Transportation Planners

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Prepare studies for proposed transportation projects. Gather, compile, and analyze data. Study the use and operation of transportation systems. Develop transportation models or simulations.

Common job titles of Transportation Planners include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 75% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 25% said they needed a Master's Degree.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Wondering what Transportation Planners REALLY do throughout a day at work? Perhaps you should know what you’ll be doing all day before pursuing a career. So here are some tasks that Transportation Planners can be found doing during the work day. Hover over each task for information about relevance and importance. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that have similar tasks.

Essential Tasks

Regular Tasks

    Prepare reports or recommendations on transportation planning.

    Prepare or review engineering studies or specifications.

    Prepare necessary documents to obtain planned project approvals or permits.

    Evaluate transportation project needs or costs.

    Design new or improved transport infrastructure, such as junction improvements, pedestrian projects, bus facilities, or car parking areas.

    Interpret data from traffic modeling software, geographic information systems, or associated databases.

    Recommend transportation system improvements or projects, based on economic, population, land-use, or traffic projections.

    Collaborate with engineers to research, analyze, or resolve complex transportation design issues.

    Review development plans for transportation system effects, infrastructure requirements, or compliance with applicable transportation regulations.

Occasional Tasks

    Analyze information related to transportation, such as land use policies, environmental impact of projects, or long-range planning needs.

    Define regional or local transportation planning problems or priorities.

    Design transportation surveys to identify areas of public concern.

    Develop computer models to address transportation planning issues.

    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.

    Analyze information from traffic counting programs.

    Direct urban traffic counting programs.

    Represent jurisdictions in the legislative or administrative approval of land development projects.

    Evaluate transportation-related consequences of federal or state legislative proposals.

    Collaborate with other professionals to develop sustainable transportation strategies at the local, regional, or national level.

    Produce environmental documents, such as environmental assessments or environmental impact statements.

    Define or update information such as urban boundaries or classification of roadways.

    Develop or test new methods or models of transportation analysis.

What Tools and Technologies do Transportation Planners use?

The future of work is gonna be… techy🤖. No matter the career path, you’ll have to understand what the experts use to get the job done. Employers want to see practical experience with these tools and technologies. Use these lists to figure out what tools you need to learn and see trends about up and coming tech. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that use similar tools.


Photocopying equipment

Personal computers

Multi-line telephone systems

Laser facsimile machines

Laptop computers

Desktop computers

Blueprint machines


Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign

Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop

Autodesk AutoCAD

Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

Bentley MicroStation

All Technologies

Caliper TransCAD

ESRI ArcGIS software

Geographic information system GIS software

IBM SPSS Statistics

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Project

Microsoft Visual Basic

Microsoft Word

Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management


Structured query language SQL

Citilabs Cube


Crash Mapping Analysis Tool CMAT

Dowling Associates TRAFFIX

ESRI ArcView

Iteris Turbo Architecture


McTrans HCS+


Quadstone Paramics

Roundabout Delay RODEL

Strong Concepts TEAPAC

Texas Transportation Institute TTI Progression Analysis and Signal System Evaluation Routine PASSER

Traffic signal software


Visual Solutions VisSIM

Web browser software

What Skills Do Transportation Planners Need to Have?

Let’s be real… take a look in the mirror! Do you have the what it takes to join the other Transportation Planners? The Skills? The Ability to succeed? If so, and you enjoy using these skills, then this job is for you. If not, GOOD NEWS, you can always pick up a new skill if you’re willing to put in the effort 💪


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.

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.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Teaching others how to do something.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Everything Transportation Planners Should Know…

Transportation Planners typically have vast knowledge of the subjects below. Think about this a lot… if you’re not a fan of the subjects, chances are this career isn’t for you. But, there’s plenty of time to learn and continue to learn throughout your career 🎓



Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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.


Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


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.

Law and Government

Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

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.

Building and Construction

Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

Real People, Real Stories

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