Residential Planning Schools provide graduates with the knowledge to plan the requirements of residential communities. A strong understanding of contemporary human needs and wants, along with statutory requirements and restrictions is required to become a residential planner. Residential planners get to apply their analytical abilities, as well as research community trends. This can be a very satisfying career knowing that you have been integral to the improvement of human lives and the development of successful, flourishing communities.

A range of studies resulting in the award of diplomas, certificates, undergraduate, graduate or post-degree certificates are available in the area of residential planning. Graduates often go on to study architecture in more depth.

No matter which qualification you are pursuing, there are common subject areas to residential planning schools. These include:

  • Architecture – building system design and new technologies; construction materials and building techniques

  • Residential planning and community development – human interactions; security and privacy; accessibility; green space and common space; land-use policies; future growth and expansion; potential for new technologies

  • Drafting and Computer-aided design (CAD) – using software for space planning and development; developing drawing skills

  • Transportation planning – parking spaces; public transport access; public transport types and routes

  • Public policy – urban density; green policy; town planning bylaws and regulations for the specified area of development; economic planning and future growth

An important question you need to ask yourself is what work opportunities will residential planning schools provide you with. Will there be opportunities locally, or will you need to move to a new city or state? Can your qualification be used in a range of jobs, or will you have limited work and career progression opportunities?

Fortunately, the skill sets acquired at residential planning schools provide career choices in several industries. These include:

  • Local government planning and policy departments

  • Interior design

  • Land and urban development

  • Landscape design and planning

  • Environmental design

  • Working with architectural teams on design and planning projects

  • Working with civil engineering firms or transport firms and departments

The key to whether a course is right for you is to examine the subject curriculum in detail, and see whether several subjects or topics tug at your imagination and interest. While it can’t all be fun, a good component of the studies at a residential planning school must be really able to hold your interest while develop your craft, whether you enjoy either the technical or the creative aspects more.

Check whether there are any national or state accreditation organizations for the industry you want to work in, and whether they recommend any particular courses of study. Also, check with the Department of Education to see whether your intended college, school, or university has had the study program accredited. Qualifications that are industry preferred and recognized will help you with finding jobs, or help establish credibility if you go into business for yourself.

Consider whether the residential planning schools offer a good component of practical work including assisting with internships with organizations specializing in community and residential planning. A campus and instructors that have industry networking links and personal contacts are important in your development of relationships with prospective employers.  

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