So I have been an assistant planner in my current position for nearly 18 months now. This is my first position out of college. I work for a new (incorporated in 1995) suburb, The Planning Department is small (my director, an admin ass't., a P/T code enforcement officer and myself.) I don't see much of a future for myself here, the ability to move up, etc.; the last two assistant planners didn't last longer than 6 months. I deal with most of the current development, permit processing, day-to-day supervisor of CE officer and some public relations.
Recently I just saw a posting for an associate planner in my metro area. This position is in a larger community, has a bit of a higher salary and would have more opportunities that align my interests (i.e. historic preservation, downtown revitialization). Would taking this job be seen as a progression or more of a lateral move? I know it is just a title, but I have always thought of an assistant planner as similar to a Planner I, with and associate planner similar to a Planner II. How is the classification system in your experience?