Plan examiners and planning managers work in the construction and building sector. They work closely with engineering colleagues, including building inspectors, construction engineers, design specification inspectors, and environmental planners. These planning professionals are responsible for many important aspects of this industry, from zoning to structure designs to local codes. Plan examiners' duties typically include:
Analyzing plans for buildings and other structures
Ensuring plans meet building code requirements
Determine if a structure can meet engineering demands of a site
Determine whether a building is environmentally suited to a site
Planning Job Education Requirements
To thrive in this field, plan examiners require a combination of education, experience, and hands-on job training. For education, employers require planning professionals to have at least a high school diploma, and increasingly many also require an associate or bachelor's degree with a focus on engineering or architecture. Many plan examiners enter the field with experience working as carpenters, construction workers, or in other skilled trades. Since job requirements can vary greatly among different localities, plan examiners receive extensive training on the job, where they become fluent in local building codes and standards. Some states also require specific licenses and certifications.
Planning Job Market
Over the next decade, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 12 percent for plan examiners. This is about average for all occupations. A national need to improve construction and engineering quality for new buildings and a concern for public safety should contribute to this job growth. The government will drive some of the greatest growth within this industry. Plan examiners with construction-related work experience that will help them better excel in their jobs will have a competitive edge.
Plan examiners who work for larger organizations are likely to see less fluctuation in employment and job availability over the next decade. Self-employed planning professionals may be more negatively affected by the job market. As of 2012, the BLS indicated that 11 percent of these professionals were self-employed.
Planning Job Salary Information
According to the BLS, plan examiners earn an average of $53,500 per year. Professionals at the lowest 10 percent of this range earn under $32,000 per year, while those at the highest 10 percent of the range earn over $84,000 annually. Work hours for plan examiners are generally normal business hours, though during busy times, they may be required to work overtime or during evenings and weekends.