How Much Should You Earn? Planner's Median Salary: $64,000

The "median" planner is 42 years old, has been in the field for 13 years, specializes in community development and redevelopment, and earns $64,000. States with highest salaries are D.C., California and New Jersey.

APA has published the summary results of the 2006 Planners Salary Survey -- "the most comprehensive look at compensation and benefits in the profession." Results are based on responses by more than 10,000 APA members.

Most data, including a salary calculator, is available only to APA members, but a useful five-page summary of the overal survey data is also available. Among the highlights:

  • Total compensation in 2004 was $62,000, and in 2006 it is $65,000, with $51,000 being the 25th percentile (25% earn less) and $86,100 being the 75th percentile.
  • The typical (median) planner is 42 years old and has been in the planning field for 13 years.
  • Almost all planners indicated an area of specialization, the most common being community development and redevelopment (49%) and land-use or code enforcement (42%).
  • Highest salaries for planners are offered by law firms, development firms, and the federal government.
  • 64% of planners work in the city, 22% in the suburbs, and 14% in small town/rural settings.
  • In 2004, females earned 86 cents on the dollar, whereas earnings in 2006 are at 88 cents on the dollar. The gender gap grows with increasing experience.
  • Full Story: APA Salary Survey

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