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Classroom | Undergraduate

Six Careers to Pursue with a Degree in Community and Regional Planning

By 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will reside in urban areas. This type of growth and the building and maintaining of communities that comes with it requires plans and planners. South Dakota State University is ready to send graduates who can fulfill those needs with community and regional planning degrees. High-value careers can be found in a variety of settings such as government, nonprofit, research and private sectors. The market for these is expected by grow by 10% and boast a median annual salary of $67,000.

Wonder what type of career you could have with a community and regional planning degree? Here are six options:

Community planner

As a community planner, your job would be to develop plans to grow your community and ensure that it is maintained and revitalized, when needed. Your work would help sustain growth, both in population and physical infrastructure. This applies to towns, cities and counties alike, promoting a better future for both urban and rural areas. Community planners hold very versatile roles, oftentimes within government.

Environmental planning

Does protecting natural environments, wildlife and their habitats speak to you? If so, a career in environmental planning may be for you. They work with those constructing housing, industrial and transportation projects to investigate possible effects on the environment. They also help project managers navigate the permit process, and stay current with zoning and building codes, environmental regulations and more.

Emergency planner

Helping those in need can be a fulfilling mission and career. Emergency planners assess risks, create safety development, plans and training in case of a crisis. Their preparation skills can help avoid or lessen damage and keep people safe. Training through organizations such as FEMA, state agencies and national governmental agencies is not uncommon for emergency planners.

Urban designer

Several steps and processes are taken before towns, cities, neighborhoods and industrial parks are built. Urban designers strategize how the land will be used before the utilities are installed, roads are built and foundations are poured. They work to design development and address long term needs with land available. Urban planners taken into consideration population growth, transportation needs, zoning and environmental regulations. If you are into big ideas and starting with a clean slate, becoming an urban designer may be a good career path for you.

Social Planner

Quality of life in communities is important for all who reside within. Social planners look to identify strengths and weaknesses within communities to ensure residents have the tools they need to live. They conduct social research and evaluate services and programs. They also provide education and mediation. Social planners not only use statistics when making decisions but also make connections in the community to learn residents’ needs.

Transportation Planner

Transportation is important to infrastructure of any size. Whether it be a gravel county road or air traffic, all modes of transportation need plans. Principles of engineering, science and technology are used to determine best routes for various modes of transportation and how they interact with each other. Transportation planners work with city, state and national governments to develop plans and execute them once approved.

A degree in community and regional planning from South Dakota State University can be used for infrastructures of all sizes.

Learn more about this degree and how to further pursue your future career here.