Town Planning Assistant

Job Description:

Town planning assistants process applications, give advice about regulations and carry out design work and office administration.

Job Category:
Real Estate

What you will do:

In your day-to-day tasks you could:

  • prepare reports for internal and external publications
  • record minutes at meetings
  • build and manage technical libraries, filing systems and databases
  • draw up plans using computer aided design software
  • carry out data surveys, like traffic impact assessments
  • supply information and data to planners for applications
  • record the progress and outcomes of planning applications
  • organise public meetings
  • answer enquiries about application procedure


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • maths skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • business management skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • excellent verbal communication skills (leadership skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Town Planning Assistant, you typically don’t need specific subjects, but having a strong educational background and relevant skills can be beneficial for pursuing a career in town planning. Town Planning Assistants work with town planners and local authorities to assist in various aspects of urban and regional planning. Here’s a list of subjects and skills that can be helpful for this role:

  1. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for a Town Planning Assistant, as you will be involved in preparing reports, communicating with colleagues and the public, and assisting in public consultations.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for tasks such as data analysis, budgeting, and working with statistics in planning projects.
  3. Geography: A solid understanding of geography can be beneficial, as town planning involves knowledge of land use, spatial relationships, and urban development.
  4. Environmental Science: Familiarity with environmental science can be helpful for understanding the impact of planning decisions on the environment.
  5. Computer Skills: Proficiency in using planning software, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and databases is often required for data analysis and map preparation.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You can do a degree before applying for a job as an assistant.

Subjects include:

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


You can take a college course to learn some of the skills needed for the job, which may help when applying for a trainee position. In the UK, for example, relevant courses include:

  • Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment
  • Diploma in Civil Engineering for Technicians
  • Level in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction


You can get into this job through a town planning assistant higher apprenticeship.

This typically takes 24 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.

Direct Application

You’ll usually need to have studied subjects like geography, graphic design, business studies, English, environmental studies or economics to apply directly for jobs. Some employers may ask for a degree.

Career tips

You may have an advantage if you have experience in:

  • customer service
  • administration
  • computer-aided design (CAD)
  • construction
  • surveying

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings attending events or appointments.

You could work in an office.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to team leader or move up to technician level. With further study, you could become a fully qualified town planner.

You could also set up your own business and offer consultancy in areas like planning law and sustainable design.