Regional Planner - Associate or Senior Level

Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) is seeking a creative, collaborative, and versatile planner to join our well-regarded team. This is an opportunity for an associate or senior planner to work on a variety of local and regional planning projects in a positive, well-supported environment. 

For more information visit www.trpc.org or phone 360-956-7575. This position will remain open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application by September 1, 2022.

TRPC supports transportation demand management (TDM) measures such as telework, compressed work weeks, and flexible schedules. A successful candidate can expect to work in the office and at other locations when needed.   

COVID: TRPC follows local, state, and federal guidelines on COVID, which may include, but are not limited to required vaccinations, masking, distancing, and working remotely.   


TRPC is a Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO), council of governments, and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) governed by a 23-member intergovernmental board. The agency is non-regulatory with a mission to “provide visionary, collaborative leadership on regional plans, policies, and issues for the benefit of all Thurston region residents.”    

We are located in Olympia, Washington, approximately 60 miles south of Seattle and 120 miles north of Portland, Oregon. Residents of the region enjoy a high quality of life and reasonable cost of living amid beautiful natural surroundings. With a current county-wide population of around 300,500, we are one of the fastest growing regions in Washington, making our area an exciting place for regional planning. 


The ideal candidate will have: 

  • Diverse experience in: public engagement; working with multiple partners and stakeholders; and working directly with boards or councils.
  • Demonstrated experience with complex transportation, land use, and/or environmental planning studies.
  • A working knowledge of the State’s Growth Management Act and/or Federal transportation legislation and/or other relevant state or federal legislation.
  • A strong desire to serve the public interest.


Associate Planner

  • Three years of experience that provides the applicant with comprehensive knowledge of planning principles, practices, and techniques as they relate to transportation, land use, environmental issues, or other related areas.  

Senior Planner

  • Five years of experience that provides the applicant with comprehensive knowledge of planning principles, practices, and techniques as they relate to transportation, land use, environmental issues, or other related areas.  
  • Two years of project management and experience with budget responsibilities must be included in the five years of experience.

Associate and Senior Planner Positions

  • A bachelor’s degree in urban or regional planning or a related field such as geography, economics, political science, or environmental studies. A master’s degree in planning or related field is preferred.
  • Any demonstrated combination of experience and education which provides the applicant with the required knowledge and abilities, may be substituted.


TRPC currently has a staff of about 20, with ten planning staff, as well as administrative, outreach, GIS and transportation modeling specialists. The successful candidate will work within our team structure to lead a variety of projects relating to regional and local planning.

Planners at the associate level generally work as project managers and/or technical specialists in a particular aspect of planning, although associate planners will have opportunities to work across the spectrum of planning disciplines. Planners at the senior level take on a greater level of responsibility, and work as project managers for high-level and complex projects and/or as high-level technical specialists in a particular aspect of planning.

A successful candidate could expect to:

  • Serve as a working project manager for agency and council member projects and programs.
  • Conduct complex studies related to areas such as land use, transportation, community and economic development, or the environment. May include data collection and analysis to support the studies. 
    • Senior-level work will include greater project complexity and sensitivity.
  • Conduct public involvement and education processes. TRPC seeks to innovate in public engagement and encourages staff creativity in designing outreach efforts.
    • Senior Planners generally develop and implement public outreach strategies.
  • Participate in development of scopes of work for grants, projects, and work programs, including budget estimates and staffing levels.
    • Senior Planners are generally responsible for developing scopes of work and budget estimates.
  • Assist in preparation of grant, training, and technical assistance applications for federal, state, local and other funds to further Council goals and objectives. 
    • Senior Planners are generally responsible for preparing grant applications.
  • Monitor and analyze project and program budgets.
  • Advise appointed and elected officials on public policy issues, planning procedures, comprehensive and special plans, and regulatory ordinances.  
  • Provide technical and administrative staff support for appointed committees, workgroups, and stakeholder groups on planning issues or special studies.
  • Respond to public inquiries with data and information on planning processes and policies.
  • Prepare and present oral and visual reports to Council, committees, community groups, and private organizations.

Senior Planners can also expect to:

  • Monitor emerging State and Federal legislation as it relates to specific projects or programs.
  • Communicate and interact with policy makers, executives and administrators of other organizations at the request of the Executive Director.

Highly qualified candidates will have knowledge of:

  • Project management principles and practices.
  • Planning principles, practices, regulations, and techniques as they relate to one or more functional areas such as land use, economic development, environmental issues, or transportation.
  • Experience in designing and implementing effective public engagement.
  • Local government and political decision-making processes.
  • Comprehensive and regional planning processes.
  • Research methods and practices.
  • Specialized area of planning, such as community and economic development, transportation, sustainability, natural hazards, or forecasting of regional development.
  • Microsoft Office software for document, spreadsheet, and presentation preparation.

And the ability to:

  • Lead and motivate others.
  • Manage projects.
  • Problem solve and provide holistic solutions.
  • Resolve conflict in an open and inclusive manner.
  • Develop and write plans based on an analysis of data and ongoing stakeholder, community, and agency input.
  • Organize and oversee work programs, including monitoring the budget, work schedules, grant requirements, and progress reviews.
  • Communicate effectively (in writing and orally) with individuals and groups regarding complex or controversial planning policies or regulations.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with agency members, planning staff, agency staff, and the community.


TRPC provides generous annual leave and employer-paid medical and dental coverage for its employees. The agency is a member of the Washington State Public Employees Retirement System. TRPC provides employer-paid transit passes and supports commute trip reduction measures such as telework, compressed work weeks, and flexible schedules.  

  • Associate Planner: Hiring range for the position is $5,896 – $7,363 per month depending on qualifications.
  • Senior Planner: Hiring range for the position is $6,671 – $8,331  per month depending on qualifications.


Find full application information and materials at the top of this page, or phone Thurston Regional Planning Council at (360) 956-7575. Email application materials to HR@trpc.org, or mail to 2411 Chandler Court SW, Olympia, WA 98502. 

Thurston Regional Planning Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity throughout the organization. All potential employees will be recruited without regard to sex/gender, race, national origin, religion, marital status, military or veteran status, age, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, genetic information or any other basis prohibited by law. 

If special accommodations to apply for this position are needed, please telephone and ask for our ADA Coordinator. For TDD users, please use the State’s toll-free relay service by calling (800) 833-6388 and ask the operator to dial (360) 956-7575.

To be considered, applicants must submit all the following:

  1. Letter of interest that addresses how your education, experience, knowledge, and abilities make you an ideal candidate for the position
  2. Resume
  3. Completed TRPC application

During the recruitment process, applicants may make inquiries by email to HR@trpc.org. The most qualified applicants will be invited to take part in an interview process.

Reference and criminal background checks are part of TRPC’s recruitment process, subject to state law.