The planning profession is centrally concerned with improving the future well-being of individuals in society and the quality of life in the communities within which we live. Planning draws from diverse disciplines to create practical solutions for problems that arise in the dynamic interaction between human activities and nature. Planners assist communities in formulating plans and policies to meet their social, economic, environmental, and cultural needs in the face of societal forces. Planners do so by identifying problems and opportunities, evaluating alternative solutions or plans, and communicating their findings in ways that allow citizens and public officials to make knowledgeable choices about the future.

Planning can:

  • Preserve and enhance the quality of life
  • Protect the physical and natural environment
  • Promote equitable economic growth
  • Distribute services to disadvantaged communities
  • Respond effectively to the development of all kinds

Employment and Occupational Outlook

There are 39,880 working planners in the United States in 2022. The projected average job growth from 2021 to 2031 is 4%, or 1,600 new planning jobs (As fast as average). North Carolina ranks 5th among all states in the United States with the highest employment level in Urban and Regional Planners, with an average mean wage of $72,070 in May 2022.

Salary Trends

According to the American Planning Association’s most recent salary survey, the median salary for planners in the U.S. was $79,000 a year in 2018. The median wage for North Carolina planners was $59,650. The entry-level salary range for a planning position in 2018 was $40,000-$55,000. For more information on the survey and its result, visit the 2018 APA/AICP Planners Salary Survey.

Planning for Your Career

Jobs are available below: