Lowest salaries for planning jobs that you've seen

abrowne

     
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#21
I have looked at applying for jobs in Canada, especially in the Prairie Provinces, but it seems pretty difficult to break into the Canadian planning field w/o much experiece. I have applied for a couple positions in Alberta, but never even received a confirmation they received my application package.
It can be difficult, yes. It helps to be a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. Experience is important, just as anywhere, and US planners do routinely get hired (certainly not uncommon). As for confirmations of receiving your application, the world has changed--people are so busy this tends to not occur anymore. Automated email responses are the best you can expect, if anything. The City of White Rock in the Vancouver area sends out a wonderfully pleasant and informative email confirmation (though they didn't interview me, haha).

As for health care expenses, I'm fairly certain that the taxes we pay toward health care probably amount to less than what private insurance would cost. *shrug* And our health care dollars come out of gross salary, not net (though some provinces have added, mandatory extended medical insurance premiums... about $1200 a year for a family of 4, if I recall).
 

jmello

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#22
Really wealthy Boston suburbs looking for The Town Planner and offering a salary in the mid-30s.:-o
I was just going to say that! To add a little bit more vitriol: single-family homes anywhere near these same towns START at $400,000. Riduculous. The town planner gets to live in mommy's basement off Route 9 in Natick with his wife and two kids. Or he gets to drive 1.5 hours to work everyday from his 1200SF tract house in Oxford. All the while protecting the high property values, low tax rate and 1-acre lots of his wealthy employers.
 

bflo

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#23
There is constant turnover at the regional planing agency in Rochester, NY (GFLRPC) that is constantly advertising entry level positons around $32,000, which for a masters degreed professional is low, even in comparison to true municipal planners in NYS. So it's no wonder that they advertise for the joba bout every 6 months when the newest recruit cuts and runs for more money.

Sadly, planning is one of the lowest paid white collar jobs going and often have major responsibilities within their community that most fail to recognize. It's a profession by and large where planners and the APA have done a poor job working for better wages.

Luckily, I work in the private sector, where I can work hard, get promoted and get raises above some standard raise schedule.
 

paiste13

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#24
I saw a job in Crosslake Minnesota that paid $28,000.

It's a vacation-town that is filled with million-dollar summer homes on numerous lakes. Population goes from 1200 in the winder to 25,000 in the summer.
 
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#25
It all makes sense now why Crosslake is always looking for planners. 28k is an insult anywhere, especially in Minnesota. :-c
 
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#26
I have looked at applying for jobs in Canada, especially in the Prairie Provinces, but it seems pretty difficult to break into the Canadian planning field w/o much experiece. I have applied for a couple positions in Alberta, but never even received a confirmation they received my application package.
Keep on trying. Alberta is hiring a lot of planners since we don't have our own planning schools here! I know that the City of Edmonton is hiring a lot of planners. If you have ACIP or MCIP then it shouldn't be a problem for you to be hired although they will still hire planners without those credentials on the condition that you get a provisional membership with the relevant provincial chapter of the CIP.

Check out the Alberta Association, Canadian Institute of Planners' website for some career opportunities. Better yet, check out each individual municipality's website for even more job listings (since the AACIP charges for job listings).
http://www.aacip.com/public/employment.htm
 
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#27
Can't believe it

I look at some of these numbers and can't believe they are in cities. I'm in a very rural area but make more than some of these. However, I do two positions for the price of one...unfortunatly. But looking at these numbers make me feel better.
 

Dan

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#28
I don't think I had seen a PD position under $40,000. $30,000 is ridiculous for a PD position, who do they think they can recruit with that salary? How much room do they have to negotiate
It's a predominantly African-American community. Granted, that's no excuse for offering such a low salary. I'm guessing, though, that they see the PD position as a job with a community development-based focus rather than something with the broader aspect of generalist current/comprehensive/transportation planning. African-American planners self-segregate into the much lower-paying community development field more so than white planners (see previous threads about the racial divide in the planning field in the US).

I'm thinking the community doesn't see a problem whatsoever with $30K; they probably see it as something that will attract an idealistic African-American CD planner who thinks that's pretty good money.

You know, I was just going to say this. I remember checking out the Mass APA and MMA websites and seeing planning director jobs offering like $45,000. It's not a cheap area and this salary is literally half of what it ought to be given how rough it can be to work as a planner in the suburban towns around Boston. The towns are batsh!t crazy if they think they can find dedicated talent at that salary.
I saw a job in Crosslake Minnesota that paid $28,000.

It's a vacation-town that is filled with million-dollar summer homes on numerous lakes. Population goes from 1200 in the winder to 25,000 in the summer.
This gets me thinking about who takes those jobs in Colorado resort communities (Vail Valley, Aspen/Pitkin County, etc) where the pay looks well on paper, but it's nowhere near enough to account for the astronomical cost of housing. I asked someone about this at an APA Colorado state conference years ago, and was told that it was expected applicants would be those who were recent college graduates with very wealthy parents. I wonder if it's the same case in the Boston area; after all, there's a lot of highly rated, very expensive universities and colleges in the area.
 

Hink

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#29
Job in Ohio that is looking for a Master's Degree or equivalent experience. The duties include administering the City's Planning and Zoning Code, staff support to Planning/Zoning Boards, liaison to general public and business community and the pay is $25-35k depending on qualifications.

Does that mean that a planner with a Master's degree but no experience will get only 25k? Seriously?
 
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#30
Keep on trying. Alberta is hiring a lot of planners since we don't have our own planning schools here! I know that the City of Edmonton is hiring a lot of planners. If you have ACIP or MCIP then it shouldn't be a problem for you to be hired although they will still hire planners without those credentials on the condition that you get a provisional membership with the relevant provincial chapter of the CIP.

Check out the Alberta Association, Canadian Institute of Planners' website for some career opportunities. Better yet, check out each individual municipality's website for even more job listings (since the AACIP charges for job listings).
http://www.aacip.com/public/employment.htm

Thank you! I am trying to figure out how the CIP works in comparison to the APA here in the states. There seems to be some difference between the APA and the CIP in terms of membership requirements. If they are similar, would it make sense join the CIP here in the states?

Sorry, do not mean to hijack this thread.

Hink, I saw that same ad this morning. 28k for a planner with a Master's with a cap of 35k. Makes me wonder sometimes why I chose this field, but I do enjoy my job most of the time. :)
 
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#31
Thank you! I am trying to figure out how the CIP works in comparison to the APA here in the states. There seems to be some difference between the APA and the CIP in terms of membership requirements. If they are similar, would it make sense join the CIP here in the states?
If you're going to get a job in Canada, you should join the CIP. I'm not sure about how your credentials would transfer over to Canada but if you're experienced enough, I'm sure all it takes is an exam rather than a probationary period. I would apply in Canada and just note on your resume that you will pursue membership with the CIP.
 

Dan

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#32
Does that mean that a planner with a Master's degree but no experience will get only 25k? Seriously?
Is that the City of Zanesville position? "Pay range will be from $25,729.60 - $35,547.20 per year, depending on qualifications." I think we might have a contender for lowest planning salary in the country.

My very first planning job started off at about $20K in 1989 US dollars. Adjusted for inflation, today that's $34,633. $25,729 today is $14,580 in 1989 US dollars. That's not a salary being offered by Zanesville; it's an insult. "But the cost of housing is low" is probably the expected response. Yeah, but the cost of food, durable and soft goods, and transportation is generally the same across the continental US, plus or minus 10%. The dishwasher that costs $450 at Best Buy in Zanesville still costs $450 at the Best Buy in Mill Valley, California.
 
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#35
In NYC entry level planner is $41K at DCP.
Wow, I saw some Planner I positions in NYC w/ a starting salary of 41k, plus you are required to live in the the city proper or the next counties out. How can you afford to live in NYC on 41k, its not an easy task to live in Central IN on 35k.
 

tsc

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#36
I think I used to work in one of the worst places...the Southern Tier of NY....sorry Dandy...
 

jsk1983

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#37
Wow, I saw some Planner I positions in NYC w/ a starting salary of 41k, plus you are required to live in the the city proper or the next counties out. How can you afford to live in NYC on 41k, its not an easy task to live in Central IN on 35k.
I'm sure its possible to live on $41K in NY. If your single or have a partner bringing in a reasonable salary its fine. If you have three kids, good luck. Keep in mind that its reasonable to live in NYC w/o a car which seems like it would make up for the the higher housing costs. On the other hand its a bit of an insult to be paid probably not much more than the sanitation workers. Still I'd imagine there would be high interest in the positions due to the fact that it is NYC.
 

Hink

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#38
Is that the City of Zanesville position? "Pay range will be from $25,729.60 - $35,547.20 per year, depending on qualifications." I think we might have a contender for lowest planning salary in the country.
Yep that is the one. Pretty ridiculous I think. It isn't exactly in a prime place, so asking for a Master's is probably a stretch anyways, but to ask for a Master's and then pay so low.... who do you think you are attracting?

I think communities need to take into account their ability to attract quality employees when asking. I guess it is okay to dream... but seriously? I think it is kind of insulting.
 
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#39
I'm sure its possible to live on $41K in NY. If your single or have a partner bringing in a reasonable salary its fine. If you have three kids, good luck. Keep in mind that its reasonable to live in NYC w/o a car which seems like it would make up for the the higher housing costs. On the other hand its a bit of an insult to be paid probably not much more than the sanitation workers. Still I'd imagine there would be high interest in the positions due to the fact that it is NYC.
Very difficult to afford Manhattan on that salary, but the boroughs and suburbs are doable. I do it and don't make all that much more than that. I wouldn't dream of doing it with kids. Oh, and for a point of comparison, MTA subway station maintenance positions start at around $45k.
 
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#40
I have seen a few Planner I positions in Indiana with beginning salaries of approx. $29,000 to $31,000.

I did see a Planner I position in rural eastern NC with a beginning salary of $27,000, and a Master's was desired. Makes me wonder who ended up taking those positions.

I don't think I had seen a PD position under $40,000. $30,000 is ridiculous for a PD position, who do they think they can recruit with that salary? How much room do they have to negotiate
Entry Level Planner with a regional COG in Western NC. Starting salary: $36,000-
Average Household Income in the 4 counties I serve: $34,000.
Wages should ideally be a reflection of the population you serve. Except for the really low ball number Dan started this thread off with
 
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