to those who hold an advanced degree in urban planning. Entry-level positions remain open to a wider spectrum of professionals, including those with a bachelor’s degree in economics, geography, political science, or environmental design.
The majority of those employed in urban planning are local government employees. Other urban planners work for consulting firms or teach and/or do research at prestigious institutes or universities. Many enter the field of urban planning as a way to “give back” to their community in a dynamic, hands-on way.
Fact: According to the United Stated Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) a Master’s degree in the field of urban planning has a lifetime value of approximately $1,333,048.00.
Based on a 2008 study, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the following salaries for those in specialized niches of urban planning:
- Architectural, engineering, and related services: $63,770
- Scientific research and development services: $60,750
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: $59,160
- Local government: $58,260
- Colleges, universities, and professional schools: $57,520
For more current detailed salary information, click here.
One of the Top 50 Careers
In 2010, US News and World Report named Urban Planning as one of the top 50 careers in the United States. Their ranking was based on pay, working conditions and upward mobility. According to the magazine, 66 percent of urban planners are employed in the public sector and the remainder in architectural, engineering and consulting firms. The public sector pay averages $62,170 while those in the private sector earn an average of $72,910. The top 10 percent of earners in the field average earnings of about $94,800.
However, the need for an advanced degree cannot be stressed enough. According to BLS, those holding a Bachelor’s degree will find themselves in entry-level urban planning positions with almost no potential for advancement, even though the number of urban planning positions is expected to increase from 38,400 jobs in 2008 to 45,700 jobs by 2018. The majority of new jobs will be reserved for people with advanced degrees.