10 Careers In Planning That Pay Well

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 26, 2021 | Published January 22, 2021

Updated March 26, 2021

Published January 22, 2021

Planning is a skill that is useful in many aspects of your life and work. There are some careers where planning is a core requirement. These positions often require you to manage people, projects and scheduling. In this article, we discuss how planning is an important aspect of many roles and then provide careers where planning is a central component.

Related: How To Implement Strategic Planning (With Examples)

What are planning jobs?

Jobs in planning involve using the planning process to accomplish specialized goals. When you need to determine how to reach a goal, planning is the process you use to get there. People in this field can envision what their project will look like when it's done and evaluating what they need to do to reach their goal. Planning can involve:

  • Determining what tasks are required to accomplish the goal

  • Estimating the amount of time each task should take

  • Evaluating what material and personnel resources you need

  • Creating a budget to cover costs

  • Developing a schedule to best use your resources

  • Outlining milestones and other progress indicators

Jobs in planning use this process to oversee projects and often manage people and resources to meet project requirements. There are planning positions in many fields and industries, including education, event management, government and retail.

Related: The Key Differences between Short- and Long-Term Planning

Highest-paying planning jobs

Below you will find 10 careers in planning that pay more than $35,000 per year. Note that the salaries listed were populated using data from Indeed Salaries:

1. Wedding planner

National average salary: $36,612 per year

Primary duties: Wedding planners, or wedding consultants, help their clients organize and design entire weddings or specific wedding events. During an initial consultation, they will work with their clients to understand what kind of wedding they want, their budget and what packages will best match the client's needs. Once they determine their client's needs and goals, wedding planners schedule meetings to tour venues and vendors , negotiate contracts , organize payment and delivery , schedule the printing of invitations, cards and programs, and manage wedding day activities.

They should be very organized, detail-oriented and creative, with excellent time management. Bridal consultants should also have superior communication, customer service and negotiating skills. Wedding planners should be comfortable with problem-solving and be proficient in productivity software, like Microsoft Office.

2. Event coordinator

National average salary: $47,183 per year

Primary duties: Event coordinators oversee the planning, logistics and implementation of many kinds of events. They may work as a contractor or directly for venues, including hotels, convention centers and historical sites, to help clients organize many kinds of events. Event coordinators determine their client's budget and work with vendors to provide catering, entertainment and staff. Some of the most common skills event coordinators need to be successful include time management, contract negotiation, budgeting and financial reporting, active listening skills, problem-solving and staff management.

3. Program coordinator

National average salary: $47,289 per year

Primary duties: Program coordinators work in a variety of fields, particularly in healthcare, education, child care and assisted living. Program coordinators are in charge of the policies and procedures, budget, staff, communications and marketing for a specific program. They determine the activities a program offers, delegate tasks to staff members and work closely with marketing to reach their audience. They build a budget based on the services the program provides and oversee grant submissions and continuing sponsorships. Program managers need to be able to work with diverse groups of people and be familiar with office and financial software.

4. Community relations manager

National average salary: $50,951 per year

Primary duties: Community relations managers act as liaisons between an organization and its local community. They often develop strategies and programs to support the people in the area, such as working with nonprofits, media companies and other community organizations. Community relations managers use these relationships to build goodwill in the community and bring positive attention to the company. They should have excellent presentation skills, be able to manage a team and have experience in marketing. They work with diverse groups of people and seek to connect community support with business goals.

5. Executive assistant

National average salary: $57,209 per year

Primary duties: Executive assistants often work with senior-level management by scheduling meetings, greeting visitors, taking messages and often managing travel arrangements. While many of their duties are similar to administrative assistants or secretaries, they may be required to maintain higher levels of confidentiality because they work closely with C-suite executives. Executive assistants are often the primary point of contact between the executive and the rest of the staff, as they often write memos and manage the executive's daily agenda.

Other duties that executive assistants may perform include taking minutes during meetings, managing other clerical staff, tracking expenses, developing reports, and organizing and maintaining the office files. They often work with spreadsheets, word processors, scheduling programs and human resources tools. Executive assistants should have excellent written and verbal communication skills, be highly organized and be discrete with confidential information.

6. District manager

National average salary: $66,385 per year

Primary duties: District managers supervise the overall operations of retail stores. They make sure that individual stores meet their sales goals and run efficiently. District managers should be effective, creative problem-solvers, have excellent communication skills and have a comprehensive understanding of the industry. They travel frequently to visit the stores in their territory and often hire individual store managers. District managers should also be comfortable designing, analyzing and making decisions based on financial reports.

7. Urban planner

National average salary: $67,513 per year

Primary duties: Urban planners, or city planners, help communities determine how to best use their land and resources. They advise on how to build infrastructure and manage community growth, as well as designing and approving site proposals. Urban planners often work with other professionals and seek to balance a community's growth, culture and environmental impacts.

Their work often involves working with other professionals and community leaders, complex decision-making, inspections and creating and analyzing reports. Many urban planning tools are digital, so they need to be comfortable working with many types of databases, word processors, spreadsheets and project management platforms.

8. Operations manager

National average salary: $72,571 per year

Primary duties: Operations managers are responsible for high-level human resources duties, including hiring, productivity, quality control and occupational safety. They often work closely with the director to design an operational budget and performing audits. Operations managers design, implement and review workflows, including information flow and management reporting. They write and deliver performance reviews, which they use to implement employee awards or performance plans. Operations managers may also work closely with operations vendors to negotiate contracts and track the quality of their service.

Operations managers should be familiar with budgeting and reporting software, as well as human resources tools. They are usually resourceful problem-solvers and work closely with senior management to ensure that operations policies and procedures align with the organization's values and mission. Operations managers should be highly analytical and readily transition between tasks.

9. Project manager

National average salary: $85,150 per year

Primary duties: Project managers plan and oversee the completion of key projects. They work with clients to understand the budget, timeline and scope of a project. Once they understand the parameters of a project, they develop a schedule, delegate tasks and work with vendors to execute the project. Project managers often communicate with many different stakeholders in each project, including clients, vendors, employees, contractors, community leaders and upper management. They must be excellent communicators, as well as highly organized and analytical. Project managers should be flexible problem-solvers and able to follow extensive documentation and reporting requirements.

Read More: What Is a Project Manager?

10. Architect

National average salary: $113,154 per year

Primary duties: Architects design buildings that meet a client's budget and specifications, while implementing safety, construction and permitting regulations. They lead the project through design development, then negotiate with contractors and vendors to implement the building plans. They manage project documentation, such as submitting permits and performing architectural studies. Architects use hand-drafted and computer-aided design (CAD) programs to create building designs. While much of their work is in the office, architects often have to travel to construction sites.

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