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Design & planning

Town planner

Town planners help shape the way towns and cities develop, and balance the demands on land with the needs of the community.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £80,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; attending events or appointments

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Town planner jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • assessing the effect of new rail links or roads
  • planning for houses and renewable energy generation sites like wind farms
  • redesigning urban spaces and developing parks, woodlands and waterways in a sustainable way
  • conserving old buildings and archaeological sites
  • developing local or national planning policies for government
  • making decisions about planning applications
  • advising the public, businesses and land developers on planning policies, rules and regulations
  • making sure planning rules and regulations are carried out
  • organising meetings to hear feedback from local people

Working environment

You could work in an office.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
University

You'll need a degree or a postgraduate qualification accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Subjects include:

  • planning, environment and development
  • city and regional planning
  • urban planning and property development

You can do postgraduate qualification in planning if you have a degree in an unrelated subject.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information
Work

You could qualify while working as a planning technician or other support staff.

You'll need the backing of your employer and you'll combine practical experience with part-time or distance learning study towards an accredited planning qualification.

Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it useful to get as much work experience as possible. This will give you a better understanding of the career, and the contacts you make may help you to find paid work.

You can search for companies listed by the Royal Town Planning Institute or contact your local council to ask about opportunities.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Royal Town Planning Institute to work towards chartered status, find training opportunities and make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about town planning as a career from the Royal Town Planning Institute.

With experience, you could apply for chartered town planner status, and then become a planner or senior planner. With at least 10 years' experience you could become a senior manager or planning consultant. You could work as a self-employed consultant.

You could also move into environmental management, urban regeneration, recreation management and property development.

You can find out more about town planning as a career from the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of geography
  • the ability to work well with others
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • persistence and determination
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • business management skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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