Urban and Regional Planners



Urban and regional planners assist in the development and redevelopment of a city, metropolitan area, or region. They work to preserve historical buildings, protect the environment, and help manage a community's growth and change. Planners evaluate individual buildings and city blocks, and are also involved in the design of new subdivisions, neighborhoods, and even entire towns. There are approximately 39,700 urban and regional planners working in the United States.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Master's Degree



Several years’ experience required



Information Management


Personality Traits



Earnings vary based on position, work experience, and the population of the city or town the planner serves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual earnings of urban and regional planners were $74,350 in May 2019. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $45,850, and the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $116,280. Mean annual earnings in local government, the indus...

Work Environment

Planners spend a considerable amount of time in an office setting. However, in order to gather data about the areas they develop, planners also spend much of their time outdoors examining the surrounding land, structures, and traffic. Most planners work standard 40-hour weeks, but they may also attend evening or weekend council meetings or public forums to share upcoming development proposals.<...


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) expects the overall demand for urban and regional planners will grow by 11 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations, through 2029. Communities turn to professional planners for help in meeting demands resulting from urbanization and the growth in population. The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has also affected urban and regional planning, with i...