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Town planner

Alternative titles for this job include Spatial planner, planner, urban designer, planning officer

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Town planner

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).

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

More Information


You could do a chartered town planner degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

Most people following this route have:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


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.

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.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

You could:

  • 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

Working environment

You could work in an office.

Your working environment may be you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 7 Apprentice Town Planner

  • Wage: £28,000 a year Annually

Apprentice Planning Officer

  • Wage: £23,337 a year Annually
  • Location: County Hall, Maidstone, Kent

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a Town planner?

Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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