City and Regional Planning aides contribute and gather and record data from various instruments or sources such as maps, reports, and field and file investigations, for use by city planner. This information is used in planning studies for land use, infrastructures, population, and zoning for regional and city planning.
How to Become A City and Regional Planning Aide
According to O*NET Online, 45% of the city and regional planning aides surveyed held a master’s degree while 35% had earned a bachelor’s. There were 10% that had some college but had yet to earn a degree. This suggests, you would at least want to earn a bachelor’s degree.
As of January 2020, the Planning Accreditation Board (website opens in a new tab) had accredited 75 master’s and 16 bachelor’s programs at 79 North American universities listed on their website. The bachelor’s degree titles of these programs include, Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning, Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning, Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning, and Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development.
Keep in mind that graduating with your bachelor’s degree in one of these programs may provide you an edge over other candidates who may not possess the degree. Along with a formal education, an employer may also look for candidates that have had internships or practical experience. While earning your degree, gain an internship opportunity if able to gain experience before graduating.
Additional education in law and government may be helpful as well as this position must understand laws, coding, court procedures, and government regulations. Professional writing is also necessary as these planners must frequently write reports. If this were not enough, geography can be helpful so you can more easily describe a land’s physical features, locations, interrelationships, and allocation of plant, wildlife, and human life. Last, the basics of building and construction terminology, how to read a blueprint, and mathematics due to graphing and statistical reports is also helpful.
Job Description of A City and Regional Planning Aide
A city and regional planning aide is primary responsible to collect data from various sources and write reports for the city planner. The city planner will use these reports for plans and programs that help change, grow, or create communities. The reports can also help to renew infrastructures in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas to accommodate population growth. City and regional planning aides prepare reports using statistics, charts, and graphs, to explain planning studies. They do so by researching, compiling, analyzing, and documenting information from maps, reports, investigations, and written materials or books.
These planners are often tasked to respond to inquires or complaints along with processing zoning, project permits, or applications. They spend most of their day on a computer or at a desk typing, emailing, proofreading, researching, and handling clerical duties. It is often found that they act a liaison between agencies or departments that are involved in the planning process.
A city and regional planning aides usually works regular business hours, but this can vary due to meetings. They must be good communicators, organized, problem solvers, analytic, and good with people because of the nature of working with the public regularly. This job requires integrity, composure, flexibility, persistence, self-control, and tolerance of stress. All of these are required as they work directly with community members that may be opposed to development and face obstacles while conducting research. Most of all though, honesty and ethical decision-making are vital since planning decisions impact a large group of individuals.
Career Article References
National Center for O*NET Development. 19-4061.01. O*NET OnLine.