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How Do I Become a Planning Supervisor?

R. Stamm
R. Stamm

In order to become a planning supervisor, certain educational requirements must be met, and the proper steps must be taken. As with any job, the first step is an education and at least a bachelor’s degree. Persons wanting to work in this field should expect to further their education with specialized courses and a master’s degree. Once candidates receive the right amount of education, they can apply for an internship and gradually work their way up the ladder. After the internship, they can work as an associate planner and eventually step into a planning supervisor position.

It is essential to have the necessary degrees in order to become a planning supervisor. Most planning supervisor positions require candidates to obtain a master’s degree and have at least two years of planning experience. Some organizations will accept a bachelor’s degree along with four years of experience and specific training courses. The targeted training course focuses on community laws and regulations, work environment hazards, and safety concerns.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

After receiving the necessary degrees, the next step to become a planning supervisor is an internship with an organization. The internship provides candidates the opportunity to gain a better understanding of planning principles, and it affords the necessary knowledge of computer programs associated with the position. In addition, interns will learn valuable written and oral communication skills enabling them to work effectively within a team. They will develop their analytical and research skills under the guidance of a mentor, minimizing the negative effects of poor planning decisions.

Interns are ready to take the next step to become a planning supervisor once they have mastered their skills. Good interns usually receive promotions within the organization and become assistant or associate planners. Their duties gradually increase to include identification of problems arising in communities, interpretation of local and state laws, and assistance in writing new laws. The associate planner is also responsible for developing long-range solutions concerning the land use in communities and long-range economic solutions to community problems. At this level, associates will further enhance their knowledge of planning principles and practices.

The last step to become a planning supervisor is the actual position. As a planning supervisor, one can expect to recruit and train employees and maintain communications between all levels at the agency. They will inform the Board of Trustees on the condition of the agency and represent the agency on regional and local boards. They will devise a budget, implement strategies for planning projects, and present those strategies to local and state boards.

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