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Urban & Regional Planning Major

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Urban & Regional Planning

1,690 Master's Degrees Annually
96 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#81 in Popularity (Master's)
$87,950 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Urban & Regional Planning Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many urban and regional planning graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,690
Doctor’s Degree 96
Graduate Certificate 66

What Urban & Regional Planning Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, urban planning majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Urban Planning Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in urban planning should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Urban Planning Majors

When studying urban planning, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Urban Planning Majors

Urban Planning majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Urban & Regional Planning Major?

People with a urban planning degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Architecture Professors 10.5% $86,980
Social Sciences Professors 9.8% $71,600
Urban and Regional Planners 12.8% $73,050

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning?

1,690 Master's Degrees Annually
53% Percent Women
31% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Roughly 53% of the graduates are women, and 47% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of urban planning majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Urban Planning Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 96
Black or African American 137
Hispanic or Latino 220
White 794
International Students 312
Other Races/Ethnicities 131

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Urban Planning, too. About 18.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Urban & Regional Planning Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in urban planning have a median salary of $53,600 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $49,600 (25th percentile) and $57,500 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a urban planning degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $76,240 to $99,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to urban planning. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Urban & Regional Planning Major  ( 76240 to 99320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with urban planning may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for urban planning careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 30.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.2%
Master’s Degree 45.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 6.2%
Doctoral Degree 11.2%

Online Urban & Regional Planning Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 130 schools offered some type of urban and regional planning program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 4 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 25 5
Post-Baccalaureate 4 0
Master’s Degree 98 2
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 26 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in Urban & Regional Planning Worth It?

The median salary for a urban planning grad is $87,950 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 120% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $961,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to urban planning.

Major Number of Grads
Architectural Sciences & Technology 2,827
General Architecture 1,951
Landscape Architecture 432
Real Estate Development 358
Interior Architecture 169
Environmental Design 109
Architecture (Other) 82
Architectural History 36

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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