Since its initial release in the late 1920s, the Strong Interest Inventory® (SII) has helped thousands of people find fulfilling careers that leverage their penchants and interests. The Strong Interest Inventory functions by analyzing job seekers’ partialities, directing them towards at least one of six different career categories (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, or Conventional), each of which is characterized by specific features. For instance, Investigative careers involve organizing and evaluating information or data to solve problems or gain additional insights. Urban and Regional planners are an example of an Investigative career.

Urban and Regional Planners, sometimes called City Planners or Community Planners, are responsible for developing physical plans and strategies for using land in various metropolitan areas, such as towns, cities, and counties. This overall objective has a lot of intermediate steps. Along the way, Urban and Regional planners must advise planning officials on whether or not projects are feasible and cost-effective, as well as whether the projects adhere to current regulatory guidelines, including zoning, public utilities, housing, and transportation. Geographic variables such as population density may also come into play. To make these judgments, Urban and Regional Planners may need to meet with local government officials, lawyers, special interest groups, and the general public to gain different perspectives on possible plans as well as possible alternatives. Mediating and mitigating potential conflicts and evaluating various proposals is also part of the job. Additional research needed to put together a proposal may include surveys, impact studies, or other documentation to determine the possible economic, social, regulatory, or physical factors affecting land use, and the possible long- and short-term impact of such plans. Once a plan is made, Urban and Regional planners may need to prepare reports, maps, and databases using statistics and graphs to illustrate the purported goals of the initiative, the steps needed to achieve it, and the measures of success.

Skills, Knowledge, and Education

Strong Interest Inventory Urban and Regional Planners Career

Learn about a career as an Urban and Regional Planner, including career stats such as median salary, daily tasks, required education, employment growth, and more!

To ensure they always have current information, Urban and Regional Planners must stay up-to-date on economic and legal issues that may be involved, including environmental regulations, zoning codes, and building requirements. These concerns are critical when identifying opportunities to develop plans for sustainability projects that improve energy efficiency, reduce pollution, or restore natural ecosystems. Urban and Regional Planners may have large teams to maximize impact, which may involve supervising urban planning technicians or technologists or coordinating with economic consultants, architects, or other specialists.

Most tools and technologies used by Urban and Regional Planners are commonplace in the modern office, though there are some complex computer programs that are often used: Microsoft Office Suite, e-mail and web browser software, copiers, computers, and the like. Specialized software includes analytical software (e.g., Citilabs TRANPLAN), compliance software (e.g., Accela PERMITS), computer-aided design (CAD) software (e.g., Autodesk AutoCAD, Bentley MicroStation), publishing software (e.g., Adobe InDesign), geographic information systems (e.g., ArcGIS), and map creation software (e.g., Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE). The specific programs used may vary depending on the exact responsibilities of the job or the practices of a particular office. As such, Urban and Regional Planners must also be able to learn to use new programs quickly and effectively.

Successful Urban and Regional Planners must be well-versed in many fields, including law and government, geography, communications, transportation, and even basic economics. They also need to be able to communicate clearly in both written and verbal English. In some parts of the country, such as in the southwest, fluency in other languages like Spanish can also be beneficial. Most Urban and Regional Planners develop their considerable expertise during years of schooling. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics database, 56% of these professionals hold a Master’s degree, while 40% hold a Bachelor’s degree.

Salary and Pay

The median salary for Urban and Regional Planners in the United States is $75,950 annually or $36.52 hourly. However, there is significant variation in different parts of the country. Large southern states like Texas, in addition to well-developed states such as New Hampshire, tend to be on the lower end of this distribution, with median salaries as low as $65,000. On the other hand, states like California, which have a high demand and a high cost of living, have median salaries nearing $100,000. In fact, in California, the top 10% of those in this career earn nearly $140,000 annually. Currently, there are some 39,100 Urban and Regional Planners employed across the US, and this number is expected to grow by 5% to 10% in the next decade, which will add roughly 3,700 jobs by 2030.

Below are some employment trends for Urban and Regional Planners:

  • Median Salary: $75,950 annually
  • Employment: 39,100 employees
  • Projected growth (2020-2030): Average (5% to 10%)
  • Projected job openings (2020-2030): 3,700
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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Gain access to your best-fit careers, occupational preferences and interests with these career based Strong Interest Inventory® Assessments:

  • Strong Interest Inventory® Interpretive Report

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  • Strong Interest Inventory Profile Test & Profile

    Strong Interest Inventory® Profile

    Mold your future success by choosing a career that accurately reflects your interests, preferences,  favorite topics as well as your likes and dislikes with the help of this profile.

    Direct your future based on what you like and enjoy, providing you with a happier, more fulfilling life and career. The Strong Interest Inventory® Profile uses an extensive analysis of your interests and preferences to guide you towards a career that best suits who you are on a personal level. Depending on your likes and dislikes compared to others in specified fields, you may find a fulfilling career previously unthought-of, helping guide you down the road to success and happiness.

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  • iStartStrong™ Report

    Plan your future career based on your interests and preferences, leading you down the path to a successful work and personal life.

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections