Career Definition for Community Development Administrators
A community development administrator coordinates, plans, manages, and oversees a community's economic, social, and physical growth. Not only does a community development administrator supervise the building of roads, schools, and other public infrastructure, he or she also must provide information and assistance to both public and private developers. A career in community development administration encompasses both the creation and management of such public projects as parks and hospitals.
|Required Education||A bachelor's degree or higher|
|Required Skills||Managerial, communication, decision-making and foresight skills|
|Career Outlook (2016 to 2026)||13% growth for urban and regional planners|
|Median Annual Salary (2017)||$71,490 for urban and regional planners|
Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A career in community development administration requires at least a bachelor's degree, and preferably a master's degree, in a field such as urban planning or community development. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), 71 schools offered master's degree programs in planning in 2016. These programs include classes in urban design, land use, and planning practice.
Besides knowledge of community planning, successful community development administrators must have great managerial and communication skills, allowing them to develop solid relationships with their employees and the public. Community development administrators also must be strong decision makers and have the foresight to create long-term plans.
Career and Economic Outlook
The BLS predicts the number of jobs for urban and regional planners, including community development planners, will increase 13% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. The BLS notes that engineering, consulting, and architectural firms are expected to have greater demand for community development administrators than local and state governments will due to limited government budgets. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for urban and regional planners is $71,490 as of May 2017.
Alternate Career Options
Other careers in this field include:
Architects are licensed design professionals who come up with plans for residential, commercial or public spaces. In addition to drawings, architects may calculate associated costs and construction timelines. They also monitor projects throughout the construction process from ground-breaking to completion. Aspiring architects must complete an approved professional degree program, such as a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program, and work experience, as well as pass the Architect Registration Exam. State licensing and voluntary professional certification may apply. Jobs for architects are predicted to increase 4% from 2016 to 2026, per the BLS, and the median pay rate for these workers was $78,470 in 2017.
Civil engineers develop plans for big, often public, construction projects, like roads and bridges. They also guide a project from design to completion. Civil engineers also have a role in filing the necessary permit applications for the project and preparing cost estimates. They usually hold at least a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Professional licensing is typically required, which includes completion of an ABET-accredited degree program, sufficient work experience, and a passing score on a series of exams. The BLS reports that jobs for civil engineers are expected to increase 11% from 2016 to 2026, and that this occupation paid a median salary of $84,770 in 2017.