Career and Education Opportunities for Community Planners in Grand Prairie, Texas
If you want to be a community planner, the Grand Prairie, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 480 people work as community planners in Texas. This is expected to grow 22% to 580 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for community planners are expected to grow by about 17.8%. In general, community planners compile data from various sources, such as maps, reports, and field and file investigations, for use by city planner in making planning studies.
Income for community planners is about $20 hourly or $42,090 annually on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $35,650 per year. Incomes for community planners are the same as in the overall category of Social Science Technical in Texas, and the same as the overall Social Science Technical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: planner, zoning technician, and development and housing director.
The Grand Prairie area is home to seventy-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Grand Prairie where you can get a degree as a community planner. Community planners usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a community planner if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Community Planner
In general, community planners compile data from various sources, such as maps, reports, and field and file investigations, for use by city planner in making planning studies.
Community planners participate in and support team planning efforts. They also ready reports, using statistics, charts, and graphs, to illustrate planning studies in areas such as population or zoning. Equally important, community planners have to ready, maintain and update files and records, including land use data and statistics. They are often called upon to conduct interviews, surveys and site inspections concerning factors that affect land usage. They are expected to ready, design and maintain maps and databases. Finally, community planners furnish and process zoning and project permits and applications.
Every day, community planners are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.
They also have to be able to research, compile, analyze and organize data from maps and books for use in reports and special projects and serve as liaisons between planning departments and other departments and agencies. And finally, they sometimes have to inspect sites and review plans for minor development permit applications.
Like many other jobs, community planners must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Grand Prairie include:
- 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.
- Social Research Assistant. Assist social scientists in laboratory, survey, and other social research. May perform publication activities, laboratory analysis, or data management. Normally these individuals work under the direct supervision of a social scientist and assist in those activities which are more routine.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Community Planner Training
Southern Methodist University - Dallas, TX
Southern Methodist University, 6425 Boaz St, Dallas, TX 75275-0221. Southern Methodist University is a large university located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,965 students and an admission rate of 50%. Southern Methodist University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Sciences which graduated six students in 2008.
Certified GIS/LIS Technologist: This is certification is for technicians who integrate a variety of spatial data sets into a GIS format designed for graphic output or analysis.
For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 160,641, which has grown by 26.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Prairie, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Prairie are priced at $174,200 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-four new homes were built in Grand Prairie, down from 1,058 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Grand Prairie are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 19.3% of Grand Prairie residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.0%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Grand Prairie is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Grand Prairie residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Celestial Church of Christ and Saint Andrew Church are some of the churches located in Grand Prairie. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Grand Prairie is home to Kennedy Middle School Football Stadium and Hendrix Park. Visitors to Grand Prairie can choose from Blue Sky Hospitality, Amerisuites and Comfort Inn for temporary stays in the area.