what is a transport planner?

As a transport planner, you specialise in transportation networks and help the government develop long-term transport systems at regional and national levels. Your job involves researching transport-related elements, like road congestion and traffic accidents. You also determine the effects of transportation systems on the economy and the environment. Your job involves looking at the big picture without missing tiny details that affect transportation. For instance, you can develop transport plans that reduce long traffic jams and are economically sound.

Transport planners work with government agencies to develop plans for transport networks and create routes for mass transit, walking, cycling and rail. You apply your knowledge in engineering and technology to create environmentally conscious transport plans. You also allocate resources and supervise infrastructure projects according to the regulations. When you work with a contractor, you evaluate the effectiveness of proposed roads. You also work with other professionals in urban planning to ensure commercial and industrial zones have the appropriate transport infrastructure. Sometimes, your job involves evaluating traffic management schemes in major cities, like parking and their effectiveness in minimising congestion. You also act as an ambassador for promoting environmentally conscious travel options, like cycling, working and public transport.

Would working as a transport planner suit your strategic thinking ability? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a transport planner role.


transport planner jobs

average salary of a transport planner

According to National Careers, the average salary of a transport planner at entry-level is £20,000 per year. Building your skills and gaining experience increases your median salary to £44,000 per year. Your job comes with full employment benefits, like medical and housing allowances. You also enjoy a retirement pension and paid vacations. When you work overtime, you will receive additional pay for the extra hours. Some employers also have end-year bonuses.

how to increase your salary as a transport planner

You can increase your transport planner salary by improving your skills and experience level. You have few transferable skills when you first start, but your salary prospects increase as you gain experience and improve your educational qualifications. As a transport planner, you work in the public or private sector. Transportation planners in private companies have better compensation packages than government agencies. The complexities of the projects also affect your salary prospects. For instance, if you specialise in studying the impact of air travel and airports on the environment, you earn more compared to transport planners dealing with road and rail transport. The location also influences your earnings since the demand and living costs fluctuate. Working on local and community transport networks reduces your salary prospects, but transport planners focused on national transport networks earn more.


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Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches

types of transport planners

Transport planners differ depending on the transport network and specific responsibilities. Some types of transport planners include:

  • road transport planners: as a road transport planner, you evaluate the current road networks and prepare plans for transportation facilities in highways and public transport networks. You recommend ways to ease traffic jams and congestions in urban centres.
  • rail network transport planners: as a rail transport planner, you analyse rail networks and study their environmental impact. If the government plans to construct a new railway system, you review the plans and recommend the best areas that maximise its functionality.
  • pedestrian systems transport planners: as a transport planner, you develop plans to ease pedestrian transport in urban areas. For instance, you recommend the best places for creating walking and cycling pathways.
  • air travel planners: your job is to evaluate the best locations for airports and the environmental impact of air travel. You also assess the economic impacts of airports in the proposed locations and the viability of the projects.


working as a transport planner

When you are a transport planner, you make a significant contribution to transport systems by recommending areas of improvement. Let's explore some duties and the work environments of transport planners.



education and skills

A transport planner needs the following educational qualifications:

  • university: to become a transport planner, you need a degree in related subjects, like civil engineering, town planning, environmental science or economics. You can improve your job prospects with postgraduate qualifications in transport planning. The Transport Planning Society (TPS) approves most transport planning courses.
  • apprenticeship: you can join this profession with a transport planning technician apprenticeship. When you complete the training and work experience, you can move to a transport planner degree apprenticeship.
  • work experience: when you finish the degree courses, you can gain work experience through internships and summer placements. Some graduates join graduate trainee schemes to improve their skills.

skills and competencies

A transport planner needs the following qualities to succeed:

  • negotiation and communication skills: as a transport planner, you have to liaise with different people to get diverse views on the impact of a transport system. You need exceptional communication skills to communicate your views on transport systems and recommendations for changes. Written communication skills are vital for preparing presentations and writing reports. You also assist town planners with negotiating contracts for road construction projects.
  • computer skills: as a transport planner, you use computer skills to evaluate and analyse transport network models. You also use transport planning software to manage transportation systems.
  • numerical and data interpretation skills: your job involves substantial research and data analysis. Aptitude with numbers and comprehending information is vital for statistical analysis.
  • teamwork skills: as a transport planner, you work alongside various professionals and government officials during policy formulation and evaluation of transport systems. You need exceptional people skills to collaborate and complete projects on time.
  • critical thinking skills: you need to be a critical thinker to solve transport-related problems. For instance, after evaluating a transport system and identifying its strengths and weaknesses, you have to find ways to improve on its weakness. During transport infrastructure construction, you work with contractors to promptly solve any arising issues.

Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches
Randstad employer brand photo, internal, people, consultants, branch, branches


FAQs about working as a transport planner

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