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Thread: UK MRTPI planner hopes of finding work in the USA

  1. #1
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    UK MRTPI planner hopes of finding work in the USA

    Hi,

    I am new to cyburbia and new to the the USA, so hello on both fronts!

    I have moved to California from England following the relocation of my husband work. He fancied the idea of relocating to the office where they see 300 days of sunshine a year rather than the 300 days of rain we see in the UK!!

    The weather I can't complain about but the lack of job opportunities for me I can! I was wondering if there are any UK qualified planners who have successfully found work in the US, as a planner, and can you give me any advice.

    Also can anyone generally tell me if my UK qualification will be recognized here or do you think I would need to do some conversion course? I was a senior planner in the UK so I have a lot of experience but to get that US planning experience I have been looking at Intern positions. Are these generally only being give to people who are currently studying or would this be a way in?

    I know this is a bad time for job hunting all round so any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Welcome. San Francisco isn't as sunny (and warm) as other places in california, but nothing beats the "indian" summer there (august/september/october). My first question is a three parter:

    1) do you have the legal right to work here?
    2) Are you looking to be a private/public sector planner?
    3) What is your planning skill set (i.e. are you a designer, etc).

    Obviously if you don't have 1, than you need to start there. Lately some private companies i have seen will not sponsor foreigner workers, nor will public sector. The second is that if you want to work as a planner in this state, you need to know the fundamentals of CEQA (california environmental quality act). Workshops are held all the time regarding this area of planning in this state. Get a handle on those, and you can than really start applying and getting somewhere. 3rd, if you are a good designer, you can apply those skill sets to private firms. There requirements aren't as hard to land a job.

    Good luck with your job search, it is brutal out here, especially in this state.
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  3. #3
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    Hi,
    Thanks for your reply.

    A legal right to work I have. Luckily visas and my employment authorization stuff was all sorted out though my husbands work but good point. Perhaps I should make that very clear to avoid putting potential employers off if they think I want them to sort that out for me.

    I have done a bit of temp work to keep me going but that has just made me even more eager to get back into planning. Public or private therefore, I don't mind, I will explore all options.

    Thanks for the advice about the CEQA, I will look at getting onto a workshop.

  4. #4
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    UK Planner

    Hi KSmart,

    I'm a planner in the UK (just applied for my RTPI - APC route unfortunately!) and I'm considering moving back to the US, The only thing stopping me moving back is the job situation. I'm currently in a good local government job working on the LDF and I really enjoy it. However I miss the US and want to be closer to family etc.

    To cut to the chase, I'm really interested in hearing how you get on there and if you land a job!

    Best of luck in your job hunt. BTW it has been raining for about a week straight here in the UK!

  5. #5
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    I'm a planner in the UK (just applied for my RTPI - APC route unfortunately!)
    I too went down the APC route, it wasn't fun and seemed so much harder than what colleagues before me had to do! Good luck, I hope you get your MRTPI.

    Coincidently, I am actually from Northampton (such a small world!). I never worked in Planning there however.

    I will let you know if I get a job. Do you also have a US planning qualification and experience here? I am finding that it is my lack of experience working under the US system and CEQA that is preventing me from meeting the minimum requirements for private sector jobs and there are just no public sector jobs at the moment. If you already have experience here therefore, you might be ok.

  6. #6
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    I hadn't realized that you replied to my post last year as I wasn't notified! How is the search going????

    We are planning on either moving back to the US or staying in the UK but have to make a decision within about 10 days because of the children's school. What's your advice? My wife (who is an urban designer) are both employed in the public sector, however if the conservatives get in we shall see!

    I applied for loads and loads of public sector jobs in the States over the past year and only had two invites back for a 'test' and then potentially an interview following the test. My planner friends in the States have told me that the job situaiton is pretty dire in the States at the moment - what do you think?

    Would be great to have your perspective. I managed to get MRTPI. You're from shoetown, no way!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by KSmart View post
    Hi,

    I am new to cyburbia and new to the the USA, so hello on both fronts!

    I have moved to California from England following the relocation of my husband work. He fancied the idea of relocating to the office where they see 300 days of sunshine a year rather than the 300 days of rain we see in the UK!!

    The weather I can't complain about but the lack of job opportunities for me I can! I was wondering if there are any UK qualified planners who have successfully found work in the US, as a planner, and can you give me any advice.

    Also can anyone generally tell me if my UK qualification will be recognized here or do you think I would need to do some conversion course? I was a senior planner in the UK so I have a lot of experience but to get that US planning experience I have been looking at Intern positions. Are these generally only being give to people who are currently studying or would this be a way in?

    I know this is a bad time for job hunting all round so any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    I used to live in CA, saw the writing on the wall and got the h*** out, and still have many friends there. They wonder if they are any jobs in the UK.

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    A good indicator I've found is to compare the amount of jobs posted on the APA National Web site (http://www.planning.org/jobs/search/) with RTPI Planning Resource in the UK (http://jobs.planningresource.co.uk/). I've got them both in the jobs aggregator (http://www.cyburbia.org/buzz/planning_jobs), and there seems to be far more jobs coming from the RTPI.

    I found out that for two principal-level jobs I applied for recently (assistant/deputy director for large agencies in the US), one had 60 applicants, the other 70.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the tip Dan, can you get Cyburbia to email new job posts? 60 - 70 sounds pretty similar to the number of applicants for jobs over here now...just a couple of years ago planners could have their pick as there is a shortage of planners in the UK, not so anymore but perhaps slightly better than in the US currently? Was hoping to move back to Portland where I did my undergrad but it sounds like a tough market at the moment.

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Green Lane View post
    Thanks for the tip Dan, can you get Cyburbia to email new job posts?
    Not with the RSS feed aggregattor from VBDrupal. Besides, I want you guys to visit the site!
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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