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Thread: How do you find a job, specifically transportation planning? (Florida first choice)

  1. #1
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    How do you find a job, specifically transportation planning? (Florida first choice)

    Hi, I'm new here. This board looks great, and looks to be a sanctuary for people like me who feel totally LOST.

    I have a B.S in planning, and I'm working on my M.S. in planning. I'm about ready to graduate (May 2008) and get a job, but it seems like the jobs are so few and far between. What is the best way to stick my head in the door? I think with my lifelong interest in highways, transportation, and road maps that transportation planning is my route.

    I did an internship which was general urban planning, and I'm not sure I am interested in land use, and reviewing subdivision proposals for people's prop-uh-tee. Transportation networks are my passion, and if I'm not sure about that I just have to remember that when i was 7 I could name every exit and exit number on I-10 for a 200 mile stretch.

    I'm highly interested in relocating to the Orlando area, but I'm open to almost any of the big cities in Florida.

    I've never been to an APA conference, and I was wondering if going to the conference in Las Vegas would be an enormous way to meet employers -- possibly Floridian employers?

    Thanks for your help!
    Steven
    Last edited by lamsalfl; 29 Sep 2007 at 4:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    First, welcome to the boards. I'm not sure this is a sanctuary for the totally lost; some of us refer to it as "wandering."

    Anyway, I think your first job in the profession will not be as a specialist. In my opinion, you'll first need to be a generalist then migrate into your preferred specialization. Be careful you don't get pigeon-holed...unless that's what you want. Your internship works in your favor. Word of caution: if you end up at an MPO, don't assume transit planning is the same as transportation planning. They are distinctly different.

    Before you interview here, have a general understanding of Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes (esp. concurrency) and 9J5 of the administrative code.

    Check the FAPA, Florida Planning and Zoning Association, FAU, and Employ Florida web sites for current job openings. Here's an example.

    http://www.employflorida.com/jobbank...0000&t=q&faqq=

    The regional planning councils also seem to always be hiring, but the pay is low. Links to them can be found through the DCA web site.

    I think attending the national conference would be a waste of your money at this stage of your career. Too bad you missed the FAPA conference earlier this month. That could have proved beneficial...and lots of eye candy at those, too...

    Just my two (2) cents. Good luck!!
    Last edited by Richmond Jake; 29 Sep 2007 at 6:16 AM. Reason: more thoughts after returing from the throne
    Annoyingly insensitive

  3. #3
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    Transporation Planning is hot in Florida

    I'm not sure what to make of Richmond's post, what with "eyecandy" and "attending the national conference is a waste of time", but I do agree that attending FAPA is a good move. I went to the conference this September, and I met alot of great companies. They really took the time to get to know you as an entry-level professional, and I came away with more vigor, focus, and energy than ever before.

    Plus, transportation planning in Florida is hot. For one, we have poor public transportation, and two, the state is one of the top 3 population boom centers, so new roads are being built daily. In fact, the area where I live, near Disney, has seen a few new bridges constructed and new roads. It's a constant activity.

    Lastly, I don't know if you're female or male, this could make a difference in how well you connect to mentors in the field. But either way, the BEST BEST BEST way to find a job is through professional planning organizations like FAPA and the national website. Don't even count on the individual county or city websites to find the jobs.

    Lastly, I'm an undergraduate student as well, and I find the starting salaries to be quite nice for Planner Is, which is where you may start since you had an internship. So far, the salaries I've seen are $38,000-$40,000. Oh, and also, there seem to be lots of hiring going on in Ft. Lauderdale right now.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice! I'm a 24 year old male (will be 25 in January). I know FLA inside and out as I have been to all 67 counties, and I can get all over metro Orlando without a road map, because I know the city very well.

    So basically you are saying just keep looking at the FAPA web site for starters. I keep hearing at school that you should start applying for jobs in the spring and tell them you will be graduating on such and such date. I've also heard from a few prof planners that Florida is a hotbed for jobs. Why am I not seeing that online? I see a handful of planner 1 jobs.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by lamsalfl View post
    I have a B.S in planning, and I'm working on my M.S. in planning. I'm about ready to graduate (May 2008) and get a job, but it seems like the jobs are so few and far between. What is the best way to stick my head in the door? I think with my lifelong interest in highways, transportation, and road maps that transportation planning is my route.


    I'm highly interested in relocating to the Orlando area, but I'm open to almost any of the big cities in Florida.

    Are you looking for public sector or private sector work? I might have a couple of suggestions if you're looking at the private sector - PM me if you're interested.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    My first job was as a transportation planner for a regional planning commission in Iowa. Honestly, it wasn't near as interesting as I thought it would be, but everybody is different.

    If I were you I'd send an open letter to all the MPOs in Florida, explain your situation and your desires, ask if they foresee any job opportunities arising around May of next year. Make sure you research them and what they do, so you can mention that stuff specifically in your letters. Good luck.

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