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Top 10 Senior Planner Certifications

This article outlines the best certifications for senior planners, providing information on the requirements and benefits of each.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for senior planners in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise that is required to effectively manage complex projects. They also provide employers with an assurance that the individual has the necessary skills and qualifications to successfully lead projects from start to finish. Additionally, certifications can provide a competitive edge when competing for jobs against other candidates who may not have the same credentials. Finally, certifications can help to increase salary and career advancement opportunities, as employers often value certified professionals more highly than those without formal qualifications.

This article reviews the top certifications for Senior Planners, highlighting how they can help further a senior planner's career.

What are Senior Planner Certifications?

Senior Planner certification is a professional designation that recognizes planners who have achieved expertise in the field of urban and regional planning. This certification is offered through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), which is the professional institute for certified planners in the United States. Achieving this certification requires a combination of education, experience, and passing an examination.

The senior planner certification can be beneficial for those wishing to pursue a career in urban or regional planning. It can help demonstrate to potential employers that an individual has attained a high level of knowledge and experience in their field, as well as provide opportunities to pursue new and advanced roles within the industry. Furthermore, earning this certification may make it easier for individuals to obtain higher positions, such as director-level roles or managerial positions. Additionally, it may also help with salary negotiation when looking for a new job or promotion.

In addition to providing benefits to individuals seeking employment, having senior planner certification can also benefit organizations by helping them attract experienced professionals with demonstrated proficiency in their field. This can lead to improved processes and outcomes at an organization due to employees’ increased knowledge and experience in their respective areas of expertise. Ultimately, having certified professionals on staff can help organizations achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively than if they had only employed non-certified personnel.

Pro Tip: When considering senior planner certification, look for programs that are accredited by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). This accreditation ensures that the program meets AICP standards and provides you with a high-quality education in planning. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire certified planners, making it a valuable credential to have.

Related: What does a Senior Planner do?

Top 10 Senior Planner Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Senior Planners today.

1. Certified Senior Planner (CSP)

Certified Senior Planner (CSP) is a professional certification offered by the National Association of Professional Gerontologists (NAPG). It is designed to recognize those individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and skill in the field of gerontology. The CSP credential demonstrates an individual’s commitment to providing quality services to seniors, their families, and other stakeholders.

It typically takes about one year for an individual to complete all the requirements necessary for obtaining the CSP credential. To become certified, applicants must first pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as aging trends, long-term care planning, retirement planning, financial planning, and elder law. Once they have passed the exam, they must then complete at least 30 hours of continuing education in gerontology and related fields within two years of passing the exam.

The cost of obtaining the CSP credential varies depending on factors such as location and whether or not you are already a NAPG member. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $200-$500 to become certified.

In addition to passing the exam and completing continuing education requirements, applicants must also submit proof of professional experience in gerontology or related fields. This may include letters of recommendation from employers or colleagues attesting to your knowledge and skills in this area.

Overall, obtaining the Certified Senior Planner credential is an excellent way for professionals in this field to demonstrate their expertise and dedication to providing quality services for seniors and their families.

2. Certified Professional in Business Analysis (CPBA)

Certified Professional in Business Analysis (CPBA) is a professional certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). The CPBA certification is designed to recognize and validate individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience in business analysis. It is an internationally recognized standard for business analysts, project managers, and other professionals who are involved in the development of organizational solutions.

The CPBA certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in business analysis through an exam that covers topics such as requirements gathering, process modeling, stakeholder management, solution assessment, and more. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within three hours.

To qualify for the CPBA exam, applicants must have at least seven years of documented work experience in business analysis or a related field. They must also have earned at least 900 hours of documented business analysis experience within the past five years. Applicants should also possess a minimum of 35 contact hours of formal education in business analysis or related fields.

The cost for taking the CPBA exam is $385 USD (plus applicable taxes). This fee includes access to the online practice test as well as one attempt at the actual exam. If you need to retake the exam, there is an additional fee of $200 USD (plus applicable taxes).

Once you pass the CPBA exam, you will receive your official certificate from IIBA within two weeks. Your certificate will be valid for three years from the date it was issued. After this time period has expired, you will need to renew your certification by completing 60 Continuing Development Units (CDUs) over a three-year period before your expiration date.

3. Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)

Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) is a professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is one of the most widely recognized and respected project management certifications in the world. The PMP certification demonstrates an individual's commitment to project management excellence and their ability to effectively manage projects of all sizes and complexity.

The PMP certification process typically takes about 6-12 months, depending on an individual’s experience level and the amount of time they are able to dedicate to studying for the exam. To be eligible for the PMP certification, individuals must have at least 4500 hours of project management experience over the last 8 years, with 35 contact hours of formal education in project management.

To get certified as a PMP, individuals must first apply online through PMI’s website. Once accepted into the program, applicants will need to complete an application form that includes information about their professional background and experience. After submitting this form, applicants will then need to take a 200-question multiple choice exam that covers topics such as project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & controlling, and closing. Upon passing this exam with a score of at least 70%, applicants will receive their official PMP Certification from PMI.

The cost of getting certified as a PMP varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of PMI. For non-members, it costs $555 USD for the application fee plus $405 USD for the exam fee. For members of PMI, it costs $405 USD for the application fee plus $375 USD for the exam fee.

4. Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

A Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is a professional certification offered by the Scrum Alliance. It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated an understanding of the concepts and principles of Scrum, and the ability to apply them in real-world situations.

To become a CSM, you must complete a two-day training course with an authorized Scrum Alliance trainer. After completing the course, you must pass an online assessment to receive your certification. The cost for the course varies depending on location and instructor but typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 USD.

The CSM certification is valid for two years from the date of issue and can be renewed by taking another two-day refresher course with an authorized Scrum Alliance trainer or by earning 16 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). CEUs are earned through activities such as attending conferences, writing articles or books on Scrum, or teaching courses related to Scrum. The cost for renewing your certification is typically around $500 USD.

5. Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM)

Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM) is a professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of agile project management. The CAPM provides a comprehensive framework for managing projects in an agile environment, and it is intended to be used as a guide for developing, executing, and delivering successful projects.

The CAPM certification requires that applicants have at least 1,500 hours of project experience or 23 contact hours of formal education in project management. Applicants must also pass an exam consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions. The exam takes three hours to complete and covers topics such as agile project management principles, processes, tools and techniques; stakeholder engagement; team dynamics; communication; risk management; and quality assurance.

To get the CAPM certification, you need to submit an application with PMI and pay the applicable fee. The fee varies depending on whether you are a PMI member or not. For non-members, the fee is $300 USD while members pay $225 USD. Once your application has been approved, you can register for the exam online through Prometric or Pearson VUE test centers. After passing the exam, you will receive your official CAPM certificate within 4-6 weeks.

Overall, getting Certified Agile Project Manager (CAPM) can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on how quickly you can complete all requirements including gaining experience hours or taking formal education courses in project management if needed.

6. Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification is a professional certification program that teaches the principles of Lean and Six Sigma, two popular methodologies used to improve business processes. It is designed for professionals who want to become experts in process improvement and learn how to apply Lean and Six Sigma principles to their organization.

The certification generally takes about 4-6 months to complete, depending on the depth of knowledge desired. The program consists of classroom instruction, online learning modules, and project work. During the course, participants will learn about topics such as process mapping, data analysis techniques, problem solving tools, and change management strategies.

To get certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, individuals must first pass an exam administered by an accredited body such as ASQ or IASSC. The exam typically covers topics such as process improvement methodology, quality control tools, statistical analysis techniques, and project management fundamentals. Once the exam is passed successfully, individuals can then apply for their certification from the accrediting body.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on the accrediting body chosen and other factors such as whether or not you need additional training courses or materials. Generally speaking however, it can cost anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 USD to obtain your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification.

7. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)

The Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) is an internationally recognized certification for healthcare quality professionals. It is designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of those who work in the field of healthcare quality and performance improvement. The CPHQ certification is awarded by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ).

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including a minimum of two years of experience in healthcare quality or performance improvement, a bachelor’s degree or higher, and successful completion of the CPHQ examination.

The CPHQ exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as patient safety, risk management, data collection and analysis, performance measurement and improvement, leadership development, and regulatory compliance. The exam takes approximately 4 hours to complete.

The cost for taking the CPHQ exam is $395 for NAHQ members and $495 for non-members. Additionally, there are several study materials available to help prepare for the exam including books, online courses, webinars, practice tests and workshops.

8. Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is a professional certification program offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). It is designed to recognize experienced business analysts who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience in the field. The CBAP certification is one of the most highly sought after certifications in the business analysis profession.

The CBAP certification process requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in seven core areas of business analysis: Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring, Elicitation & Collaboration, Requirements Life Cycle Management, Strategy Analysis, Requirements Analysis & Design Definition, Solution Evaluation, and Underlying Competencies. To be eligible for the CBAP certification, applicants must have at least 7500 hours of documented work experience in business analysis within the past 10 years.

It typically takes 3-6 months to complete the application process and obtain your CBAP certification. During this time you will need to complete an online application form and submit supporting documents such as your resume and references. Once your application has been approved you will be required to take an exam which consists of 150 multiple choice questions that cover all seven core areas of business analysis listed above. You must pass this exam with a score of 70% or higher in order to receive your certification.

The cost for the CBAP certification varies depending on where you live and how you choose to pursue it. The IIBA offers several different packages which range from $450-$1000 USD depending on what type of study materials you choose to purchase along with your application fee.

9. Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE)

Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE) is a professional certification that demonstrates a high level of knowledge and experience in the field of process design engineering. This certification is offered by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The CPDE certification is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the areas of process design, plant layout, safety systems, and equipment selection.

The CPDE exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as process design fundamentals, plant operations, safety systems, and equipment selection. The exam typically takes about two hours to complete and must be taken at an ASME-approved testing center.

In order to be eligible for the CPDE certification, applicants must have at least five years of professional experience in the field of process design engineering. Applicants must also submit a written application detailing their experience and qualifications.

The cost for taking the CPDE exam varies depending on the country in which it is taken. In the United States, it typically costs between $400-$500 USD.

10. American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is a professional institute that provides certification to individuals who have met the educational, experience, and examination requirements for becoming a certified planner. The AICP certification is recognized by the American Planning Association (APA) as the only nationally-recognized professional planning certification in the United States.

In order to become an AICP certified planner, an individual must have a degree from an accredited college or university in urban and regional planning or a related field; at least three years of full-time professional planning experience; and pass an exam administered by the APA. The exam consists of multiple choice questions and essay questions that assess knowledge of planning principles, techniques, and practices.

The process of becoming an AICP certified planner typically takes about two years to complete. During this time, applicants must complete their degree, gain professional experience, and prepare for the exam. Once all requirements are met, applicants can submit their application to take the exam.

The cost of becoming an AICP certified planner varies depending on the applicant's situation. Generally speaking, it costs between $300-$400 to register for the exam; there may also be additional fees associated with obtaining transcripts or other required documents. Additionally, some states require planners to pay annual fees in order to maintain their certification status.

Do You Really Need a Senior Planner Certificate?

The answer to whether or not you need a senior planner certificate depends on the type of work that you are looking to do. If you are looking to become a certified professional in the field of urban and regional planning, then yes, it is important that you obtain a senior planner certificate. This certification will not only demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the principles of urban and regional planning, but will also give employers confidence in your ability to perform the duties associated with this role.

A senior planner certificate is typically offered through accredited universities or colleges. During your studies, you will learn about topics such as land use, transportation planning, community development and sustainability. You will also gain an understanding of how local governments operate and how they interact with various stakeholders in order to create effective policies. Once you have completed your coursework, you will be required to pass an exam in order to receive your certification.

While obtaining a senior planner certificate is beneficial for those interested in pursuing a career in urban and regional planning, it is not necessary for everyone. For instance, if you are simply looking for ways to supplement your existing skillset or would like to gain more experience working with local governments, then it may not be necessary for you to obtain this certification. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what type of work you want to do and whether or not having a senior planner certification would be beneficial for achieving your goals.

Related: Senior Planner Resume Examples

FAQs About Senior Planner Certifications

1. What certifications do I need to become a senior planner?

Answer: Depending on your field, you may need to obtain one or more of the following certifications: Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP), Certified Wedding Planner (CWP), Event Management Professional (EMP) or Professional Bridal Consultant (PBC).

2. How long does it take to become certified as a senior planner?

Answer: The amount of time needed to become certified depends on the type of certification and the number of courses you will have to complete. Generally, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on your particular situation.

3. What is the cost associated with obtaining a senior planner certification?

Answer: Costs vary depending on which certification you are seeking and what type of program you are enrolled in. Generally, programs range from $500-$2,000 for course materials and exam fees.

4. Do I have to renew my senior planner certification?

Answer: Yes, most certifications require renewal every two or three years in order to remain valid. This typically involves completing continuing education credits and/or participating in professional development activities.

5. Are there any benefits associated with becoming a certified senior planner?

Answer: Yes! Becoming certified as a senior planner can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs and make you more marketable in the industry overall. Additionally, having this credential may also provide access to exclusive networking opportunities and discounts on industry events or conferences.