Home Explore Job Ideas Town Planner (Urban Planner)

Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

An Urban Planner strategically designs new towns, this will include considering where sewerage will need to go as well as roads, electricity, lighting, parks, housing and business areas. This job more commonly involves regenerating towns or cities that may need updating, using space that already exists by creating space efficiently, energy efficiency, affordable housing and re-designing infrastructure such as travel routes and sewerage systems. 

Planners need to balance practical, commercial and environmental factors with the needs of the community.  

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You could complete a college course in Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment or a Level 3 Diploma in Civil Engineering.

You’ll need 4-5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, or equivalent.

The following local colleges offer courses in engineering/construction:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course.


You could complete an apprenticeship with a Local Authority or town council to become a town planner.

You’ll generally need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


You'll need a degree or a postgraduate qualification accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in a relevant subject, like:

  • town planning
  • environment and development
  • urban design
  • sustainability, planning and environmental policy

You'll usually need:

  • 2 - 3 A levels, or equivalent (undergraduate degree)
  • An undergraduate degree in any subject (postgraduate degree)

Click here to search for a suitable course.

Career Tips

It is a good idea to gain some work experience in the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a town planner.

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Town planning assistant
  • Building control officer
  • Construction manager
  • Economic development officer
  • Housing policy officer

Required Skills

  • excellent research and report writing abilities
  • good time management and organisational skills
  • excellent negotiation and presentation skills
  • IT skills
  • Analytical skills

Salary Range

£20,000 to £45,000

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