Senior Planner

Planning NEXT

Columbus, OH

Experience Level: Mid-Level

AICP Certification: AICP Preferred

Salary: $65,000-$90,000

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Our Company

Community is what makes us, us. At Planning NEXT, we re-imagine the possibilities and pathways for the future of both our clients and our team. Here, we are curious, civic minded, and people focused. We care about helping communities create a shared sense of purpose and place. This genuine regard has built us a national reputation in visioning, planning and facilitation. Planning NEXT’s work is grounded in a deep commitment to community engagement, including record-setting large-scale public events and a range of innovative techniques for acquiring meaningful insight from the public. We take pride in our sophisticated approach to land use analysis. The firm has a proven track record of creating visions and plans rooted in a community’s values and unique character that are implemented over time for long-lasting impact. We have worked in over 24 states, with 142 communities, have won 28 prestigious awards, and led 4 different international projects. Do you think you’d be a good fit? Read more!

About the Position

As a Senior Planner within our firm, you will be responsible for supporting a multitude of high-profile projects through your solid technical planning experience and expertise. You will be entrusted with assisting on specific tasks involved in a project, such as analyzing and presenting research; creating maps and analyzing data through GIS; the design, facilitation, and support for public engagement events; traveling to various project locations; managing and facilitating process and planning committees; overseeing the development and maintenance of project websites; writing recommendations; producing draft content and overseeing the production of final reports and plan documents. Finally, you will also be tasked with performing some office administration, marketing, and other functions as delineated below to help keep the office running smoothly.

Professionalism: Being professional at all times is an essential function of this position, especially when dealing with clients or fellow employees. This is true whether in person, over the telephone, virtually or through email communications. All employees are entitled to a 100% non-hostile environment.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Research: Conduct research and data collection on community conditions and trends and work with planners to assist in presenting information in a clear and compelling manner in multiple formats.
  • Map Preparation: Prepare or coordinate the preparation of maps and graphics that help to effectively convey key data and help tell important stories about communities. ArcGIS proficiency is required.
  • Quality Control: Ensure tasks are being completed to a high standard.
  • Mentorship and Staff Management: Mentor, support, and reinforce relationships with all staff (planners and intern planners). Delegate specific tasks to planners and intern planners and oversee and review tasks given to them.
  • Process Improvement: Continually look for new ways to improve our process, products, and deliverables.
  • Graphic and Process Materials: Prepare or review and oversee preparation communications and outreach materials for planning processes, including the design of print collateral and online communications tools including website design, online survey, and engagement tools.
  • Facilitation Support: Facilitate or support public workshops and events, facilitate small groups, and analyze public input gathered.
  • Produce Content: Prepare draft content for presentations to clients, stakeholders, and the public.
  • Write Content: Draft text for planning documents and interim deliverables that is technically competent while also accessible to the intended audience(s).
  • Edit Content: Edit or assist with editing and formatting plans and other documents.
  • Company Marketing: Support general marketing, including drafting company website updates and conference presentation material. Assist with submittals for conferences, articles, and awards as needed.
  • Presentations: Present to planning committees, elected officials as well as at local and national conferences.
  • Professional Development: Work with supervisors to prepare a professional development plan on an annual basis and to undertake training to further develop key skills (technical, writing, etc.) and management capabilities.
  • Other duties as needed.

Required Skills

In addition to valuing the integration of meaningful community input with strategic and comprehensive planning, the following skills are required.

  • Excellent communications skills (with clients, public and internal staff)
  • Excellent organization and task management capabilities.
  • Strong writing and editing skills.
  • An aptitude for visual/graphic presentation.
  • Understanding of client service techniques and problem resolution.
  • Ability to listen, collect information and process appropriately.
  • Ability to follow detailed instructions.
  • Ability to independently produce high quality work in a distracting work environment which may include regular interruptions from walk-in traffic, phone calls and emails.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally using proper grammar and solid comprehension of English language.
  • Ability to meet and exceed established deadlines and respond in a timely manner to clients and fellow co-workers.
  • Ability to cooperate, collaborate, and communicate with co-workers, supervisors, vendors, the public, and others involved with our business.
  • Ability to manage projects and tasks as well as take ownership and responsibility over project goals.
  • Ability and willingness to mentor and coach planners and intern planners.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects in different phases at any given time in an efficient and high-quality manner.
  • Maintain professionalism and a consistent and positive client service image when interacting with vendors, clients, and co-workers.
  • Understanding of and compliance with company policies and procedures including safety procedures.
  • A complete familiarity with the company’s philosophy and services is required and is easily attained within the first 90 days of employment.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Education: Master’s degree in city planning or related field.
  • Experience: Minimum of 5 years’ experience in a planning position with similar duties. Project management experience is a bonus.
  • Accreditation: Relevant professional accreditation (AICP or equivalent). Or willingness to attain certification within 1 year of joining firm.
  • Technology: Proficiency in using MS Office software, Adobe Creative Suite, ArcGIS (mapping, data management and analysis) is required.
  • Management: Desire to mentor staff and manage tasks.


As a Planning NEXT Team Member, you will receive our well-balanced program of benefits designed to meet the needs of our employees and represent a value of additional income:

  • Medical, Life, and Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Simple IRA match
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Time Off
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Flexible Hours and Remote Work Policy
  • Employer Paid Profit Sharing
  • Opportunities for Advancement
  • Pet Friendly!

For more information and to apply, please visit: Contact - planning NEXT (

Posted May 1, 2023, 9:41 AM PDT

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