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Thread: Lowest salaries for planning jobs that you've seen

  1. #26
    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    I have looked at applying for jobs in Canada, especially in the Prairie Provinces, but it seems pretty difficult to break into the Canadian planning field w/o much experiece. I have applied for a couple positions in Alberta, but never even received a confirmation they received my application package.
    Keep on trying. Alberta is hiring a lot of planners since we don't have our own planning schools here! I know that the City of Edmonton is hiring a lot of planners. If you have ACIP or MCIP then it shouldn't be a problem for you to be hired although they will still hire planners without those credentials on the condition that you get a provisional membership with the relevant provincial chapter of the CIP.

    Check out the Alberta Association, Canadian Institute of Planners' website for some career opportunities. Better yet, check out each individual municipality's website for even more job listings (since the AACIP charges for job listings).
    http://www.aacip.com/public/employment.htm

  2. #27
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    Can't believe it

    I look at some of these numbers and can't believe they are in cities. I'm in a very rural area but make more than some of these. However, I do two positions for the price of one...unfortunatly. But looking at these numbers make me feel better.

  3. #28
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    I don't think I had seen a PD position under $40,000. $30,000 is ridiculous for a PD position, who do they think they can recruit with that salary? How much room do they have to negotiate
    It's a predominantly African-American community. Granted, that's no excuse for offering such a low salary. I'm guessing, though, that they see the PD position as a job with a community development-based focus rather than something with the broader aspect of generalist current/comprehensive/transportation planning. African-American planners self-segregate into the much lower-paying community development field more so than white planners (see previous threads about the racial divide in the planning field in the US).

    I'm thinking the community doesn't see a problem whatsoever with $30K; they probably see it as something that will attract an idealistic African-American CD planner who thinks that's pretty good money.

    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    You know, I was just going to say this. I remember checking out the Mass APA and MMA websites and seeing planning director jobs offering like $45,000. It's not a cheap area and this salary is literally half of what it ought to be given how rough it can be to work as a planner in the suburban towns around Boston. The towns are batsh!t crazy if they think they can find dedicated talent at that salary.
    Quote Originally posted by paiste13 View post
    I saw a job in Crosslake Minnesota that paid $28,000.

    It's a vacation-town that is filled with million-dollar summer homes on numerous lakes. Population goes from 1200 in the winder to 25,000 in the summer.
    This gets me thinking about who takes those jobs in Colorado resort communities (Vail Valley, Aspen/Pitkin County, etc) where the pay looks well on paper, but it's nowhere near enough to account for the astronomical cost of housing. I asked someone about this at an APA Colorado state conference years ago, and was told that it was expected applicants would be those who were recent college graduates with very wealthy parents. I wonder if it's the same case in the Boston area; after all, there's a lot of highly rated, very expensive universities and colleges in the area.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #29
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Job in Ohio that is looking for a Master's Degree or equivalent experience. The duties include administering the City's Planning and Zoning Code, staff support to Planning/Zoning Boards, liaison to general public and business community and the pay is $25-35k depending on qualifications.

    Does that mean that a planner with a Master's degree but no experience will get only 25k? Seriously?
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  5. #30
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by twisted by dezign View post
    Keep on trying. Alberta is hiring a lot of planners since we don't have our own planning schools here! I know that the City of Edmonton is hiring a lot of planners. If you have ACIP or MCIP then it shouldn't be a problem for you to be hired although they will still hire planners without those credentials on the condition that you get a provisional membership with the relevant provincial chapter of the CIP.

    Check out the Alberta Association, Canadian Institute of Planners' website for some career opportunities. Better yet, check out each individual municipality's website for even more job listings (since the AACIP charges for job listings).
    http://www.aacip.com/public/employment.htm

    Thank you! I am trying to figure out how the CIP works in comparison to the APA here in the states. There seems to be some difference between the APA and the CIP in terms of membership requirements. If they are similar, would it make sense join the CIP here in the states?

    Sorry, do not mean to hijack this thread.

    Hink, I saw that same ad this morning. 28k for a planner with a Master's with a cap of 35k. Makes me wonder sometimes why I chose this field, but I do enjoy my job most of the time.

  6. #31
    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    Thank you! I am trying to figure out how the CIP works in comparison to the APA here in the states. There seems to be some difference between the APA and the CIP in terms of membership requirements. If they are similar, would it make sense join the CIP here in the states?
    If you're going to get a job in Canada, you should join the CIP. I'm not sure about how your credentials would transfer over to Canada but if you're experienced enough, I'm sure all it takes is an exam rather than a probationary period. I would apply in Canada and just note on your resume that you will pursue membership with the CIP.

  7. #32
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    Does that mean that a planner with a Master's degree but no experience will get only 25k? Seriously?
    Is that the City of Zanesville position? "Pay range will be from $25,729.60 - $35,547.20 per year, depending on qualifications." I think we might have a contender for lowest planning salary in the country.

    My very first planning job started off at about $20K in 1989 US dollars. Adjusted for inflation, today that's $34,633. $25,729 today is $14,580 in 1989 US dollars. That's not a salary being offered by Zanesville; it's an insult. "But the cost of housing is low" is probably the expected response. Yeah, but the cost of food, durable and soft goods, and transportation is generally the same across the continental US, plus or minus 10%. The dishwasher that costs $450 at Best Buy in Zanesville still costs $450 at the Best Buy in Mill Valley, California.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #33
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Wow!

    That is lower than my Asst. Planner job right out of college (32,500)

  9. #34
    Cyburbian shishi's avatar
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    In NYC entry level planner is $41K at DCP.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by shishi View post
    In NYC entry level planner is $41K at DCP.
    Wow, I saw some Planner I positions in NYC w/ a starting salary of 41k, plus you are required to live in the the city proper or the next counties out. How can you afford to live in NYC on 41k, its not an easy task to live in Central IN on 35k.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    I think I used to work in one of the worst places...the Southern Tier of NY....sorry Dandy...
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  12. #37
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    Wow, I saw some Planner I positions in NYC w/ a starting salary of 41k, plus you are required to live in the the city proper or the next counties out. How can you afford to live in NYC on 41k, its not an easy task to live in Central IN on 35k.
    I'm sure its possible to live on $41K in NY. If your single or have a partner bringing in a reasonable salary its fine. If you have three kids, good luck. Keep in mind that its reasonable to live in NYC w/o a car which seems like it would make up for the the higher housing costs. On the other hand its a bit of an insult to be paid probably not much more than the sanitation workers. Still I'd imagine there would be high interest in the positions due to the fact that it is NYC.

  13. #38
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Is that the City of Zanesville position? "Pay range will be from $25,729.60 - $35,547.20 per year, depending on qualifications." I think we might have a contender for lowest planning salary in the country.
    Yep that is the one. Pretty ridiculous I think. It isn't exactly in a prime place, so asking for a Master's is probably a stretch anyways, but to ask for a Master's and then pay so low.... who do you think you are attracting?

    I think communities need to take into account their ability to attract quality employees when asking. I guess it is okay to dream... but seriously? I think it is kind of insulting.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  14. #39
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    I'm sure its possible to live on $41K in NY. If your single or have a partner bringing in a reasonable salary its fine. If you have three kids, good luck. Keep in mind that its reasonable to live in NYC w/o a car which seems like it would make up for the the higher housing costs. On the other hand its a bit of an insult to be paid probably not much more than the sanitation workers. Still I'd imagine there would be high interest in the positions due to the fact that it is NYC.
    Very difficult to afford Manhattan on that salary, but the boroughs and suburbs are doable. I do it and don't make all that much more than that. I wouldn't dream of doing it with kids. Oh, and for a point of comparison, MTA subway station maintenance positions start at around $45k.

  15. #40
    Cyburbian joshking2's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    I have seen a few Planner I positions in Indiana with beginning salaries of approx. $29,000 to $31,000.

    I did see a Planner I position in rural eastern NC with a beginning salary of $27,000, and a Master's was desired. Makes me wonder who ended up taking those positions.

    I don't think I had seen a PD position under $40,000. $30,000 is ridiculous for a PD position, who do they think they can recruit with that salary? How much room do they have to negotiate
    Entry Level Planner with a regional COG in Western NC. Starting salary: $36,000-
    Average Household Income in the 4 counties I serve: $34,000.
    Wages should ideally be a reflection of the population you serve. Except for the really low ball number Dan started this thread off with

  16. #41
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    That Peoria, IL job that got posted on the first page of this thread actually got taken. By me. First full time job out of college (did part time work in a small muni for a few months), and starting as a Planner I @ 33,500, with a salary increase in six months. Everyone here has gotten promoted to Planner II w/ one year service time, which is mid-point salary at 44,500, and Planner III at third year with a mid-point salary around 50k up to around 60k.

    It being my first job out of undergrad, and with a really low cost of living here...(paying $300 a month in rent), I didn't get such a raw deal, did I? Not being facetious, actually wondering what you guys think...

  17. #42
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CubbieBlue View post
    That Peoria, IL job that got posted on the first page of this thread actually got taken. By me. First full time job out of college (did part time work in a small muni for a few months), and starting as a Planner I @ 33,500, with a salary increase in six months. Everyone here has gotten promoted to Planner II w/ one year service time, which is mid-point salary at 44,500, and Planner III at third year with a mid-point salary around 50k up to around 60k.

    It being my first job out of undergrad, and with a really low cost of living here...(paying $300 a month in rent), I didn't get such a raw deal, did I? Not being facetious, actually wondering what you guys think...
    Congrats on the job. It's nice to see that there is room to grow with that position. Mid 30's is not terrible if the cost of living is low, $300.00 for rent is a steal, is this with a roomate? I make mid 30's in Indiana and my rent for a one bedroom is $565.00 and its not in the best neighborhood. It's all about the cost of housing and living what determines a 'low salary'.

  18. #43
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    Yes on the room-mate, but but a great location and recently remodeled place.

  19. #44
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    I live in Iowa and the average household income is about $48,000. I started in August of 2007 at $38,000 and on July 1 got a boost up to $44,000. July 1 of 2009 I'll be at $48,000. While I almost meet the household average by myself now, I always feel broke (save > 20% of take-home pay every month). I can not imagine how people with children do it.

  20. #45
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    I work for a land development company in los angeles and I make just under 36k. My rent is $1450, and I live one block from the beach. My utilities are included, work pays for my cell phone, I live in a great area and I don't own a car. Still...living on $900/mo is getting to be painful. The novelty of a cheap 6-pack, or two buck chuck and a date with network tv has worn off (it's all I can afford to do during the week). You may ask why I live in such an expensive place, well, I have a bid dog, and my friends and family live in the area. Nevertheless, this thread has really depressed me. I'm going to get my MUP next year, and it looks like I'll be back to the same old ways after I graduate. To bad living like a student for the rest of your life doesn't include staying young.

  21. #46
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    I don't think $900/month is terrible to live on. If that's after ALL bills are paid what could you possibly spend that on?

  22. #47
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    Even if that is what he takes home after all of his bills are paid, you still have to worry about food costs, gas, day to day living expenses, emergencies, entertainment and god forbid saving any money..

  23. #48
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    Oh, I see. When I calculate my spending money that's after all my savings are accounted for. I was thinking the $900 was after savings and insurance, etc.

  24. #49
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    No, $900 is what I have to cover all my expenses for the month. It's not much, I can't even afford to make my student loan payments (they are in forbearance).

  25. #50
    Cyburbian joshking2's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Victory View post
    living on $900/mo is getting to be painful.
    I think it might be time to spruce up your resume and go job hunting.

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