Urban Planner Salary (United States)

Salaries for Urban Planners in the United States lie in the neighborhood of $51,806 per year. Pay begins at $37,455 on the low end and climbs to $81,709 per year near the top. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. In this profession, most individuals enjoy medical and dental coverage, and more than half have vision insurance, as well. Male Urban Planners are just a bit more common than females ones, with males workers composing 56 percent of the field. Job satisfaction for Urban Planners is high. The numbers for this synopsis were furnished by individuals who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Urban Planner Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$38,742 - $81,508
(Median)
39K
52K
65K
82K
MEDIAN: $51,743
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Urban Planner Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$14.34 - $34.96
(Median)
14
19
23
30
35
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$38,742 - $81,508  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,908  
Profit Sharing
$950 - $4,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$37,455 - $81,709  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 546
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$14.34 - $34.96  
   
Overtime
$21.38 - $51.21  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,908  
   
Profit Sharing
$950 - $4,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$37,455 - $81,709  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 123
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Job Description for Urban Planner

Urban planners map out the most effective use of a community’s land and infrastructure. They analyze economic, environmental, and social trends that help in the development of a plan for the land use.
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Urban Planner Tasks
  • Analyze and forecast financial impacts and costs of various strategies.
  • Provide land use, environmental, and/or transportation plans and working documents.
  • Assess regional environment to create plans, design concepts, and preliminary engineering budgets.
  • Characterize population and types of usage for a region to evaluate needs, infrastructure, and costs.

Urban Planner Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Urban Planner

Survey takers working as Urban Planners report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Technical Writing, Microsoft Office, Project Management, and Adobe Photoshop are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 19 percent, 11 percent, 9 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Those listing Research Analysis as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Graphic Design and Computer Aided Design (CAD) also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know Geographic Information Systems (GIS) also know Microsoft Office and Design.

Pay by Experience Level for Urban Planner

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Though Urban Planners can expect regular salary growth as they advance in their careers, experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase. After five to 10 years, the typical starting salary of $47K climbs to $56K. Compensation is $69K after 10 to 20 years. Salaries tend to grow less rapidly after achieving 20 years of experience, with more senior Urban Planners earning an average of $70K per year. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 15 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 6 percent. Most employees in this workforce have between one and nine years of experience; most of those surveyed fall within this distribution.

Pay Difference By Location

San Francisco
up arrow 53%
Seattle
up arrow 18%
New York
up arrow 14%
Boston
up arrow 12%
Phoenix
up arrow 12%
Los Angeles
up arrow 9%
Washington
up arrow 6%
New Orleans
up arrow 3%
San Diego
up arrow 2%
Dallas
up arrow 1%
Chicago
0%
National Average
$52,000
Philadelphia
up arrow 1%
Fort Lauderdale
up arrow 1%
Atlanta
up arrow 7%
Indianapolis
up arrow 23%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Urban Planners will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 53 percent. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include Seattle, New York, Boston, and Phoenix, where Urban Planners typically earn around 18 percent, 14 percent, 12 percent, and 12 percent more than usual. One of the biggest compensable factors for Urban Planners is geography, with workers in Indianapolis earning a whopping 23 percent below the national average. Workers in Atlanta and Philadelphia earn less than others in this profession; their -7 percent and -1 percent-salaries fall short of the national average.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Urban Planner Salaries

National Average
$52,000

Skills That Affect Urban Planner Salaries

Technical Writing
up arrow 19%
Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 3%
AutoCAD
up arrow 3%
Design
up arrow 2%
Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 2%
Adobe InDesign
0%
National Average
$52,000
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
up arrow 2%
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 4%
Graphic Design
up arrow 7%
Research Analysis
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 168 votes.

Gender

Female
44%
female alumni
 
Male
56%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
47%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 10%
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