Advice for transportation planners stuck in traffic engineering

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#1
Studied to be a planner for 6 years (undergrad and master's in planning), got hired as a transportation planner, and months later, still mostly doing traffic engineering work. Any advice for how to get out of the engineering hole? I think if I have to spend another 6 months looking at CADD all day I'm going to lose my mind. On top of that, my AICP application got denied because of course, I didn't have enough 'planning' work. So it's a continuous cycle...at this point I literally can't wait to change jobs to anything else but the area I live in has slim pickings in the weird segway between entry level and mid-level (3 years FT work experience).
 
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#2
You have plenty of options, but it sounds like your market might be a little slim.

You can sell those transportation skills to a planner job with no problem. You might not get planner 2, but you can always get a planner 1 job and ask for a bump in pay.
Got GIS skills? Go for the GIS job, but it sounds like that might not be what you want. If nothing else those GIS skills are great to have for most planners.
Work as a transportation planner for a city or state. More reviewing transportation plans than drawing them.
Work for an MPO. Lots of transportation knowledge required and depending on the MPO they might do some work on land use planning or at least incorporating land use planning into their transportation plans.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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#6
A possible way out -- work at an MPO or regional planning agency that does more than just transportation work. (Looks like DVD brought up that option.)

I was "stuck" in current planning, but really wanted to work in urban design, comprehensive planning, and coding. I was lucky enough to find a generalist job with a small county agency about 15 years ago, where the other two non-management planners did most of the development review. They were more than willing to keep doing current planning, and leave the comp planning projects for me.
 
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