Copyright

Be a Planning Officer: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a planning officer. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in business.

View 3 Popular Schools »

Do I Want to Be a Planning Officer?

Planning officers specialize in the design and implementation of strategic management plans for businesses in all types of industries to increase their efficiency and profits. Similar to management analysts or management consultants, these professionals might examine company financial or marketing data, interview employees and observe business procedures and practices. They then develop business strategies using the information they find. They might also consult with management after their plans have been implemented to make sure they are working as expected.

Planning officers and management analysts might be self-employed, which means they can decide their own work schedule, but they also have the stress of finding enough clients to earn a living. These officers also must travel frequently, since they often spend time at their clients' businesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities are expected to increase for management analysts more than average at 19% between 2012 ad 2022.

Job Requirements

A bachelor's degree is the first step on the road to becoming a planning officer; however, many companies prefer applicants who hold master's degrees. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is commonplace among employees in the field. The following table contains the main requirements for being a planning officer, as noted in a January 2013 search of job postings on CareerBuilder.com:

Common Requirements
Degree Level Bachelor's degree generally required; some positions may require a graduate degree
Degree Field Business or related field such as marketing or finance
Experience Many employers require 5+ years of experience
Computer Skills Financial, spreadsheet and/or project management software
Key Skills Communication skills, analytical skills, detail-oriented

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Becoming a planning officer begins with earning a bachelor's degree. Students may choose to earn degrees in business, marketing or other majors related to strategic planning. Bachelor of Business Administration programs, for example, equip students with the fundamental skills needed for careers in business. Courses may include marketing, international business, financial planning, accounting, operations management and business analytics.

Success Tip:

  • Complete an internship while in college. An internship provides real-world professional experience that can prove useful for securing a job upon graduation. Even lower-level positions in strategic planning often require at least a year of previous experience.

Step 2: Earn a Master's Degree

According to January 2013 job listings on CareerBuilder.com, many employers prefer to hire strategic planning officers or managers who hold Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. MBA programs generally take two years to complete. Some schools offer MBA programs with concentrations in strategic planning. These programs prepare students to work independently and collaboratively in the development of comprehensive business plans.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

Aspiring planning officers may benefit from gaining applicable work experience, such as a business administration or strategic planning coordinator position. Working in a demanding setting, such as a consulting or investment firm, is an ideal way to obtain knowledge and connections in the industry. Such positions also provide workers with the hands-on, industry-specific experience necessary for finding employment as a planning officer.

Step 4: Obtain Employment as a Planning Officer

Planning officers may find employment in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, technology and any setting that requires strategic planning. Employers prefer applicants who demonstrate strong communication skills and creative problem-solving processes. Since planning officers are responsible for the overall design of businesses' procedures, they must be versed in all aspects of business, including finance, marketing and management.

Step 5: Get Voluntary Certification

The Association for Strategic Planning offers the Strategic Planning Professional (SPP) credential to qualified candidates in the business planning field. The eligibility requirements for SPP certification include possession of a college degree or five years of work experience. Applicants must also have two years of experience in an internal planning role or as a junior external planning consultant. After satisfying these requirements, candidates must pass a certification exam. SPPs must recertify every three years by passing an exam or completing six continuing education units.

Show me popular schools

Related to Be a Planning Officer: Education and Career Roadmap

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Warrant Officer: Salary Info, Duties and Requirements

A warrant officer is a United States Military official ranked W-1 to W-5 who serves as an expert in a specialized technical...

Chief Tax Officer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

A corporation's chief tax officer oversees all tax reporting and ensures compliance with government regulations. This financial...

Sales and Services Officer: Job Description and Requirements

A sales and services officer is a customer-facing professional in the banking industry. A licensed professional, he or she...

Life Care Planning Certification and Certificate Program Info

Examine the certificate programs and certification options that are related to life care planning. Continue reading for...

Development Officer: Job Description and Education Requirements

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Interior Design - Green Design

    What is your highest level of education?

  • School locations:
    • Ohio (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Construction Management

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Architectural History
      • Environmental Design
      • Landscape Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisville include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Architecture
      • Urban and Regional Planning

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics