A Career as a City Planner

A Career as a City Planner

by Kathleen Gerry
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

According to Wikipedia, city planning is a technical and political process concerned with the control of the use of land and design of the urban environment, including transportation networks, to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities. It concerns itself with research and analysis, strategic thinking, architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management.

Being a city planner can be a very exciting career choice that has many rewards, such as working on a team, having an impact on the physical world
around you, and getting a chance to try and help build a sustainable community. In order to be successful as a planner, a solid education from an accredited institution will be your best foundation. After high school, you will have to go to University for an undergraduate degree followed by a Masters degree in Planning. Your undergraduate degree can be in Environmental Studies, Geography, Political Science or other related discipline. Getting good grades will be important to ensure you are able to gain admission to the Planning Masters program.

There are many great schools in Canada that offer programs in city planning. Dalhousie University in Eastern Canada has several options at the undergraduate level with a Bachelor of Community Design and a Major in Environmental Planning. Other options include a major in urban design studies, environmental studies or community design and sustainability. If you are looking for something out in western Canada, you could try UBC’s programs in Community and Regional Planning as an Arts degree or as a Science degree. Their School of Community and Regional Planning is one of Canada’s oldest schools, being established in 1952. McGill University in Quebec offers a Masters in Urban Planning for those looking to add a little French to their lifestyle.

As a city planner you can expect to make a good salary and to work alongside engineers and other professionals under the umbrella of government and private organizations, such as Scheffer Andrews Ltd. in Edmonton and Calgary. According to payscale.com, the salary outlook for a career in urban planning can have you earning between $39,991 and $85,110 with an average income of $58,141. Depending on the company you get hired on with, you can expect to have medical and dental benefits and a pension plan. As with all occupations, the more senior you become in your position the more you can expect to earn.

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