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Career and Education Opportunities for Urban Planners in Richardson, Texas

Richardson, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for urban planners. Currently, 1,510 people work as urban planners in Texas. This is expected to grow by 22% to 1,840 people by 2016. This is better than 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 $25 per hour or $52,170 annually on average in Texas and about $28 hourly or $59,810 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Sciences, people working as urban planners in Texas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: housing grant analyst, zoning administrator, and transportation consultant.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Richardson where you can study to be a urban planner, among seventy-seven schools of higher education total in the Richardson area. 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.

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 Richardson include:

  • Archaeologist. Conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.
  • 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 North Texas - Denton, TX

University of North Texas, Chestnut Ave., Denton, TX 76203-1277. University of North Texas is a large university located in Denton, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,795 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of North Texas has a bachelor's degree program in City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning.

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: Richardson, Texas

Richardson, Texas
Richardson, Texas photo by Infrogmation

Richardson is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 101,589, which has grown by 10.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Richardson, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Richardson are priced at $210,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Richardson, down from one hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Richardson are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 47.7% of Richardson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Richardson is 7.2%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Richardson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Heights Baptist Church, Richardson East Baptist Church and Richland Bible Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Richardson. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Richardson is home to Canyon Creek Park and Berkner Park. Visitors to Richardson can choose from Comfort Inn, Best Western Dallas Telecom Area and Champ Restaurant Equipment Supplies for temporary stays in the area.