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Thread: Planners / available jobs: how’s the competition?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Planners / available jobs: how’s the competition?

    I have notices that in some places, planning positions are abundant and flow like water, in some others, the turn over makes you wonder what the environment is like, and yet in the others, the Jr. Planner has been there 20 years, and they are still the new guy/girl.

    In your area of the county, what does the competition look like for what appears to be a limited number of positions and an ever increasing population of available Planners? Is it hard to get a job in your area?

    How much experience/ education is the minimum for your area? It is all recent Grads with no experience? Or is it Madison Wisconsin where they have a waiting list longer than Santa's List?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    The entry level planner position I posted has brought about 60 resumes to my desk from all over the country - and I am in way northern Maine too - so, it seems like there's not alot of entry level opportunities out there

  3. #3
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    75 jobs listed on the FAPA website - they range from entry level to director. We've had problems getting qualified planners, and have repeatedly hired people with no experience at all just to get a warm, trainable body. Jobs seem to be located all over the state - my kids and husband are pretty set here or I'd move on to much greener pastures elsewhere in the state. While the jobs in the private sector may be slowing down (or at least hitting a plateau), the public sector seems to be looking for more and more people due to all of the new regulations passed by our wonderful legislature.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    snip so, it seems like there's not alot of entry level opportunities out there
    speaking from experience (recent grad looking for a job) there were more entry-level jobs out there than i thought of. i cast a wide net and applied all over the place on the east coast. i applied to approx. 20 positions. i interviewed for 5 (2 phone, 3 in person), was offered 3.5 and accepted 1. now while i think i'm pretty awesome ( ) i was surprised that i got that many offers. and i was lucky enough to be able to hold out for a job in a part of the country i really wanted to be in. i rolled the dice and it worked out for me.

    i think it was easier for me to find a job because i'm (relatively) single and just had me to worry about, no hubby with job or kids to deal with. that way i could anywhere i pleased. also i didn't apply to big cities or planning meccas. i just wanted to get a planning job to get my foot in the door for the profession.

    personally, i think the more difficult job search for me is going to be when we figure out where the BF is going to end up and whether or not i can get a job in a commutable radius from his university. neither BF nor i want a long commute.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    The entry level planner position I posted has brought about 60 resumes to my desk from all over the country - and I am in way northern Maine too - so, it seems like there's not alot of entry level opportunities out there
    It seems like there are a lot of postings in northern New England though, mostly in NH. I always thought that area had difficulty attracting applicants due to the harsh winters/desolation. Guess I'm wrong.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    It seems like there are a lot of postings in northern New England though, mostly in NH. I always thought that area had difficulty attracting applicants due to the harsh winters/desolation. Guess I'm wrong.
    That is probably a positive for the outdoorsy set of planners. I know it would probably work for me (in an alternate universe).

    Here in Chicagoland, there seems to be a steady flow of entry level positions and mid level positions. There are alot of munis and private companies in our metro of 9 million, but there is pretty good competition because of Chicagoland's centripedal nature.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  7. #7
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah....

    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    It seems like there are a lot of postings in northern New England though, mostly in NH. I always thought that area had difficulty attracting applicants due to the harsh winters/desolation. Guess I'm wrong.
    Don't forget that outrageous and ridiculous cost of living in New England.....

    I think I might get yellow carded by NHP for "trolling" on this one.....snicker.....he he he.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  8. #8
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    Don't forget that outrageous and ridiculous cost of living in New England.....

    I think I might get yellow carded by NHP for "trolling" on this one.....snicker.....he he he.....
    Off-topic:
    Dude, wanna come down and intern for me for about a year? I need somebody wet behind the ears...har har..snicker...snicker

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    In Florida, postings seem to be mostly for mid-level planners.

    And yeah, you gotta worry about the ones that post 4 or 5 vacant positions all at once...

  10. #10
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    We are having a really hard time finding seasoned planners here in Alberta. And what I mean by that are mid-level planners. We can find decent directors and even some senior planners, but the Planner II/Associate level its just painful. We have a lot of grads, but not a lot of entry level positions. And for some reason grads don't like to do Planning Tech positions (maybe afraid of being pigeonholed into GIS?)and we have quite a few of those. There are jobs to be had, if the new grads want to go up to Fort McMurray or go to one of the rural counties (like Beaver County). These are harsh environments, but one would learn a lot and fast. RM of Wood Buffalo is dealing with issues that only a handful of planners get to see in their lifetimes. It's the Gold Rush all over again, and just think about trying to plan for housing, social services, transportation, etc. in a big boom.

    It's also fairly easy to get a job in some of the municipalities that are just processing subdivisions like mad. Like Rocky View and some of the areas around Calgary.

    So I guess I would say that if someone were flexible, there is a lot to learn out there and you'd get a pretty decent salary, with excellent benefits. If you are really picky with the locations though, then you may be waiting awhile to get a job in the prime cities.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Pay is a big factor

    There are a lot of entry level positions around New England because the public sector does not pay that well here, esp. outside Boston and up north. Around Boston there are a fair amount of consulting gigs but less in the public sector. We just posted some planners and got lots of resumes, many from other municipalities near here that don't pay that well. Regional planning also pays poorly around here. Add on the high cost of living and its hard to understand how they can fill some of these lower level positions.

    Mid level positions pay a little better but don't have a lot of turnover.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Wisconsin, outside of Madison and Milwaukee (municipal not private), jobs are like musical chairs. Once a positon opens up somewhere, there's a shuffle of the same folks to different communities.

    When you see a junior (municipal not private) person in the same job for more than 5-10 years, you see someone that is either:

    1. Regardless of gender, is married to someone that is the breadwinner, and is just happy to be out of the house, or
    2. A Nincompoop [sp] that hit their peter principle ceiling.
    I've seen both and wouldnt hire either I'd rather hire someone motivated to excel beyond their current position. And I hope our organization can accommodate that.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    Wisconsin, outside of Madison and Milwaukee (municipal not private), jobs are like musical chairs. Once a positon opens up somewhere, there's a shuffle of the same folks to different communities.
    Very true. That is to a large degree because so many cities only have one planner. The only way for people to move up is to move to another community. You can watch the ripple effect: planner leaves City A, new planner hired from City B, city B advertises and hires from City C, they advertise....
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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