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  • Almost all City Planners have a master's degree in city planning,

  • urban planning, environmental planning, some variation of that name,

  • but not everyone comes to their masters program with a background or a bachelor's degree in city planning.

  • Generally the requirement is just that you have to have a bachelor's degree.

  • A lot of times people do have something related to urban planning as their bachelor's degree.

  • So, a geography degree, a community development degree,

  • economics, sociology, environmental science.

  • These are all things that actually do prepare you for an urban planning graduate program.

  • The graduate program I attended required that

  • between our first and second year of grad school that

  • we complete a two month internship and that was really valuable.

  • I was able to secure a paid internship at Oregon Metro,

  • which is Portland, Oregon's Metro Regional Government and I worked on a climate change report there.

  • Throughout my two years at graduate school

  • was employed by an organization called the Institute For Environmental Negotiation

  • and that was the first experience I had with outreach on sea level rise issues.

  • We worked in coastal Virginia and talked to people about their experiences with coastal flooding.

  • Those are valuable things to look out for when you look at a graduate program is

  • what kind of resources do they have to support students, grow, and build their resume before they go into the city planning world.

  • So, I'm really grateful for my,

  • really two internships that I had during grad school.

  • I don't think that I would have the job I have today without those experiences.

  • I had a couple of years after grad school where I was really searching for the right job.

  • I was offered a fellowship with NOAA in Washington, the state of Washington

  • because it only paid 32,000 dollars a year and that was just too much for him

  • to consider leaving a job that he had that was well paying.

  • So, I turned down that opportunity,

  • even though it would have been working on coastal resiliency issues and that was really hard.

  • I am fortunate that the organization I worked with throughout grad school offered me a full time job.

  • So, the Institute for Environmental Negotiation offered me a job

  • managing a program for environmental leaders in the state of Virginia and it was a really great job.

  • It paid about 42,000 dollars a year.

  • It was not, however, an urban planning job.

  • So, it was a lot of like logistics, and coordinating, and

  • organizing, and finding speakers, et cetera.

  • I do think that was actually really valuable in the end

  • because as part of my work as a city planner I, you know,

  • need to do a little bit of meeting logistics,

  • workshop preparation, and those kinds of skills that I learned in the year and a half after grad school,

  • ended up being really valuable.

  • But I saw the job I have today on actually, an online job search platform,

  • I was typing city planner, city planning technician, resiliency planner,

  • flooding planner, like all these different terms and

  • I saw the posting for, it was actually for

  • a flood resilience city planning technician at the New York City department of City Planning

  • and I saw that and it sounded perfect.

  • I was asked to be interviewed for the job, however,

  • I was in Virginia and the job is in New York and

  • city governments typically don't fly people out for interviews.

  • I don't actually know of any, there might be some, though.

  • They didn't offer to fly me out and I wasn't feeling in a financial position to fly myself up here.

  • So, I actually interviewed over the phone.

  • I interviewed once, the first time it went really well,

  • they then called my references and

  • my boss said really glowing things about me,

  • which was really great and then,

  • I sensed that maybe they were picking between a couple of candidates

  • because they called for a second interview

  • which I now know is unusual they typically only have one, one hour, interview session.

  • I did a follow up, half hour, forty-five minute phone interview

  • and the following week I was told I didn't get the job.

  • That was really devastating

  • because I thought, this is my perfect job,

  • if I can't get my perfect job, what am I?

  • You know, what am I doing?

  • A couple a days after they told me that I didn't have

  • the job they called to actually offer me the job.

  • That was a little strange,

  • but it turned out that their other,

  • the other person that they had chosen for the position fell through,

  • that person already lived in New York City, and so,

  • I think it was easier for them to offer that person the job

  • because that person could start right away,

  • they had met that person face to face, and there was,

  • they were just more comfortable.

  • I think it's really unfortunate that, it came down to, it almost came down to me

  • not being able to be there in person for the reason that I didn't get the job.

  • Governments and non profits typically don't have the budget to fly people out for an interview

  • so if you're really interested in a job,

  • if you think this might be your perfect job,

  • which I'm not sure that there is such a thing,

  • but if it's the job that excites you,

  • and that you think you might really enjoy,

  • if I had to do it over again and

  • if I did this in the future,

  • I would fly myself out for an interview.

  • When employers are hiring City Planners,

  • of course they're looking, usually for

  • a masters degree in city planning.

  • The other skill sets that they're looking for are generally a familiarity with ArcGIS

  • which is a computer software to map data.

  • City planners also need to be able to understand those maps,

  • to understand the spacial display of information, you know,

  • how different information is distributed across neighborhoods and what that means,

  • what the disparity or change of information means across neighborhoods.

  • So, that's actually something that almost all City Planners know how to utilize

  • is this ArcGIS platform or another mapping computer platform.

  • Typically, as a City Planner, when you're starting out you are trying to find your niche in the world of City Planning.

  • You're trying to find out really what interests you and what you're good at.

  • Maybe you're interested in environmental planning,

  • but are you more interested in the project management side

  • or the community outreach side, or the analysis side,

  • that's something I think you learn in your first job.

  • Over time, you might be promoted to different positions

  • depending on what your skills set is.

  • There's very obvious ways to be promoted in government from City Planner I, to City Planner II, to City Planner III, and so forth,

  • but if you want to move beyond government,

  • you might work for a private company.

  • You would make more money most likely,

  • your title could be any variety of things.

  • Project Manager, Project Director, Assistant Vice President,

  • all these different titles that, you basically,

  • they're not always clear what the promotional titles are for City Planner.

  • So, you kind of have to discern by reading the job description, by talking to people,

  • whether or not it's a good fit for you.

  • I think most City Planners do end up working for the government

  • and staying working for the government.

  • That's something that really draws City Planners is

  • the prospect of serving their communities.

  • However, there are better salary prospects

  • if you looked toward city planner jobs in the private world,

  • and that might be working for,

  • like, an international building or development firm that works on large scale planning projects.

  • They might work on large scale city plans

  • to support a city that doesn't quite have its own urban planning staff to complete a project.

  • They might do environmental analysis

  • that the city doesn't have the technical staff for.

  • So, a lot of times, private firms are, end up actually supporting the city,

  • or they're supporting a developer in their work.

  • And, the salary prospects at a private firm are much more lucrative.

  • They work, probably, longer hours than I do at the city government,

  • but eventually at a private firm you might make 125,000 or 150,000 dollars a year.

  • Especially as you get more senior in the role.

  • In my ideal world, I would continue working on climate change planning issues in perpetuity.

  • There aren't always job opportunities available to support that work.

  • So, I'm not sure what the future prospects are for someone working specifically as a resiliency planner.

  • I think I can carry my skills set to any number of other jobs that I would also really enjoy

  • as long as I'm interfacing with the public in my work

  • I think I'll be really happy.

Almost all City Planners have a master's degree in city planning,

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B1 US planner planning job environmental grad school grad

City Planner | How I got my job & where I'm going | Part 2 | Khan Academy

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    Boyeee posted on 2020/05/03
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