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Career and Education Opportunities for Urban Planners in Kansas City, Missouri

If you want to be a urban planner, the Kansas City, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 460 working urban planners in Missouri; this should grow 6% to 480 working urban planners in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for urban planners, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.0% over the next eight years. In general, urban planners develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of local jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, and metropolitan areas.

A person working as a urban planner can expect to earn about $24 per hour or $50,080 yearly on average in Missouri and about $28 hourly or $59,810 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for urban planners are not quite as good as in the overall category of Social Sciences in Missouri, and not quite as good as the overall Social Sciences category nationally. People working as urban planners can fill a number of jobs, such as: regional planner, housing development specialist, and housing grant analyst.

The Kansas City area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Kansas City where you can get a degree as a urban planner. The most common level of education for urban planners is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a urban planner if you already have a high school diploma.


Urban Planner video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, urban planners develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of local jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, and metropolitan areas.

Urban planners hold public meetings with government officials and special interest groups to formulate, design or address issues regarding land use or community plans. They also assess the feasibility of proposals and identify needed changes. Equally important, urban planners have to layout, promote and administer government plans and policies affecting land use and transportation. They are often called upon to keep informed about economic and legal issues involved in zoning codes and environmental regulations. They are expected to inspect and evaluate environmental impact reports pertaining to private and public planning projects and programs. Finally, urban planners decide on the effects of regulatory limitations on projects.

Every day, urban planners are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for urban planners to mediate community disputes and help in developing alternative plans and recommendations for programs or projects. They are often called upon to advise planning officials on project feasibility, cost-effectiveness and possible alternatives. They also conduct field investigations, surveys, impact studies or other research to compile and analyze data on economic, social, regulatory and physical factors affecting land use. They are sometimes expected to develop or requisition graphic and narrative reports on land use data, including land area maps overlaid with geographic variables such as population density. Somewhat less frequently, urban planners are also expected to investigate property availability.

And finally, they sometimes have to recommend approval, denial or conditional approval of proposals.

Like many other jobs, urban planners must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Kansas City include:

  • Economist. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services. May collect and process economic and statistical data using econometric and sampling techniques.
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst. Study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
  • Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
  • Industrial Psychologist. Apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to reorganize the work setting to improve worker productivity.
  • Market Research Analyst. Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to determine potential sales of a product or service. May gather information on competitors, prices, and methods of marketing and distribution. May use survey results to create a marketing campaign based on regional preferences and buying habits.
  • Market Survey Representative. Design or conduct surveys. May supervise interviewers who conduct the survey in person or over the telephone. May present survey results to client.
  • School Psychologist. Investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.


University of Missouri-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. University of Missouri-Kansas City is a large university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,481 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Missouri-Kansas City has a bachelor's degree program in City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas, , Lawrence, KS 66045. University of Kansas is a large university located in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,365 students and an admission rate of 92%. University of Kansas has a master's degree program in City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning which graduated sixteen students in 2008.


Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Certified Economic Developer: Economic development organizations need professionals who possess the expertise to combat new challenges that emerge in a constantly changing industry.

For more information, see the International Economic Development Council website.

Certified Recycling Systems Professional: Earning this certification shows your employer and your colleagues that you are committed to only the highest standards in our industry.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.


Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri photo by Dillard421

Kansas City is situated in Jackson County, Missouri. It has a population of over 451,572, which has grown by 2.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Kansas City, 78, is well below the national average.

The top three industries for women in Kansas City are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 25.7% of Kansas City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is 11.3%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Kansas City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Glenwood Church, Antioch Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are among the churches located in Kansas City. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Kansas City is home to the Ozanam Boys Home and the Watts Mill Center as well as Central Park and West Terrace Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Shopping Center, Wornall Village Shopping Center and Winwood Shopping Center. Visitors to Kansas City can choose from Budget Host Inn, Days Inn and Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City Internatinl Arprt for temporary stays in the area.