Town PlannerJob Description:
Town planners help shape the way towns and cities develop, and balance the demands on land with the needs of the community.Job Category:
What you will do:
You may work on projects to:
- Assess the effect of new rail links or roads
- Plan for houses and renewable energy generation sites like wind farms
- Redesign urban spaces and develop parks, woodlands and waterways in a sustainable way
- Conserve old buildings and archaeological sites
- Develop local or national planning policies for government
- Prepare and make decisions about planning applications, plans and proposals
- Advise the public and business professionals on planning rules, regulations and policy
- Research and assess technical information, data and surveys
- Visit sites and attend planning inquiries
- Write reports for politicians, developers and the public
- Knowledge of English language
- Knowledge of Geography
- To be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
Becoming a town planner involves a combination of skills in urban design, geography, policy analysis, and community engagement. While there aren’t strict GCSE subjects required for this career, there are certain subjects that can provide a strong foundation for pursuing a degree and career in town planning, such as:
- Geography: Geography provides insights into human settlements, urban development, land use patterns, and environmental considerations. A strong understanding of geography is fundamental to town planning.
- Mathematics: Town planners often work with data and statistics, perform calculations related to zoning and land use, and assess the feasibility of projects. Strong mathematical skills are beneficial.
- English: Effective communication is essential for writing reports, drafting proposals, and communicating with colleagues and stakeholders. Clear written and verbal communication skills are important for a town planner.
- Environmental Science: This subject can provide an understanding of environmental impacts and sustainability considerations, which are crucial aspects of modern town planning.
- Economics or Business Studies (Optional): Some understanding of economics and business concepts can be helpful when considering the economic feasibility of development projects and urban policies.
- History or Social Studies (Optional): Understanding the historical development of cities and the social factors that shape urban areas can provide valuable context for town planning.
- IT or Computer Science (Optional): Town planners often use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other software tools to analyze and visualize spatial data. Basic IT skills can be advantageous.
- Art or Design (Optional): While not mandatory, having a sense of design and aesthetics can be helpful when considering urban aesthetics, public spaces, and community engagement.
You can get into this job through:
- A university course
- An apprenticeship
- Working towards this role
You’ll need a degree or a postgraduate qualification accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
- 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.
- A degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
You could do a chartered town planner degree apprenticeship.
- For a higher or degree apprenticeship requires higher marks
You could qualify while working as a planning technician or other support role.
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.
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.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work weekends, attend events and appointments.
Career Path & Progression:
- 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.