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Associate Municipal Planner

Jason Nordberg

Tell us about your work--what do you do? On a day to day basis I provide staff support for land use, zoning , and development issues. My department is actively involved in the long term planning of the municipality; we edit and maintain the municipal zoning map and the comprehensive plan. What skills are needed? Analytical (problem solving), communication (written and oral), and map/plan reading skills are essential. Being able to work in a team environment is also important. What was your major? Resource Planning with a minor in Physical Geography How did you get started in your career? An urban planning survey course sparked my interest in the field. The following semester I enrolled in the planning curriculum and accepted an internship in a local planning office. What experience do you need in this job? An Urban, Environmental , or Resource Planning or Geography degree with 1 to 2 years intern/work experience in a professional planning office. Describe your "typical" work day: My typical work day consists of balancing time spent on long-term projects while answering daily requests from staff, elected officials, and the public regarding land use, zoning, and development issues. Twice a month I attend evening plan commission meetings. What is the hardest aspect of your job? The hardest aspect of my job is balancing public opinion with professional knowledge. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? The most rewarding aspect of my job is knowing that I play an active roll in shaping the development of my community. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? The best advice I can give someone considering planning as a career is to read a book on urban planning, take a couple of urban planning courses, follow local planning issues in the newspaper, and/or volunteer or seek an internship in a local planning office. A good source of information for careers in Planning is the Web site at the following URL: http://www.planning.org.