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Career and Education Opportunities for Urban Planners in Manchester, New Hampshire

If you want to be a urban planner, the Manchester, New Hampshire area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 150 working urban planners in New Hampshire; this should grow by 13% to about 170 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.

Urban planners earn about $26 hourly or $54,870 yearly on average in New Hampshire and about $28 per hour or $59,810 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Sciences, people working as urban planners in New Hampshire earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: community development director, planner, and sustainable development policy analyst.

The Manchester area is home to forty-two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Manchester 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 training to become a urban planner if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Urban Planner

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 Manchester 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Urban Planner Training

University of New Hampshire-Main Campus - Durham, NH

University of New Hampshire-Main Campus, 105 Main St., Thompson Hall, Durham, NH 03824-3547. University of New Hampshire-Main Campus is a large university located in Durham, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,964 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of New Hampshire-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree program in City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Manchester is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 108,586, which has grown by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Manchester, 120, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Manchester are valued at $138,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eighty-eight new homes were constructed in Manchester, down from ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Manchester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 22.3% of Manchester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Manchester is 7.6%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Manchester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Christian Fellowship Church, Saint Pauls United Methodist Church and Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church are among the churches located in Manchester. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Manchester is home to the Spaulding House and the New Hampshire Youth Development Center as well as Derryfield Park and Crystal Lake Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampshire Plaza Shopping Center, The Mall of New Hampshire and Second Street Shoppes Shopping Center. Visitors to Manchester can choose from TAGE Inn & Suites, CNHParking and Firebird Motel for temporary stays in the area.