Urban Planner Salary

An average Urban Planner in the United States can expect to take home roughly $52K annually. Cash earnings for Urban Planners — including $5K in bonuses and $7K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $39K to $81K depending on individual performance. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Urban Planners making up 56 percent of survey respondents. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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 tend not to experience significant pay changes as they move up the career ladder to roles like City Planner. The two jobs pay about the same on average. 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


Urban Planners seem to require a rather large skill set. 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 familiar with 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in 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. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $79K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $52,371

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Urban Planners, 21 percent higher than the national average. Urban Planners can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Fort Lauderdale (+18 percent), Philadelphia (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+16 percent), and Boston (+14 percent). Urban Planners in Indianapolis report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 23 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. 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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