How To Become An Urban and Regional Planner: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become an Urban and Regional Planner
majors for Urban and Regional Planners

Urban and Regional Planners

Other names for this job might include City Designer, City Planner, City Planning Engineer, Community Development Director, Community Development Planner, Economic Developer, Housing Development Specialist, Housing Grant Analyst, Master Planner, Neighborhood Planner

  • $70680
  • 75%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
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Be An Urban and Regional Planner: What You Really Need

In this requirements guide for Urban and Regional Planners, you will find out what do you need to become an Urban and Regional Planner and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be an Urban and Regional Planner.

Degree required

Recommended degree level

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree

Bachelors degree

First professional degree


No degree

Generally, employers are looking for Urban and Regional Planners who have a Master’s degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Reading Comprehension and Active Listening.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become An Urban and Regional Planner or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Urban and Regional Planners what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Real Estate Development
Urban Studies/Affairs

Most urban and regional planners have a master’s degree from an accredited urban or regional planning program.


schools for Urban and Regional Planners

Interested in becoming An Urban and Regional Planner? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming an Urban and Regional Planner

How long does it take


You will need a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be An Urban and Regional Planner. Normally you will be required to have more than five years of experience.

For example: A surgeon have to complete 4 years of college plus an additional 5 to 7 years of specialized medical training to be able to do his/her job.

In terms of on-the-job training, you may need some training however you will be assumed that you will already have the necessary skills and work experience to perform the job.

How long does it take
Over 10 to 11 years

Work experience
Over 10 years

Over 10 years

2 to 4 years

1 to 2 years

No experience

1 to 3 months

Job training
6 months to 1 year

6 months to 1 year

1 to 3 months

1 to 2 years

No training

0 to 1 month

Most Urban and Regional Planners have Over 10 years work experience and 6 months to 1 year job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Required only in New Jersey

As of 2012, New Jersey was the only state that required Urban and Regional Planners to be licensed, although Michigan required registration to use the title “community planner.” 

Skills required

We asked other Urban and Regional Planners if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Reading Comprehension what does this mean
2.Active Listening what does this mean
3.Speaking what does this mean
4.Critical Thinking what does this mean
5.Judgement and Decision Making what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Urban and Regional Planners have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Integrity and Cooperation.

4.Analytical Thinking

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Urban and Regional Planners you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. English Language what does this mean
2.Law and Government what does this mean
3.Administration and Management what does this mean
4.Geography what does this mean
5.Communications and Media what does this mean

As An Urban and Regional Planner, you may also be required to know how to use certain Computer aided design CAD software, Enterprise resource planning ERP software and Compliance software tools.

3D urban simulation modeling software (Computer aided design CAD software)
Accela KIVA DMS (Enterprise resource planning ERP software)
Accela PERMITS Plus (Compliance software)
Accela Tidemark Advantage (Compliance software)
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat (Document management software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

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Urban and Regional Planners
Written by: Stanley Tan
Urban and Regional Planners develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.
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