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Transportation Planner

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What You Need to Know About Transportation Planner

Career Description Prepare studies for proposed transportation projects. Gather, compile, and analyze data. Study the use and operation of transportation systems. Develop transportation models or simulations.

What Do Transportation Planners Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Define regional or local transportation planning problems or priorities.
  • Collaborate with engineers to research, analyze, or resolve complex transportation design issues.
  • Analyze information related to transportation, such as land use policies, environmental impact of projects, or long-range planning needs.
  • Prepare necessary documents to obtain planned project approvals or permits.
  • Define or update information such as urban boundaries or classification of roadways.
  • Evaluate transportation project needs or costs.

What a Transportation Planner Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Transportation Planners say are important on the job.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Transportation Management Consultant
  • Transit Planner
  • Transportation Analyst
  • Strategic Planning and Development Vice President
  • Transit Planning Manager

Job Opportunities for Transportation Planners

In the United States, there were 42,100 jobs for Transportation Planner in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,800 new jobs for Transportation Planner by 2026. The BLS estimates 4,200 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Transportation Planners in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Transportation Planner are Utah, Vermont, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, South Dakota, or South Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Transportation Planner Make?

The typical yearly salary for Transportation Planners is somewhere between $50,610 and $126,060.

Salary Ranges for Transportation Planners

Transportation Planners who work in Virginia, Maryland, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Transportation Planners make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $84,890
Alaska $74,550
Arizona $83,830
Arkansas $71,970
California $78,970
Colorado $81,380
Connecticut $77,930
Delaware $67,990
District of Columbia $102,300
Florida $78,510
Georgia $86,810
Hawaii $94,440
Idaho $57,570
Illinois $78,140
Indiana $82,010
Kansas $83,440
Kentucky $71,870
Louisiana $72,880
Maine $74,750
Maryland $98,920
Massachusetts $80,210
Michigan $75,380
Minnesota $94,380
Mississippi $70,590
Missouri $70,180
Montana $70,380
Nevada $79,120
New Hampshire $91,030
New Jersey $88,350
New Mexico $79,880
New York $84,940
North Carolina $73,420
North Dakota $68,190
Ohio $77,450
Oklahoma $74,190
Oregon $76,420
Pennsylvania $83,400
South Carolina $74,050
South Dakota $68,980
Tennessee $61,800
Texas $80,430
Utah $67,320
Vermont $81,360
Virginia $110,090
Washington $77,850
West Virginia $73,480
Wisconsin $73,870
Wyoming $67,870

Tools & Technologies Used by Transportation Planners

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Transportation Planners:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Bentley Microstation
  • Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

How to Become a Transportation Planner

Education needed to be a Transportation Planner:

Transportation Planner Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Transportation Planner?

Transportation Planner Work Experience

Transportation Planners Sector

Transportation Planner Sectors

Transportation Planners work in the following industries:

Transportation Planner Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Transportation Planner may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Transportation Planner sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Manfred Werner (Tsui) via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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