Transport planners manage road, rail and air transport networks at local, regional and national level.
Salary range: £22,000 to £50,000
How to become a transport planner
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You can do a degree and then join an organisation as a trainee transport planner. Most subjects are accepted though you may have an advantage if you study:
- civil engineering
- town planning
- environmental science
- business studies
Many graduates go on to do a postgraduate qualification in transport planning approved by the Transport Planning Society.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can start by doing a transport planning technician advanced apprenticeship, then move on to a transport planner degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Transport Planning Society or The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation for professional development and training opportunities.
You can find out more about becoming a transport planner from the Transport Planning Society.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- design skills and knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to work well with others
- complex problem-solving skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- simulating transport problems using computer models
- analysing and interpreting data from transport studies
- forecasting the impact of new developments like shopping centres
- looking at schemes to manage traffic, like congestion charging or parking controls
- studying accident ‘black spots’ to design road safety improvements
- writing reports for funding bids and planning authorities
- acting as an expert witness during public enquiries
- promoting the benefits of public transport, cycling and walking to get around
You could work in an office or visit sites.
Career path and progression
You could become a senior transport planner or traffic engineer. You might also move into town planning, policy development or environmental consultancy.
You may improve your career prospects by completing the Transport Planning Professional qualification, or by getting chartered status with a relevant professional body.