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Thread: Work hours for planners

  1. #1
         
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    Work hours for planners

    What are typical hours for a planner in the private and public sector, and what do planners in both sectors do on a typical work day?

    Thanks for any help.

    Moderator note:
    Thread title changed. No teaser titles outside of the Friday Afternoon Club please.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 16 Jun 2006 at 2:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Public sector planner. 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. That can get flexed around pretty easily, but it makes sense to do the normal 8-5 thing because that's when everybody else works. Night meetings about twice a month. sometimes more, sometimes less.

    Typical duties: all the normal current planning stuff- zoning applications (conditional use permits, variances, etc.);

    Lots of subdivisions- and i try and make it more interesting by having lots of site visits, meetings, etc to work with the developer;

    the occasional very fun long-range planning project, such as a neighborhood plan.

    Lots of meetings, talking with people, learning about stuff, etc...

    There's several threads out there that talk about what people do on the job, but here's one that i actually contributed to:

    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...899#post296899

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I've worked three positions since graduating... one for 5 years during school and once out. Then a 6 month stint and now another 6 month stint, but plan on staying awhile. I'd say 40+ hours. I would have about 4 meetings a month on the minimum and usually more, all evenings. I gained comp time for them even though I was salary, which was great when I wanted to take off time to go fishing, etc. Nice day, ahhh I think I'll head out (if nothing pressing). Second job 45 hours without meetings, throw meetings in on top of that and I was working over that at times. NO COMP TIME!!! Pay was a bit more, but not worth it to me. I do like doing things outside of work. This job pay is better, flex time, flex schedule, and work load more comparable with my first job, so I am much happier. Not sure I'll go to work for a company or city that does not allow for comp time and flex-time could be an issue too!

  4. #4
          Downtown's avatar
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    8:30 - 4:30, 5 days per week. However, our municipality will let you work flex time to some extent, if your position doesn't require unscheduled public interaction (basically - counter work). So i usually workthree 9s and an 8.

    Typically at least one night meeting per week, for which we receive comp time.

    Planners in our office handle typical "current planning" duties such as plan review, and site plan code enforcement along with the fun long range planning stuff including updating land use regulations, and various intermunicipal planning projects that are doled out among the staff like halloween candy.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Routine - 8 to 5, 1 hr lunch.
    Exempt so no comp time.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    In my fourth planning position, all with public agencies:

    All were 8 to 5, 5 days, no flex.
    Minimum 3 night meetings a month, sometimes 7-8 during eval of Comp plan or with neighborhood studies.
    In previous positions, took a lot of work home and it was not uncommon to have to work weekends (have even been required to work a New Year's Day)
    Current job, one night meeting (used to be monthly, now 5 times a year), but occasional weekends manning a trails table at community events/festivals
    Have never gotten comp time

    I was in zoning/land use for the last two jobs, now I work in trails, a lot more fun. Reviews of zoning/site plans, grant-writing, community outreach, master planning, etc.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Previous job - large city development services, specializing in deed restrictions
    Worked 45+ in a non-Commission meeting week
    Worked 50+ with Commission (not a night meeting, but rarely ended before 6pm)
    Stated hours were 8-5, there before 8, rarely left before 6:30
    Refused to take work home, so stayed late or it didn't get done
    No official comp or flex time, but boss allowed flex time to those who didn't abuse it
    No OT, either

    Current job - private sector
    No OT or official comp/flex time, but boss knows life happens and is flexible when asked nicely
    Standard week is 40 hours, rarely too much more than that
    Some travel

    Pay in the private sector is better, but the benefits aren't.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  8. #8
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    Wow - my job is starting to sound a bit better to me. I work 8-5 generally, but get lots of comp and flex time. As long as I get the job done, there's leeway on going to kids' stuff, etc. Night meetings a few times a month, and some weekend research work. (public sector).

  9. #9
         
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    Thanks for the help everyone.

  10. #10
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    My work day typically ends at 4:00 pm. The staff knows that anything beyond that cuts into cocktail hour and I become irritated. I work 40+ hours per week.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mawmaw5108's avatar
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    Private sector---
    40 hrs is required. I usually have 40-42, sometimes 45 or more (not often). Depends on the deadlines.
    Work hard, play hard.
    Listen carefully, see broadly.
    Good people, great environment, wonderful life.

  12. #12
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, one hour lunch + two 15 minute breaks. We don't clock in and out for lunch and the breaks. We also get "comp time and a half" - an hour and a half of comp time for every hour of overtime. Usually I only claim comp time for night meetings; I don't claim it if I work 15-30 minutes past 4:30.

    What would I change? With the price of gas, go to a four day workweek with 9.75 hour workdays, with a floating day off. Anyone know how 4/10 workweeks work when there's a three day weekend.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mawmaw5108
    Private sector---
    40 hrs is required. I usually have 40-42, sometimes 45 or more (not often). Depends on the deadlines.
    Private sector also. 45 hour per week with flex time is expected. I have anywhere from 8 to 15 night meetings a month.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    What would I change? With the price of gas, go to a four day workweek with 9.75 hour workdays, with a floating day off. Anyone know how 4/10 workweeks work when there's a three day weekend.
    The county I work for is in the process of hashing this out as a means to reduce energy costs since we all work in one building which is also the courthouse (no Friday hearings). Also looking towards providing better service to the public by extended hours since some people aren't able to come in between 830-500.

    On the table at the moment is working 8am to 6pm Monday-Thursday with Fridays off.
    If there is a 3 day weekend holiday like Memorial Day, Labor Day, the holiday will be observed on Monday and that week we would work Tuesday-Friday. In the even of a holiday falling midweek we would get that day off and work on Friday to compensate for it.

    Some people thought that they should get the holiday day off and not have to make up for it, but the argument against it was that is limited the public's access to 3 days a week which wouldn't be positively received. Will get back to you once council meets next week.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  15. #15
         
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    How long do night meetings usually last?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Schuminole
    How long do night meetings usually last?
    Public sector night meetings can last from 15 minutes (discussing one item during a workshop meeting, for example) to well over 4 hours for a review board meeting with a full agenda of applications and public hearings.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Schuminole
    How long do night meetings usually last?
    All depends on how many items are on the agenda; and how many remonstrators
    that either show up at the front counter, call before or show up for the meeting.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, one hour lunch + two 15 minute breaks. We don't clock in and out for lunch and the breaks. We also get "comp time and a half" - an hour and a half of comp time for every hour of overtime. Usually I only claim comp time for night meetings; I don't claim it if I work 15-30 minutes past 4:30.
    That's what I have here. Usually I'll take the two 15-minute breaks at the end of the day and leave at 4pm. I have about 6 night meetings a month.

    We also have flex time and can vary our hours pretty widely.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by SGB
    Public sector night meetings can last from 15 minutes (discussing one item during a workshop meeting, for example) to well over 4 hours for a review board meeting with a full agenda of applications and public hearings.
    15 minutes is long here 3 minutes is the mayor's record. I don't think they have had one go over 30 minutes since they took office.

    Hard to believe you can do the all the City's official business in less than 1 hour per month. I wonder if there are open meeting laws being violated

  20. #20
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    15 minutes is long here 3 minutes is the mayor's record. I don't think they have had one go over 30 minutes since they took office.

    Hard to believe you can do the all the City's official business in less than 1 hour per month. I wonder if there are open meeting laws being violated
    LOL - but there is something to be said to having it all worked out before they get in there - playing telephone all weekend long, I presume

    my hours are 8:30 to 5 - at least 2 mornings a week, I get up about 4 AM and work at home in peace until 7 AM and I have anywhere from 2 to 3 night meetings a week, occasionally none (like this week) and some 4 night meetings - they often last anywhere between 2 to 6 hours - I don't get paid for them, but I can come and go as I wish, thought the work is still there

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally posted by Schuminole
    What are typical hours for a planner in the private and public sector, and what do planners in both sectors do on a typical work day?

    Thanks for any help.

    Moderator note:
    Thread title changed. No teaser titles outside of the Friday Afternoon Club please.
    It seems not too many consultants have time to reply. Since I'm between projects...

    Hard to say what is typical. It really depends on project needs and budget. My usual week is 45 hours, but as somebody said deadlines can make that a joke. All nighters are getting rare (no thanks to clients), but they happen. My company does a lot of FEMA work in the Gulf and before Florida. Those projects demanded 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for at least 30 days straight. Usually a 90 day committment. I have a job now that is on a 2 week clock. We write for 2 weeks, they read for 2 weeks. 50 hrs/wk common there.

    Meetings aren't as much an issue as travel. Went to Texas for 10 months last year coming back for a long weekend every 2 weeks. The summer I spent in VA was at least close enough to come home every weekend. Very disruptive to your homelife, but a steady stream of interesting projects with different people and challenges every time. Fun if you survive.

    Duties include lots of talking to people and writing. Documenting needs through interviews and research, then designing facilities to meet them in an orientation that allows functional adjacencies that work. Being able to draw them in CADD is a helpful skill. Crunching numbers in Excel or Access is common. Get to know Word inside out. Powerpoint presentations are a must for kickoff meetings and status briefings. GIS analysis is also a good skill to have, but you are often better off getting somebody to do that for you. Those skills get rusty almost as fast as programs obsolece.

    Hope that helps!

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I'm in the private sector and my work hours depend on my work load. Lately, I've been working a typical 40-hr week. However, I do have several public meetings coming up that will require me to work somewhere between 45-50 hrs a week.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  23. #23
    37.5 hour work week (not including lunch), no night meetings. MPO transportation planner.

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