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Thread: How can I become a transportation planner

  1. #1
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    How can I become a transportation planner

    I have decided that I want to become a transportation planner. I have a master's degree in urban planning but I only touched the issue of transportation.
    • What can I do to prepare for this career choice
    • Where do I look for entry-level jobs
    • What software do I learn

    I am very excited about this field. Any advice you can give would be great!
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Get an internship at your local MPO or your state Department of Transportation. Full time jobs are most often found at these places too, maybe transit agencies as well. There are also dozens of private engineering firms that are quite large and hire transportation planners.

    GIS skills are handy, as are database management, spreadsheets and travel demand models.

    You also need to be proficient in writing both technical and not-technical writing is needed for documentation of processes or public information. Reading skills are also required, you need to be able to read what is there and what is not there. Federal guidance can be a challenge. Finally learn the NEPA process.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Stupid question

    Does NEPA stand for National Environmental Policy Act?

    Thanks
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  4. #4
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gicarto
    Does NEPA stand for National Environmental Policy Act?
    Yes. (Darn 10 character requirement)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    I'm in transportation planning, currently in the private sector, but I started out on this career track at a state DOT. Probably the best place to start (in my opinion) would be, as noted, with a MPO or a state DOT. The DOTs are a very good place to learn on the job, and they're also more willing to hire and train than the private firms.

    Also, while I have no idea how things are set up in your part of the country, there's a split in transporation planning in Georgia between the environmental folks (NEPA) and the folks that do modeling and long range or comphrensive traffic and transportation planning - just something to keep in mind while exploring job opportunities.

  6. #6
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    MPO ? What does that acronym stand for?

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