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Thread: Working in right-of-way acquisition? [Was: land acquisition]

  1. #1

    Working in right-of-way acquisition? [Was: land acquisition]

    Does anyone have experience working with Right-of-Way land acquisition? If so, is this good experience for a beginning planner or are the disciplines too unrelated?


  2. #2
    Jun 2007
    Pacific NW
    I've looked into the potential for employment at ROW planning firms lately as well.

    Based on the few job descriptions I've seen for ROW project managers and planners, it seems that many of the planning skills one would develop working for a land developer and/or with a private planning firm are transferable to ROW acquisition/planning. Skills such as development feasibility analysis, land use planning, financial modeling....

    IMO, if you can find employment in ROW planning/acquisition, it would be great experience and very beneficial to your future planning career. Plus, with the increase in infrastructure development/redevelopment, it seems that the need for ROW specialists should increase (for transmission/telecom/sewer/water lines, roadway improvements, etc).

    Maybe somebody experienced in this field can say if this is true or not.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
    May 2002
    On the corner of Walk and Don't Walk
    Go for it! It can be interesting work and depending on your experience as a planner, can lead to other opportunities. I am doing related work right now and I know that the ROW guys are making some crazy money. If you can get hooked up with electric transmission lines or gas pipelines and all the work that is associated with that, you will have job security in an uncertain economy and the money is really good. The downside is that you may have to move in order to work on a multi-year project but the big utility companies will pay per diem plus other expenses for lots of folks.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  4. #4
    The problem is I would be doing the exact same thing before going to planning school. I guess any job is good in this economy. I'm concerned about when I do decide to settle down (since you have to be mobile to be in right-of-way) that the right-of-way experience won't translate into planning experience. Or maybe I'm wrong about this? In right-of-way you won't typically deal with comp plans or traffic modeling, but you would be heavily involved in permitting, if relocation is involved.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Being a "related field", it is not enough to get into AICP. But it is a job; and one that you can possibly expand into more.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Being a "related field", it is not enough to get into AICP. But it is a job; and one that you can possibly expand into more.
    The particular job is located in California... I wonder how permanent it would be given the main clients are state and local governments. Another possibility is a old contact I have at Tierra ROW, which specializes in both planning and right-of-way. The initial job function would likely be in land acquisition, but the planning division is relatively new. So it should not be too hard to work in both divisions.

    I'm anxious to get out of school and return to having a real job!

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