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Career and Education Opportunities for Community Planners in Laredo, Texas

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for community planners in the Laredo, Texas area. Currently, 480 people work as community planners in Texas. This is expected to grow by 22% to about 580 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for community planners, which sees this job pool growing by about 17.8% over the next eight years. Community planners generally 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 earn approximately $20 per hour or $42,090 per year on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $17 hourly or $35,650 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Science Technical, people working as community planners in Texas earn the same. They earn the same as people working in the overall category of Social Science Technical nationally. People working as community planners can fill a number of jobs, such as: engineering technician, planning assistant, and planning aide.

The Laredo area is home to five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Laredo where you can get a degree as a community planner. The most common level of education for community planners is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years training to become 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 Laredo include:

  • 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

Texas A & M International University - Laredo, TX

Texas A & M International University, 5201 University Blvd, Laredo, TX 78041-1900. Texas A & M International University is a medium sized university located in Laredo, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,859 students and an admission rate of 63%. Texas A & M International University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Sciences which graduated twenty-six and four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Laredo, Texas

Laredo, Texas
Laredo, Texas photo by Billy_Hathorn

Laredo is situated in Webb County, Texas. It has a population of over 221,659, which has grown by 25.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Laredo, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Laredo cost $137,000 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Laredo, down from 1,257 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Laredo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, other transportation, and support activities, and couriers, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 14.7% of Laredo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Laredo is 8.1%, which is the same as Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Laredo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. El Buen Pastor Assembly of God Church, El Mesias United Methodist Church and Heights Baptist Church are among the churches located in Laredo. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Laredo is home to the Webb County Courthouse and the Dolores Ranch as well as Shirley Field and Laredo Entertainment Center. Visitors to Laredo can choose from Blue Caribbean Ventures, Motel 9 and Bender Hotel for temporary stays in the area.