Urban Planner Salary

The average Urban Planner in the United States earns approximately $52K per year. Total cash compensation to Urban Planners approaches anywhere from $39K on the lower end to $81K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $5K from bonuses and upwards of $7K from profit sharing. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Urban Planners making up 56 percent of survey respondents. Most Urban Planners like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$39,110 - $80,891
(Median)
$39K
$52K
$81K
MEDIAN: $52,410
10%
50%
90%

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$16.99 - $34.31
(Median)
$17
$24
$34
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$39,110 - $80,891  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,890  
Profit Sharing
$41.22 - $6,981  
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).
)
$38,795 - $80,762  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 763
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$16.99 - $34.31  
   
Overtime
$21.37 - $51.92  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,890  
   
Profit Sharing
$41.22 - $6,981  
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).
)
$38,795 - $80,762  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | 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.

Common Career Paths for Urban Planner


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Urban Planners sometimes move into a City Planner role, where the salary is similar. Many Urban Planners advance into roles as Urban and Regional Planners or Transportation Planners, but the median salaries are $2K lower and $4K lower, respectively.

Urban Planner Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Urban Planner


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Technical Writing, Adobe Illustrator, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 8 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Computer Aided Design. Most people who know Geographic Information Systems 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.


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $48K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $58K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $69K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $79K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $52,371

Larger city markers 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 21 percent. Urban Planners will also find cushy salaries in Fort Lauderdale (+18 percent), Philadelphia (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+16 percent), and Boston (+14 percent). Urban Planners in Indianapolis earn salaries far below the national average by 23 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Employers pay around 8 percent less in Atlanta and 2 percent less in Dallas, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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Experience Affects Urban Planner Salaries




National Average
$52,000


Skills That Affect Urban Planner Salaries



Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 4%

Research Analysis
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 2%

Design
up arrow 2%

AutoCAD
0%

National Average
$52,000

Graphic Design
up arrow 1%

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
up arrow 2%

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 2%

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 144 votes.

Gender

Female
44 %
Male
56 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 76%
medical benefits
Vision: 59%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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