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Transportation Planner

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What Does it Take to Be a Transportation Planner?

Example of Transportation Planner Job Prepare studies for proposed transportation projects. Gather, compile, and analyze data. Study the use and operation of transportation systems. Develop transportation models or simulations.

Daily Life Of a Transportation Planner

  • Produce environmental documents, such as environmental assessments or environmental impact statements.
  • Represent jurisdictions in the legislative or administrative approval of land development projects.
  • Prepare necessary documents to obtain planned project approvals or permits.
  • Recommend transportation system improvements or projects, based on economic, population, land-use, or traffic projections.
  • Design new or improved transport infrastructure, such as junction improvements, pedestrian projects, bus facilities, or car parking areas.
  • Prepare reports or recommendations on transportation planning.

Qualities of a Transportation Planner

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

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.

Types of Transportation Planner

  • Planning Director
  • Traffic Analyst
  • Transportation Management Consultant
  • Transit Planning Manager
  • Transportation Analyst

Transportation Planner Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 42,100 jobs in the United States for Transportation Planner. 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.


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 average yearly salary of a Transportation Planner ranges between $50,610 and $126,060.


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

What Tools do Transportation Planners Use?

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 do I Become a Transportation Planner?

What education or degrees do I need to become a Transportation Planner?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Transportation Planner?


Where do Transportation Planners Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Transportation Planners employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

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

Those who work as a Transportation Planner sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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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