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Transportation Planners Career

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 Job Titles Transportation Planners Might Have

  • Planner
  • Planning Director
  • Seaport Planning Manager
  • Transportation Planner

What Transportation Planners Do

  • Prepare reports or recommendations on transportation planning.
  • Recommend transportation system improvements or projects, based on economic, population, land-use, or traffic projections.
  • Participate in public meetings or hearings to explain planning proposals, to gather feedback from those affected by projects, or to achieve consensus on project designs.
  • Define regional or local transportation planning problems or priorities.
  • Analyze and interpret data from traffic modeling software, geographic information systems, or associated databases.
  • Document and evaluate transportation project needs and costs.
  • Review development plans for transportation system effects, infrastructure requirements, or compliance with applicable transportation regulations.
  • Develop design ideas for new or improved transport infrastructure, such as junction improvements, pedestrian projects, bus facilities, and car parking areas.
  • Produce environmental documents, such as environmental assessments or environmental impact statements.
  • Collaborate with engineers to research, analyze, or resolve complex transportation design issues.
  • Prepare necessary documents to obtain project approvals or permits.
  • Prepare or review engineering studies or specifications.
  • Analyze information related to transportation, such as land use policies, environmental impact of projects, or long-range planning needs.
  • Analyze information from traffic counting programs.
  • Develop or test new methods or models of transportation analysis.
  • Develop computer models to address transportation planning issues.
  • Analyze transportation-related consequences of federal and state legislative proposals.
  • Represent jurisdictions in the legislative or administrative approval of land development projects.
  • Direct urban traffic counting programs.
  • Design transportation surveys to identify areas of public concern.

What Transportation Planners Should Be Good At

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

What Transportation Planners Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What Transportation Planners Need to Learn

  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Leaf iconThis career is a green occupation.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $77,020

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.