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Transportation Planners

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What You Need to Know About Transportation Planners

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.

A Day in the Life of a Transportation Planner

  • Produce environmental documents, such as environmental assessments or environmental impact statements.
  • Recommend transportation system improvements or projects, based on economic, population, land-use, or traffic projections.
  • Evaluate transportation project needs or costs.
  • Analyze information from traffic counting programs.
  • Prepare or review engineering studies or specifications.
  • Collaborate with engineers to research, analyze, or resolve complex transportation design issues.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Transportation Planner?

Transportation Planners state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

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

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

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Transportation Planner Job Titles

  • Traffic Analyst
  • Strategic Planning and Development Vice President
  • Transportation Analyst
  • Traffic Incident Management Manager
  • Transit Planning Manager

Is There Going to be Demand for Transportation Planners?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 42,100 jobs in the United States for Social Scientists and Related Workers.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.5% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,700 new jobs for Transportation Planners by 2026. There will be an estimated 4,200 positions for Transportation Planner per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Social Scientists and Related Workers are Virginia, California, and Florida.

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?

Social Scientists and Related Workers Make between $50,610 and $126,060 a year. A Transportation Planner median salary is $81,340.

Salary Ranges for Transportation Planners
Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Virginia

$110,090

District of Columbia

$102,300

Maryland

$98,920

Hawaii

$94,440

Minnesota

$94,380

New Hampshire

$91,030

New Jersey

$88,350

Georgia

$86,810

New York

$84,940

Alabama

$84,890

Arizona

$83,830

Kansas

$83,440

Pennsylvania

$83,400

Indiana

$82,010

Colorado

$81,380

Vermont

$81,360

Texas

$80,430

Massachusetts

$80,210

New Mexico

$79,880

Nevada

$79,120

California

$78,970

Florida

$78,510

Illinois

$78,140

Connecticut

$77,930

Washington

$77,850

Ohio

$77,450

Oregon

$76,420

Michigan

$75,380

Maine

$74,750

Alaska

$74,550

Oklahoma

$74,190

South Carolina

$74,050

Wisconsin

$73,870

West Virginia

$73,480

North Carolina

$73,420

Louisiana

$72,880

Arkansas

$71,970

Kentucky

$71,870

Mississippi

$70,590

Montana

$70,380

Missouri

$70,180

South Dakota

$68,980

North Dakota

$68,190

Delaware

$67,990

Wyoming

$67,870

Utah

$67,320

Tennessee

$61,800

Idaho

$57,570

What Tools & Technology do Transportation Planners Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Transportation Planners may use on a daily basis:

  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Caliper TransCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • SAS
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Autodesk AutoCAD

Where Transportation Planners Work

Transportation Planner Sectors

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

  • Energy Engineers

Are you already one of the many Transportation Planners in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Logisticians
  • Cost Estimators

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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