Are you passionate about data analysis and using data to develop strategic, equitable, and sustainable land use policies? If so, the Montgomery County Planning Department is where you want to be! We are currently seeking an experienced Research Planner II for our Research and Strategic Projects (R&SP) Division. The position will be responsible for supporting research on a variety of topics, including demographic conditions, equity issues, the economy, and land use patterns.

Montgomery County Planning Department is part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). For over 90 years, M-NCPPC has had a national reputation for excellence in planning, and today serves a culturally diverse population of over one million people on the border of Washington, D.C. in Montgomery County. We provide county-wide planning functions including long range planning, as well as reviews of development applications in diverse built environments of downtown urban districts, suburban communities, and agricultural areas. We have pioneered nationally modeled programs in agricultural preservation, inclusionary housing, and transit-oriented design. To learn more about who we are and what we do, we encourage you to watch this brief video here( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-t5iTmLNFg&t=1s) and visit our website at  www.montgomeryplanning.org.

We value the safety of our staff and our community. To that end, we have required all our employees to be vaccinated while following all COVID-19 protocols. Person(s) hired for this position must provide proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (with limited religious or medical exceptions.) 

The Research and Strategic Projects (R&SP) Division serves as a “think tank” on a broad range of issues affecting land use and the built environment. Our mission is to foster stewardship of Montgomery County’s natural and built environment and its communities by understanding the past, examining current conditions, and anticipating the future. We do this by providing insightful, understandable and data-driven analysis and policy-relevant research on land use, demographics, economic indicators, real estate and other markets, employment and housing to Planning Department leadership and staff, County officials, businesses and residents, to increase their understanding of our community and inform decisions. Our work helps promote evidence-based, informed and transparent decisions and policies that enhance all aspects of life in Montgomery County.

The person in this role will support a large variety of research projects underway by the team, such as analyzing demographic data to assess equity issues and neighborhood change, analyzing employment trends, developing indicators to track master plan implementation, updating the regional land use forecast, and responding to data requests from other staff and outside agencies. The person should have an enthusiasm for spatial data analysis and using data to inform planning decisions.

Examples of Important Duties

The Research Planner II will be expected to perform the following duties:

  • Analyzing data from a range of sources (e.g., US Census, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate market databases, etc.) to prepare analyses of demographic and employment conditions, countywide and in sub-areas. These analyses require strong attention to detail and ability to analyze and distill complex technical information using ArcGIS and statistical packages such as R Studio.
  • Supporting the development of data tools to understand equity issues by collecting and cleaning data from a variety of sources for display and analysis in ArcGIS Online. Developing story maps to explain the data and findings from the analysis. Collaborating as part of a working group to develop analytical methodologies and refine approaches
  • Leading data collection, cleaning and ongoing data maintenance and quality control efforts for critical research datasets. Examples include verifying establishment addresses for employment data and verifying property characteristics to update the land use file.
  • Creating accurate, easily comprehensible, thoroughly documented charts, maps, and graphics to enhance written products and presentations as appropriate.
  • As requested, completing one-off research assignments for demographic, economic, and land use issues such as a literature review for precedent case studies or demographic data for a particular neighborhood.
  • Writing trend sheets, blog posts, master plan sections and research reports summarizing findings from research. Materials should clearly communicate key findings to a range of audiences.
  • Developing presentations to the Planning Board and other key regional stakeholders.


  • Experienced with using ESRI Arc GIS software suite to map and analyze spatial data.
  • Experienced with data analysis and statistical tools, such as Excel, SPSS, and R Studio

Minimum Qualifications 

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in Planning, Geography, Architecture, Parks and Recreation, Transportation, Urban Design, Engineering, Environmental Science, Public Policy, Economics or any related field.
  2. Two (2) years of progressively responsible professional level planning experience or specific area of assignment such as transportation planning, environmental planning or urban planning.
  3. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted, which together total six (6) years.
  4. Valid driver’s license (depending on area of assignment) in accordance with both State and Commission rules and regulations.  Driver’s license must be unencumbered by restrictions, revocations, suspensions, or points that could limit the employee’s ability to drive Commission vehicles or perform driving duties required by the position of assignment.

Supplemental Information

Class/Specification: Planner II About the Montgomery County Planning Department: 

M-NCPPC offers excellent benefits and competitive salaries. We are conveniently located in downtown Wheaton, MD and easily accessible to Wheaton Metro Station and several bus lines. A commuter stipend is available. Learn about our new LEED Platinum-rated headquarters building https://montgomeryplanning.org/montgomery-parks-and-planning-departments-move-to-new-headquarters-in-downtown-wheaton/!

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate a workplace culture of diversity, equity and inclusion without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, gender identity, or any other non-merit factor.   

About Montgomery County Planning Department

As Montgomery County, Maryland continues to attract an increasingly diverse, technologically savvy, well-educated population, the Montgomery County Planning Department (part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission) focuses its skills and talents to bring high-quality design in both form and function to all areas, from central business districts to rural villages. Montgomery County is home to over one million residents and borders the nation's capital, Washington, DC!

The Department aims to improve quality of life by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for current and future generations. The Planning Department creates great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future. Each community within Montgomery County has a master plan that creates a comprehensive view of land use trends and future development. (Some jurisdictions within Montgomery County—such as the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg and some smaller taxing districts such as Poolesville—have independent planning and zoning authority over land within their boundaries. Contact those jurisdictions directly for information about properties within their borders.)

The 150+ member Planning Department brings regulatory cases, master plans, functional plans and many other initiatives to the Montgomery County Planning Board.