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Thread: Bay Area planning jobs?

  1. #1
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    Bay Area planning jobs?

    How hard is it to get an entry-level planning position in the Bay Area, especially if you're from out-of-state? I worked for a nonprofit for a couple of years before finishing my master's in planning, I've done a couple of internships, and now am looking forward to being part of the real world. I'm moving to the Bay Area from the Midwest because my husband will be doing his Ph.D. Am I going to be at a real disadvantage due to my lack of California experience?

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally posted by TMH
    How hard is it to get an entry-level planning position in the Bay Area, especially if you're from out-of-state? I worked for a nonprofit for a couple of years before finishing my master's in planning, I've done a couple of internships, and now am looking forward to being part of the real world. I'm moving to the Bay Area from the Midwest because my husband will be doing his Ph.D. Am I going to be at a real disadvantage due to my lack of California experience?

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
    The challenge is that California has some unique process issues (namely, CEQA-California Environmental Quality Act). Nonetheless, I was able to move here.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    It has always been my experience that California planning departments and consultants are reluctant to hire people without California experience due to CEQA. Of course, this may not be so true for entry-level positions.

    I have also found some of the cities' hiring processes to be overly bureaucratic and burdensone.

    Don't let either of these scare you off, though, especially if you have a specialty that may not require knowledge of CEQA.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    If you have too much difficulty getting a Cali job without the CEQA experience, you can take an online Environmental Law class (or two) from CSU-Bakersfield's ERM degree program. They also do a 4 class certificate program. They cover CEQA -- I have had both of their law classes as they are required for my online degree with them. The professor is really good. I think they they are excellent classes. Taking those classes might make a big difference for employers -- or even offering to take them when you get here? I am not sure if that would win you any points.


    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    As long as you are familiar with CEQA and the Subdivision Map Act you should be able to find an entry level job. I worked for years in California but had a much harder time trying to find a job out of state (probably because Cali-laws were so engrained in my head).

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    Quote Originally posted by TMH
    How hard is it to get an entry-level planning position in the Bay Area, especially if you're from out-of-state? I worked for a nonprofit for a couple of years before finishing my master's in planning, I've done a couple of internships, and now am looking forward to being part of the real world. I'm moving to the Bay Area from the Midwest because my husband will be doing his Ph.D. Am I going to be at a real disadvantage due to my lack of California experience?

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

    You should ask some californified wannabee planners at, http://radicalurbanplanning.tribe.net/

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    Thanks for the radical planning link and the advice. Although I'd much rather be working, I think I'll have to do an internship for a while to get a handle on the CEQA. It seems that every job post I see requests it.

    Another question - do all of these online applications really lead anywhere? It seems so anonymous. I know the "network, network, network" mantra works with the private sector- but what works best with local government?

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    Quote Originally posted by TMH
    Thanks for the radical planning link and the advice. Although I'd much rather be working, I think I'll have to do an internship for a while to get a handle on the CEQA. It seems that every job post I see requests it.

    Another question - do all of these online applications really lead anywhere? It seems so anonymous. I know the "network, network, network" mantra works with the private sector- but what works best with local government?
    experience, experience, experience. My personal favorite is to email the director or supervisor of a section and see if there are any opportunities to volunteer or internships (if you in school). The volunteer aspects sucks for a lot of people for obvious reasons but you get the experience and exposure and you will have something to put on your resume when you apply for a position where you volunteered or elsewhere.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TMH
    Thanks for the radical planning link and the advice. Although I'd much rather be working, I think I'll have to do an internship for a while to get a handle on the CEQA. It seems that every job post I see requests it.
    ?

    CEQA is really not that difficult - get a CEQA deskbook- read it and your good. There is no way employers would expect you to know the intricacies of preparing an EIS for an entry level job. Most projects you would work on as an entry level planner would be exempt from CEQA anyways- study the categorical exemptions. And if you really want to impress- mention section 15063 b, 3 (The general rule exemption).

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