Why Choose a Career in Planning?
The planning profession is centrally concerned with improving the future wellbeing of individuals in society and the quality of life in the communities within which we live. As a planner, you will have a wide range of potential opportunities to advance the goals of society. We work at every scale, from programs affecting the entire nation to analyses and plans for individual development sites. A trademark of professional planners is that we bring a comprehensive viewpoint to public problems and issues. Even so, you will ﬁnd your niche within the breadth of the planning profession; you might prepare a revitalization plan for a downtown, rewrite a local zoning code that guides the next decade of development, prepare a natural resource atlas in Geographic Information System (GIS) for a growing county, engage in sustainability benchmarking for an environmental group, or tackle the vexing economic development issues in a rural, multi-county region. Whatever is your calling, the planning profession gives you one of the best opportunities to be personally rewarded by making a difference in your community and the world.
Employment and Occupational Outlook
There are approximately 40,000 working planners in the U.S. job growth is about average from 2012 to 2022 (10%), or 4,000 new planning jobs during the decade.
The median salary for planners in the U.S. in 2014 was $ 75,800 a year, according to the American Planning Association's most recent salary survey. The entry level salary range for jobs in North Carolina for which our graduates are qualified is approximately $ 33,000 to $ 42,000 annually. For a list of recent jobs in North Carolina for which our graduates are qualified, Click here.
The BS Degree in Planning
The BS in Urban and Regional Planning at East Carolina University prepares professionals with a strong foundation in theories, methods, techniques, and ethics of planning. The planning program curriculum, usually initiated in the second semester of the sophomore year, includes 33 semester hours of core courses in methods, theory, and law, as well as substantive foundations in geographic information systems, environmental planning, and urban design. Transfers from community colleges can ﬁnish the program in two years. The BS degree also requires 9 hours of electives within either the community planning or coastal planning area of emphasis, as well as 6 semester hours of additional electives. In your senior year, you will participate in an applied planning studio and write a capstone professional paper. An internship is strongly encouraged (academic credits available).
For detailed information on degree requirements, see the "Pocket Planner".