what is a planning job?

working as a planner.

A planner is involved in the management and development of cities, towns, villages and the countryside. You will work towards balancing the conflicting demands of housing, industrial development, agriculture, recreation, transport and the environment in order to continue allowing development to take place.

Planners need to have a genuine interest in the environment and how future developments can have an impact on people’s lives and the surrounding areas. Communication skills are key as you will be dealing with a range of people from architects, members of the public and local and possibly national councillors.

qualifications needed for planning jobs.

Specific degrees in planning can be taken, with the option to add specialisms which is a great option to stand out against the competition, however, a planning degree is not necessary to get into town planning. You can become a chartered town planner by completing an RTPI accredited degree at either undergraduate or postgraduate level. You will need to complete either a combined qualification or a spatial qualification and a specialist qualification to do so. 

You can still qualify for a chartered status even if your qualification is not accredited by the RTPI by completing an accredited postgraduate qualification. A range of subjects are accepted by the following are the most relevant : 

  • law
  • geography
  • transportation
  • urban studies/built environment 
  • politics, government or public administration 
  • economics
  • architecture 
  • landscape design
  • engineering

The RTPI has a full list of accredited courses for both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

salary of a planner.

Your salary will vary depending on your level of experience, skillset and specialisms. 

Starting salaries, graduates or assistant roles are typically within the range of £18,000 to £25,000. 

Mid-skilled planners, with titles such as principle planner and team leader, can receive anywhere around £30,000 to £45,000. 

Highly skilled planners, heads of departments, directors or chief planners can earn from £55,000 upwards and can reach up to £100,000. 

Salaries depend on the size and location of the employer/organisation and in which sector. Completing your an RTPI course to become a chartered planner can enable you to earn a higher salary. 

The sector can also influence your pay and benefits. Public sector employment often includes generous holiday allowance, car allowances, flexible working hours and working from home. Whereas working within the private sector allows for greater flexibility for performance-related pay, profit share however it has seen to offer less appealing pension and holidays allowances compared to the public sector.