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Career and Education Opportunities for Community Planners in Vancouver, Washington

Community planners can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Vancouver, Washington area. There are currently 1,040 working community planners in Washington; this should grow by 12% to about 1,160 working community planners in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

The income of a community planner is about $18 per hour or $37,730 annually on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $35,650 annually on average. Incomes for community planners are the same as in the overall category of Social Science Technical in Washington, and the same as the overall Social Science Technical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: planner, development technician, and engineering technician.

There are forty-eight schools of higher education in the Vancouver area, including three within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree to start your career as a community planner. Given that the most common education level 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 starting with 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 Vancouver 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

Concordia University - Portland, OR

Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman Street, Portland, OR 97211-6099. Concordia University is a small university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,709 students and an admission rate of 65%. Concordia University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Sciences.

Warner Pacific College - Portland, OR

Warner Pacific College, 2219 SE 68th Ave, Portland, OR 97215-4026. Warner Pacific College is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 970 students and an admission rate of 61%. Warner Pacific College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Social Sciences which graduated two and two students respectively in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Sciences which graduated forty-two and two 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.