Becoming a planner

There are lots of subject which will help


What should I study?

Town Planning is in the top four university subjects for students finding employment within six months of graduation. And the pay is not too bad either, starting at around £20,000 and moving up quickly because the job market is strong. What’s more if you want to study town planning, there are lots of different subjects you can study at school which will help.

Planning can be a green career choice (UN Environment Programme)

What I could do

What could I do as a planner?

There’s lots to choose from, but planners are responsible for lots of different things from designing towns and cities with different types of homes and jobs while conserving the countryside.  In fact the United Nations recently said ‘urban planning’ is one of the top 5 subjects to study for a green career.

So if you thought that planning was just about house extensions or garden sheds, think again. From transport to energy and conservation to economics, planning has a role in pretty much every part of society. And there are lots of different roles available in both public and private sectors as well as charities and within education.



A career in planning enforcement

Do you want to make a difference in your community?

Planning enforcement is one of many different areas you can work in as a planner and is a deeply rewarding career path. Enforcement officers get to witness the positive impact of their work first-hand, as enforcement actions lead to tangible improvements in local areas and often bring much needed respite to community members who have dealt with prolonged nuisance issues. 

As the law enforcer for planning, you uphold the integrity of the system and protect both people and the environment. If you are an active individual who enjoys varied workdays and dislikes being stuck behind a desk, enforcement provides plenty of opportunities to get out in the field. You can find out more about planning enforcement in this handy guide

Routes into the profession

Learn while you earn

If planning sounds like it might be for you there are different routes you can take. You could try real world training through  professional apprenticeship schemes in town planning.  Offered by employers directly, you can ‘earn while you learn’ with a job combined with studying at a university or college. You can see how some of our apprentices are getting on here.

Or you could opt to study directly for an RTPI accredited planning degree, and this handy map shows you all the different locations you could go to university. Professional post-graduate degrees are also available and you can convert from most subjects for example architecture, law, music and even zoology!

And once you’ve qualified a staggering 90% of students find employment with six months of graduation making town planning the third most employable degree subject. What’s more 1 in 4 Chartered Town Planners earn £55,000 a year or more so there is a real opportunity to progress and increase your pay as you gain experience and qualifications.

Workplace experience

See how planning works

Work experience is a chance to see 'how planning works'. It will help you to decide if it is the career for you and which jobs to apply for once you finished your training or degree.  It means you have workplace experience to put on your CV.  It can also be a good way for career changers to develop professional contacts and ‘get a foot in the door’. 

You can find out more about work experience on the RTPI website