11 Careers in Planning That Pay Well (With Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 10, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Planning skills can be useful in many aspects of life and work, and can help you advance your career in a variety of industries. There are several careers where planning is often a core function of the role and may be a requirement for success. Understanding the types of jobs that rely on strong planning and organizational skills can help you determine if this is the right career path for you. In this article, we explain what planning jobs are, list 11 careers in planning that pay well, and explore the national average salaries and primary duties of each position.

What are planning jobs?

Jobs in planning rely on an individual's ability to coordinate, organize, and schedule to accomplish specialized professional goals. To determine how to reach a goal, you may use your planning skills to design the best method or technique to succeed in your role. Professionals in this field can envision what their project might look like when it's done, and evaluate what's required to reach their goal. Jobs in planning use this process to oversee projects, manage others, and organize resources to meet project requirements.

There are planning positions in many industries, such as education, event management, government, and manufacturing. Here are some duties involved in planning careers:

  • Determining the tasks required to accomplish a goal

  • Estimating the time and resources required for each task

  • Evaluating the personnel resources required for success

  • Creating a budget to cover associated costs

  • Developing a schedule to manage resources

  • Outlining milestones and other progress indicators

  • Overseeing a project's progress and solving problems or obstacles as they arise

11 careers in planning that pay well

If you're interested in pursuing a career in managing people, projects, and schedules, you may be interested in exploring one of these careers in planning that pay well. Here are some planning positions to consider:

1. Wedding planner

National average salary: $42,628 per year

Primary duties: Wedding planners, or wedding consultants, help their clients organize, design, and plan entire weddings or related wedding events such as bridal showers. They work with their clients to understand their vision of the wedding, considering their budget, the desired location, and the expected size of the event. Wedding planners typically research venue and vendor options to present to the client. They may schedule meetings, tours, or tastings to assist in the decision-making process. Planners may help negotiate contracts, organize payment and delivery, and schedule the design and printing of invitations, cards, and programs.

Many planners coordinate wedding day activities, work with the venue staff and vendors, and issue vendor payments as needed to ensure a seamless day for the couple. They rely on strong organizational, problem-solving, and time management skills to produce successful events. Wedding consultants are detail oriented, creative, and have superior communication, customer service, and negotiating skills.

Read more: Learn How To Become a Wedding Planner in 10 Easy Steps

2. Event coordinator

National average salary: $60,890 per year

Primary duties: Similar to wedding planners, event coordinators oversee the planning, logistics, and implementation of events. They may work as a contractor, as part of an agency, or directly for venues, such as hotels, convention centres, golf courses, and restaurants, to help clients organize events. Event coordinators work within a client's budgetary constraints to coordinate vendors for catering, entertainment, and staff. Some of the most common skills successful event planning professionals use are time management, contract negotiation, budgeting, active listening skills, problem solving, and staff management.

Related: How to Get Into Event Planning (With Skills and Tips)

3. Program coordinator

National average salary: $44,960 per year

Primary duties: Program coordinators work in a variety of fields, particularly in health care, education, child care, and assisted living. They typically manage the policies and procedures, budget, staff, communications, and marketing for a specific program. They design programs by determining the associated activities, required staff, and promotional budgets. Program coordinators work closely with a marketing team to reach their audience and may also manage registrations. These professionals oversee budgeting, including grant submissions or sponsorships. Coordinators typically work with diverse groups of people and have familiarity with office and financial software.

4. Community relations coordinator

National average salary: $53,956 per year

Primary duties: Community relations coordinators act as liaisons between an organization and its local community. They often plan and execute strategies and programs to support the people in the area, such as working with non-profits, media companies, and other community organizations. They use relationships to build goodwill in the community and bring positive attention and awareness to the company for which they work. These professionals often work as part of a team and have experience in marketing, public relations, or communications. They may manage marketing budgets, work with designers to develop marketing materials, and execute community marketing events.

5. Executive assistant

National average salary: $55,616 per year

Primary duties: Executive assistants often work with senior-level management to schedule meetings, greet visitors, take messages, manage travel arrangements, and perform related administrative tasks, such as managing the executive's daily agenda. While many of their duties reflect those of administrative assistants, they may be required to maintain higher levels of confidentiality because they work closely with C-suite executives. Other duties may include taking meeting minutes, managing other clerical staff, tracking expenses, developing reports, and maintaining office files. Executive assistants have excellent written and verbal communication skills, perform high levels of organization, and maintain discretion.

6. District manager

National average salary: $59,835 per year

Primary duties: District managers are high-level retail industry planners who supervise the overall operations of retail locations. They ensure individual stores meet sales goals and run efficiently. These individuals are typically effective and creative problem solvers with excellent communication skills and a comprehensive understanding of the industry. The role may involve frequent travel for visiting locations in their territory and can include the hiring of individual store managers. District managers are typically comfortable analyzing and drawing conclusions from financial reports and have a strong understanding of commercial activities and logistics.

7. Urban planner

National average salary: $111,761 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, manage community growth, and design or approve site proposals. City planners often work with other professionals and community leaders to balance a community's growth, culture, and environmental impacts. They may analyze inspections, reports, budgets, and use digital planning tools for decision making and proposal development.

Read more: How to Become an Urban Planner in 5 Steps (With Salary)

8. Operations manager

National average salary: $69,024 per year

Primary duties: Operations managers oversee high-level human resources duties, including hiring, productivity, quality control, and occupational safety. They design, implement, and review workflows to ensure efficient information flow and reporting. These professionals may write and deliver performance reviews to their teams. Operations managers may work closely with vendors to negotiate contracts and track the quality of their service. It's important for these individuals to be resourceful problem-solvers, as they work closely with senior management to ensure that operational policies and procedures align with the organization's mission. This position requires individuals who are highly analytical and can easily transition between tasks.

9. Logistics manager

National average salary: $65,943 per year

Primary duties: Logistics managers supervise and plan the movement, distribution, and storage of supplies or raw materials. Also known as supply chain managers, they plan routes, analyze budgets, process shipments, track deliveries, and manage a team. They maintain reports and inventory records and may track the delivery status of goods in real-time to ensure contracts are being fulfilled. Some may also negotiate contracts with suppliers or manufacturers. Logistics managers may handle multiple projects simultaneously, requiring strong organizational and planning skills. It's important that they can work in high-stakes environments and meet strict deadlines.

Related: 10 Careers in Logistics (With Salaries and Primary Duties)

10. Project manager

National average salary: $77,386 per year

Primary duties: Project managers work in a variety of industries to plan, organize, and direct the completion of key projects. They ensure projects align with the budget, timeline, and original project scope. These professionals manage projects from inception to completion, developing a schedule, delegating tasks, and working with a team for successful execution. It's important for these individuals to have strong communication, organization, and analytical skills to ensure projects perform according to plan. Project managers identify and resolve any issues that arise within the course of a project and follow extensive documentation and reporting requirements.

Read more: How to Become a Project Manager (With Salary Expectations)

11. Architect

National average salary: $93,460 per year

Primary duties: Architects are professionals trained in building design to meet a client's budgets and specifications. They implement safety, construction, and permitting regulations in their design, to ensure the structural integrity of the building. Architects lead the project through design development and may negotiate with contractors and vendors to implement the building plans. These professionals may work as part of a team to submit permits, perform architectural studies, and collaborate with city planners or structural engineers. It's important for architects to have strong computer skills, as they may use computer-aided design (CAD) programs to create building designs.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

Explore more articles