Job Description

The Whatcom County Planning and Development Services Department is seeking to fill the position of Planner I.  This position provides entry level professional planning services to ensure growth and development occurs in a manner that addresses public health, safety, welfare, and quality of life for citizens of Whatcom County. This Planner I position will be assigned to work at the Permit Center front counter and provide excellent customer service to citizens seeking to submit building and land use permits and applications.

This is an excellent opportunity for a recent graduate seeking professional work experience.  Although this position requires one year of experience, consideration will be given to those not fully satisfying the experience requirement.  See Supplemental Information below for more information.

Essential Job Duties:

  • Reviews permit applications to ensure accuracy, completeness and compliance with legal standards and requirements.
  • Provides information to the public on departmental activities, answering questions related to building, zoning land use regulations and permit processes and requirements.
  • Organizes, coordinates and facilitates the planning and development process, as assigned.
  • Exercises independent judgment in analyzing problems, issues and situations. Works under general supervision.
  • Represents Whatcom County by maintaining a professional approach and demeanor in all activities.

Initial area of assignment: Permit Center

Supervisor: Administrative Manager

Hours of Work: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 5 PM

Please review the Job Description for more information.


Requires a Bachelor’s degree in Planning, or a related field, AND one year of increasingly responsible, paid, professional experience **.

A Master’s degree in a related field can be substituted for up to six months of experience.

Experience with permit tracking software, presentation software, geographical positioning systems and geographic information systems is preferred.

Knowledge of ecological systems similar to Whatcom County is preferred.

Knowledge of and experience working with local and state governments and agencies is preferred.

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • Clear written and verbal communication skills.
  • A proven ability to provide excellent and timely customer service.
  • Experience working directly with the public in a customer service role.

**Consideration will be given to candidates not meeting one year of professional planning experience.  Compensations for those not meeting the minimum qualifications will be reduced until the qualifications are met.  See Supplemental Information for more details.**
At its sole discretion, Whatcom County may consider combinations of education, experience, certifications, and training in lieu of specifically required qualifications contained herein.

Supplemental InformationPay Range:  
Master Collective Bargaining Agreement Range 160.0
$27.77 – $40.06 per hour.

For those not meeting the minimum qualifications for this position, the position would be paid at Range 150.0 which is $26.69 – $38.45 per hour.  The anticipated salary placement would be at the entry rate. Once 1 year of experience was met, the incumbent would be paid at Range 160.0.

Hiring rate depends on qualifications.  This position receives annual pay increases to the next step in the associated salary range (apx. 3.8%) subject to satisfactory performance, in addition to any negotiated Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA). 2023 COLA currently in negotiations.

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