Town planning assistant

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Town planning technician

Town planning assistants process applications, give advice about regulations and carry out design work and office administration.

Salary Range: £16,000 to £30,000

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How to become a town planning assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
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University

You can do a degree accredited by The Royal Town Planning Institute before applying for a job as an assistant.

Subjects include:

  • planning, environment and development
  • city and regional planning
  • urban planning and property development

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College

You can take a college course to learn some of the skills needed for the job, which may help when applying for a trainee position. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment
  • Level 3 Diploma in Civil Engineering for Technicians
  • T level in Design, Surveying and Planning

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More information

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Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a town planning technical support advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

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Direct application

You’ll usually need GCSEs and A levels in subjects like geography, graphic design, business studies, English, environmental studies or economics to apply directly for jobs. Some employers may ask for a degree.

More information

Career tips

You may have an advantage if you have experience in:

  • customer service
  • administration
  • computer-aided design (CAD)
  • construction
  • surveying

Further information

You can find out more about careers in town planning from The Royal Town Planning Institute.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • the ability to work well with others
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • business management skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • maths skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • preparing reports for internal and external publications
  • recording minutes at meetings
  • building and managing technical libraries, filing systems and databases
  • drawing up plans using computer aided design software
  • carrying out data surveys, like traffic impact assessments
  • supplying information and data to planners for applications
  • recording the progress and outcomes of planning applications
  • organising public meetings
  • answering enquiries about application procedure

Working environment

You could work in an office.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader or move up to technician level. With further study, you could become a fully qualified town planner.

You could also set up your own business and offer consultancy in areas like planning law and sustainable design.