The Important Skills and Career Path for a Town Planner

The design and development and maintenance of urban areas such as cities and towns are the responsibility of a town planner. You would be responsible for balancing the demands of the land and the needs of the local community. This could be at a local, regional or national level.

It requires an understanding of the economic and environmental impacts of any proposed development. As a town planner, you will manage the development of new areas within cities, towns, and the countryside as a town planner. You will be responsible for reviewing existing areas and helping to obtain planning permission.

How to become a Town Planner

A degree is required to become a town planner. This can be obtained at university or while working in a support role such as a planning technician. If your employer supports you, this could also be possible. If you have previous experience, you could apply directly to an employer or take a college course.

These routes are worth exploring to determine which one is right for you. While some options may require certain qualifications, employers will be more interested in candidates who are eager to learn, can follow directions, and are willing to accept responsibility.

Skills and Career Path for a Town Planner

To become a town planner, you will need to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that is accredited by Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in a subject related the environment and development, property development or urban planning.

You may be eligible to pursue a postgraduate qualification as a planner if you have an undergraduate degree in a related subject.

Usually, you’ll need

  • 2 – 3 A-Levels, or an equivalent (undergraduate degree)
  • A postgraduate degree (undergraduate degree) in any subject

Provider of college/training

  • A Level 3 Diploma is in Construction and the Built Environment or a Level 3 Diploma of Civil Engineering could be completed.
  • You will need 4-5 GCSEs in grades 9-4 (A*-C), which includes English and maths or an equivalent.

Apprenticeship in Town Planning


To become a town planner, you could do an apprenticeship with a Local Authority. You will need five GCSEs in grades 9-4 (A*-C), or an equivalent. Apprenticeships are available to anyone who is over 16. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over 16.

You will be fully employed by the company and required to work at least 30 hours per week. Your time will be divided between on-the-job experience and college or training providers.

Description of the job

You could apply to a construction company if you are a planner technician and have the experience to become a town planner. As an assistant to a more senior town planner, you might progress in your career. You can visit Indeed and Total Jobs to check out available latest jobs and vacancies for town planners

Experience at work

To get employment in the construction industry, you need to have work experience. This could be gained at school or through weekends or holidays working for a family member who is a town planner. Employers will always appreciate your work experience on your resume.

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Skills required for town planners

If you are interested in a career as a town planner, these skills may be of benefit to you:

  • Communication skills are essential
  • Develop business relationships
  • Creativity and attention to detail are key ingredients.
  • Analytical skills
  • Mathematics and geography knowledge
  • A desire to improve the environment of others.

These are the duties of a town planner:

  • Planning policy development at the national, regional, or local level. It takes into consideration transport, jobs, green infrastructures, climate change, and the historic environment.
  • Monitoring and reviewing existing planning policies
  • Assisting in the development and implementation of transport strategies and policies to create a reliable transport network. This could include cycle routes, rail, road, and runways.
  • Assisting in making areas safe, attractive, and enjoyable to live, work, and visit
  • Rejuvenating places that are in decline
  • The balance between the environmental and human needs
  • Planning applications can be informed by conducting the right research
  • Assistance in the preparation and review of planning applications
  • Assist in negotiations and consultations with developers and consultants
  • Planning controls for developments must be enforced
  • Prepare policy and guidance documents about how to manage historic environments or renovate or re-use heritage buildings
  • Assisting clients in providing services and contributing to projects
  • Making planning submissions, appeals and design statements.
  • Management of a client portfolio
  • Building business relationships
  • Public consultations.

You could become a chief town planner or a planner manager, and play a more active part in the development of policies related to urban development. You can also be a consultant for yourself or take on a specific role in urban regeneration or property development.

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I am Adegboyega Tunde Temitayo. A registered Town Planner with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC).

I love to think differently and possibly on various Urban and Regional Planning issues to proffer solutions to Urban and Rural Environmental Problems. You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel

As the Chief Editor of Town Planners Diary, I humbly welcome you to this platform which is about enhancing Planning Education through research on various Town Planning and Environmental issues.

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