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

  1. #51
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    1984 in the way back machine: $13,680 in a municipality on the west coast of Florida.
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  2. #52
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I'm basically beginning the great job hunt and have noticed that more entities are asking for the moon and paying less than they were say a year or two ago. I will not considering anything under 40K. I made more as a restaurant manager.
    "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

  3. #53
    City of New York-- Bronx and Brooklyn offices

    Assistant Associate Planner (or something along the lines)

    It was around 34,000 a year. Adjusted cost-of-living from other major cities to New York (particularly if you were living within Manhattan or Brooklyn [no offense but the cost of commuting in New York or even taking the subways is retarded when you consider the cost is essentially the difference in rent])... came out to about 18k.

    I'd totally take this job if they didn't want an accredited master's, 2 years experience, internships, specialized knowledge and training... and the ability to understand ULURP.

    Take also into consideration [no offense to anyone working there], the Brooklyn and Bronx branch offices are notoriously crooked.

  4. #54
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    These low paying jobs sound pretty good to my unemployed ass

  5. #55
    Cyburbian jdplanner's avatar
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    I just read a posting that came across the NC list serve for Planning Tech. job with a $28,000/yr starting salary.

    One could maybe get by with this salary in the rural areas of the Carolina's. However, this job was in the Charlotte Metro area. It would be very tough for a single person to support themselves on that income.

  6. #56
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jdplanner View post
    I just read a posting that came across the NC list serve for Planning Tech. job with a $28,000/yr starting salary.
    Man, I lived on that salary for about one year around 2002 in Boston. It was my first job out of college and I was just happy to have it. No car and our one bedroom apartment was $1200/month split two ways. Boy was that tough. Luckily, my student loans were in deferment, or I would have been out on the street.

  7. #57
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I just saw one in Ottumwa Iowa starting at 28K.

    What do you think is average or acceptable for the Midwest?

  8. #58
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    What I am making with a MURP, AICP, CFM eligible & 16 yrs experience.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    What I am making with a MURP, AICP, CFM eligible & 16 yrs experience.
    I don't know, what ARE you making?
    Of course I don't mean to directly inquire about your income, but more as a general question about the progression of pay. Sure it starts out slow, but what is the trend after 1,2,5,10,15 years?
    Take care.

    EDIT: this thread as inspired me to look up some planning I jobs around here, i found this http://www.civicinfo.bc.ca/161.asp?j...&r=9948&r=9947
    regional planner 1, metro vancouver, "The bi-weekly salary range is $2,733.98 - $3,237.13" thats around 70k, are they for real? or is regional planner I much different from planny 1
    Last edited by vxw; 04 Oct 2009 at 10:00 PM.

  10. #60
    Cyburbian kltoomians's avatar
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    Colorado subsidized housing

    I know a lot of Colorado cities subsidize housing for Planning staff...including the director, since their salaries wouldn't be able to buy or rent squat in the nearby areas.

  11. #61
    Cyburbian
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    How about any unpaid internships? In other countries we have laws saying you have to pay a minimum wage. Which our minimum is usually half of the average salary. No $7 an hour jobs basically. Sounds like slave labor

  12. #62
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    I just saw one in Ottumwa Iowa starting at 28K.

    What do you think is average or acceptable for the Midwest?
    Shouldn't matter that it's in the Midwest. Like I wrote earlier, housing may be inexpensive, but the cost of food, clothing and durable goods will be about the same as in the most expensive cities of the country. A Samsung 37" large-screen television is $600 at a Best Buy in both Ottumwa and San Francisco.

    Even for a three-and-out first Job, Ottumwa is going to be tough. You won't be able to save money for interview and relocation expenses to your next job.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #63
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    Seriously if I hired someone for $28k regardless of location I would feel great moral remorse.....there is no way that person could possibly have a healthy life with that kind of income.

    Another aspect with low salaries is the ability to become corrupted. In the UK and Oz several planners have been caught taking bribes from developers trying to get things approved. I think it happened in Hoboken, NJ as well. Excessive low pay opens up the doors for the corruption.

  14. #64
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by vxw View post
    I don't know, what ARE you making?
    Of course I don't mean to directly inquire about your income, but more as a general question about the progression of pay. Sure it starts out slow, but what is the trend after 1,2,5,10,15 years?
    After 15 yrs my salary had doubled but it is still < 50K. or ?
    Oddball
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  15. #65
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by expat123 View post
    Seriously if I hired someone for $28k regardless of location I would feel great moral remorse.....there is no way that person could possibly have a healthy life with that kind of income.
    How do teachers do it to start out their careers with that salary?

  16. #66
    Cyburbian
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    How do teachers do it to start out their careers with that salary?
    Teachers get more time off. Heaps more. My mates that teach also get some money for tutoring and coaching sports as well. In Oz government planners typical a day off every 2-3 weeks. Whether they have time to use it or not depends on the workload, but it adds up on your annual leave. Some local governments include a car with the positions as well.

    Still if you dont make management in local government there is no point in being there over 10 years unless you want more time to spend with the family etc and get a decent wage. As stated before I dont mind doing the hard yards with this profession, but the options are fairly limited compared to other professions. Its a great way to start a career and learn the development process, but I see no long term benefits of this career. Im just lucky I didnt go into deep debt like some of my colleagues in the USA for a profession that makes an unpaid intern position seem attractive. Media jobs and finance jobs all feature low pay at first, but there is at least a pot of gold to chase.

  17. #67
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Here's another disturbingly low-paid job for the record. Monroe County, Indiana (Bloomington area): $34,000 for a senior planner position. They require an MUP, two years experience, GIS proficiency and AICP certification or an expectation that you'll pass the exam.

    http://www.indianaplanning.org/career.htm

    Yes, I'm naming the employer.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  18. #68
    Cyburbian
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    Wow Dan that is REALLY bad.Good on ya for naming them! That is just wrong of them. Planners coming out of Uni in OZ make more than that considering $1 US= .89 cents Aussie. Take a typical 50-55k graduate planner role in OZ, that makes almost 45-50k US dollars and no ridiculous AICP or masters required.

    I think planners should form a union or something of the matter that other professions have. Sadly though someone will take that job that meets those requirements. Maybe we can write to the director of planning and voice our disgust.

  19. #69
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Here's another disturbingly low-paid job for the record. Monroe County, Indiana (Bloomington area): $34,000 for a senior planner position. They require an MUP, two years experience, GIS proficiency and AICP certification or an expectation that you'll pass the exam.

    http://www.indianaplanning.org/career.htm

    Yes, I'm naming the employer.
    We always can't read into salary. What is the cost of living? What are the benefits, etc? Sounds pretty low, but 33K is better than nothing in this economy right? Look, when it comes to wages you really have to look at everything. As I prepare for an interview next week on the east coast, they pay is less than california for a compilable position, but the lower cost of living and benefits far exceed anything offered here, so it became a moot point (plus moving up in the world as compared to going backwards).
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally posted by expat123 View post
    I think planners should form a union or something of the matter that other professions have. Sadly though someone will take that job that meets those requirements. Maybe we can write to the director of planning and voice our disgust.
    I have always wondered why some professions have unions and others do not. I thought unions were for less-educated people but teachers are college educated and have unions, nurses are mostly college educated and have unions, most police forces require a college education and are unionized...

    Why can't planners do this?

  21. #71
    Cyburbian
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    It really doesnt matter what the cost of housing is. Thats NOT an even an average salary in the US, for a Masters degree and a measly 2 weeks off with 40 hours per week. Teachers at least get time off with their crappy pay. Several teachers have the time for side projects as well. Planners have to "sign conflict of interest" forms in government positions that forbid them from running a business that might benefit.

    Low pay equals corruption in Oz, UK and sometimes the US in planing positions. Its not uncommon to hear off planners taking bribes from developers or brothel owners in Oz. We had a female planner named Beth Morgan who took money and had sexual relations with a developer. Her argument was everyone else in the development process was making money so why not her? Im not saying what she did was right, but when you have a job that makes it hard to meet basically living expenses (Oz is one of the most expensive places for housing in the world) you are more likely to do unacceptable behaviour as the risk outweighs the consequences.

  22. #72
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Here's another disturbingly low-paid job for the record. Monroe County, Indiana (Bloomington area): $34,000 for a senior planner position. They require an MUP, two years experience, GIS proficiency and AICP certification or an expectation that you'll pass the exam.

    http://www.indianaplanning.org/career.htm

    Yes, I'm naming the employer.
    We talked about this position in the office. My thought is that they will get an out-of-work planner who is desperate for a job, and they will stick around for 6 months until they find something better. The only other way this would be worthwhile is if the workload was small enough that you could also go to school part-time at IU.

    I am a planner in Indiana, and while salaries are low here, that is laughable. Bloomington is not a cheap (Indiana standards) area, lots of pretty pricey apartments to cater to the IU kids. Bloomington is pretty progressive planning-wise, while Monroe County is similar to the rest of rural Indiana (the infamous damn commie planners sign was located in Monroe County, http://www.wrybread.com/WryRoad/signimages/01.shtml).

  23. #73
    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    We talked about this position in the office. My thought is that they will get an out-of-work planner who is desperate for a job, and they will stick around for 6 months until they find something better. The only other way this would be worthwhile is if the workload was small enough that you could also go to school part-time at IU.

    I am a planner in Indiana, and while salaries are low here, that is laughable. Bloomington is not a cheap (Indiana standards) area, lots of pretty pricey apartments to cater to the IU kids. Bloomington is pretty progressive planning-wise, while Monroe County is similar to the rest of rural Indiana (the infamous damn commie planners sign was located in Monroe County, http://www.wrybread.com/WryRoad/signimages/01.shtml).

    The stuff on that link is CRAZY. That almost gives one the impression that planners are recieving death threats there.

    BTW........as an undergrad who's getting ready to graduate with a BURP...........um, I really really hope that the average planner does not fare nearly as bad as what this thread implies. I was told when I first became a planning major that planners "did OK. You get paid good, but not great." OK, cool........but the fact that there are SO many examples of sh*tty salaries that require so much education and qualifications really makes me wonder if this is the right field. Somebody post another thread............."HIGHEST paid salaries you've seen for a planning job". Please! I need something to inspire me and counter the negativity in this thread. I know I've seen a couple of 6-digit salaries posted on APA's website...........albeit that was before the current recession and of course, these were for Senior Planner/Executive Director positions.

  24. #74
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    The stuff on that link is CRAZY. That almost gives one the impression that planners are recieving death threats there.

    BTW........as an undergrad who's getting ready to graduate with a BURP...........um, I really really hope that the average planner does not fare nearly as bad as what this thread implies. I was told when I first became a planning major that planners "did OK. You get paid good, but not great." OK, cool........but the fact that there are SO many examples of sh*tty salaries that require so much education and qualifications really makes me wonder if this is the right field. Somebody post another thread............."HIGHEST paid salaries you've seen for a planning job". Please! I need something to inspire me and counter the negativity in this thread. I know I've seen a couple of 6-digit salaries posted on APA's website...........albeit that was before the current recession and of course, these were for Senior Planner/Executive Director positions.
    I am pretty sure that is just a beef of one property owner with the County. While Indiana is a very pro-property rights state, that link shows a bit of the extreme example. It is ironic when you see that Bloomington is quite progressive with their planning and these sign are less than 15 miles from Bloomington.

    Granted I have a Master's, work for a public agency and work in a lower-paying state, but I started in the mid-30's. My benefits are pretty good, vacation time, decent retirement, decent insurance. In Minnesota, where I went to school, entry level positions range from 35k to 45k (in the Twin Cities). Remember the salary isn't the only number to look at, depending on your benefits, they can upwards of 15 to 20 percent to the listed salary. Most planners I know seem to be solidly middle to upper-middle class.
    Last edited by rcgplanner; 06 Oct 2009 at 8:49 PM.

  25. #75
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    The stuff on that link is CRAZY. That almost gives one the impression that planners are recieving death threats there.
    Oh, it gets better.

    http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/sto...bakersjunction
    http://www.bakersjunction.com
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