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Thread: What's the typical entry level salary for planners in California?

  1. #1
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    What's the typical entry level salary for planners in California?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm in my 2nd year of grad school and I've begun to build my portfolio and contacts to get ready for the upcoming job hunt. However, I am absolutely confused as to what a typical salary scale is for a planner in California. Specifically, the private sector. I work for a municipal government so I understand that the what's listed in a public posting is typically what it is. However, I am not sure what to even ask for if I were given a chance to work at the private side of planning. I know the economy is in the dumps and landing an interview is difficult as it is. Nevertheless I wouldn't want to run into a situation where I am completely lowballed or ask for a salary way above my experience.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions?

    -further info- I have 2 years experience as a grant adminstrator and over a year with full time summers as a paid intern for a city.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    It varies widely

    Hi! Entry level planning jobs can vary quite a bit in terms of salary. It's usually based on the cost of living in the area.. My first job in the Central Vally only paid $36k...Modesto paid more like $45k...and LA area pays closer to $60k. It also depends if they've done a salary study (Modesto did and everyone got a raise).

    Sometimes you don't have a choice...you may get only one job offer. Luckily, with gov work you get step increases and cost of living increases. Good luck on your search!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    btw

    Ventura and West Hollywood are hiring!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rok1982 View post
    Hi everyone,

    I'm in my 2nd year of grad school and I've begun to build my portfolio and contacts to get ready for the upcoming job hunt. However, I am absolutely confused as to what a typical salary scale is for a planner in California. Specifically, the private sector. I work for a municipal government so I understand that the what's listed in a public posting is typically what it is. However, I am not sure what to even ask for if I were given a chance to work at the private side of planning. I know the economy is in the dumps and landing an interview is difficult as it is. Nevertheless I wouldn't want to run into a situation where I am completely lowballed or ask for a salary way above my experience.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions?

    -further info- I have 2 years experience as a grant adminstrator and over a year with full time summers as a paid intern for a city.
    The private sector in california is not hiring right now unless you have a substantial amount of work experience (i.e. 5 or more years). The private sector has been battered by layoffs and pay cuts. Salary ranges will vary from geographic region to geographic region. I work in the CV in the private sector and have seen my pay diminish by 25% so far this year. A good way to look at wages is APA's salary survey. At this point, take what is given to you. You are in no room for negotiation.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    BTW

    Stay out of ventura and west hollywood...

    they are mine
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  6. #6
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    Good luck :)

    I will be kind and say, "Good luck!" I hope they're actually hiring!! Maybe I'll see you there.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian drjb's avatar
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    I think everyone has been pretty much on point thus far. Private sector planning firms will be doing very minimal hiring in 2010, with especially minimal hiring for entry level planners.

    That being said, entry level private sector planning in major metros in California should get you anywhere from $45k to $60k.

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