When Ray Charles told Jack to hit the road, was he aware that previously someone had to have planned that road? I mean that road – and the other ones – were once the realization of a need, transformed into an idea that became real. However, we simply use them in our daily lives, without taking to account all the long-detailed projects that shaped the final result. So, my point is: Ray Charles should be thankful to the city planner that made it possible for him to get rid of Jack.
If you’re also committed to create a better city environment for your hometown, stick around. I’ll tell you all you need to know about this job, including how much profit you can make out from it.
What Does a City Planner Do?
All communities have a certain amount of land and resources that require proper management. City planners’ job consists of taking the best part of it, assuring the government provides solutions for the population’s needs. Though, city planners, also known as urban or regional planners, basically plan the use of land in a given area. Their purpose is to make places attractive to entrepreneurs, by adding commercial spaces, schools, libraries, and even bike lanes to cities or counties.
Working in collaboration with government officials, city planners analyze environmental and economic concerns to design green spaces and greener illumination solutions, for example. Just think about solar roadways or traffic signals powered by solar energy: all of these are strategically conceived in city plans.
Finally, Get Inspired by Bolivia’s Transportation System
To better understand the diverse improvements city planners can make, let’s look at Bolivia’s singular transportation system. It has the largest cable car system in the world, which was created to solve a precarious offer of public transports. Before this construction, going from La Paz to El Alto meant taking steep roads, along 400 m of difference in altitude. Furthermore, chaotic traffic and poor structures made it difficult to travel around the city.
By a deep analysis of this context and discussing possible alternatives, a solution for the city was planned. Today, Bolivia counts on around 30 km of cables that take people to all the city points, both for working and touristic purposes.
I am telling you about this practical example to prove that city planners play a big role in a community’s well-being. For a rewarding outcome, these people spend long hours in the field, checking out needs, conditions, and also getting in touch with stakeholders.
So, what does it take to become a city planner? I’ll explain that in the next section.
City Planner Job Requirements
Typically, you have to have a master’s degree, to become a city planner. By earning one, you would be able to think critically about land use, metropolitan planning, laws, and transportation. For your bachelor’s degree, I recommend you study geography, political science, economics, or even architecture. Together, these two degrees will give you key skills, such as management, data analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and teamwork.
Gaining work experience is also very relevant if you want to be successful in this market. So, engage in public policy internships and, step by step, get to know the details, techniques, duties, and strategies of the job. Usually, city planners’ positions require one or two years of working experience. As soon as you start to immerse yourself in the field, the better.
The final tip I have for you is to obtain an AICP certification. It is optional, even though it’s a clear plus, as it certifies your combination of education and experience, along with a membership in the American Planning Association. Are you eligible? Check it out here.
Oh, money. After having all the work, here comes the money. They say it doesn’t buy happiness, but it buys you free time, which, in turn, allows you to benefit from all the facilities city planners design. If you’re thinking about becoming the one who draws all those conveniences, keep in mind that your salary will depend on many factors. Your education, skills, experience, and certifications have something to say by the time you receive the cash. However, we may, of course, talk about salary ranges.
In the United States, a city planner can make between $59,653 and $75,214, according to salary.com. Other online resources, such as payscale.com, are a little less optimistic pointing to $57,355.
City Planner? More like Future Planner
Start planning your future now: analyze your particular case and see what you are worth. Are you already seeing yourself out there? If so, hit the road after your dream. And don’t let any kind of Jack stop you.