Urban Planner Job Description

Urban Planner Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for an urban planner job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an urban planner. Feel free to use our urban planner job description template to produce your own urban planner job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an urban planner.


Who is an Urban Planner?

An urban planner, also known as an urban and regional planner, develops a vision and a strategy to better an urban setting so that it serves the requirements of the populace. They can offer this service to smaller areas in addition to big metropolia. While analyzing the project, they take into account community needs like transportation, recreation, historical preservation, and things mentioned by community people.

A person who creates plans and programs for the use of land is known as an urban planner. In towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas, planning is used to build communities, accommodate growth, or revitalize physical infrastructure.

To construct, grow, or rejuvenate a town or area, urban planners analyze the needs of the community and create short- and long-term plans. To make sure that projected facilities, like schools, would be able to accommodate a changing population, they might, for instance, look at the plans for those facilities. Planners assist communities in managing the connected economic, social, and environmental challenges when a region develops or changes, such as creating a new park, providing shelter for the homeless, or enhancing the region’s business climate.


While some concentrate on particular challenges, some planners work on comprehensive, neighborhood-wide plans. The optimal use of a community’s land and resources for residential, commercial, or recreational purposes is what all planners ultimately advocate.

Before starting a project, planners identify any community concerns or objectives by consulting with elected officials, residents, and other groups. To address problems or achieve objectives, planners develop plans using research, data analysis, and cooperation with interest groups. They might also monitor initiatives, carry out community planning, and plan the work of the various groups involved. Projects might be anything from a long-term, all-encompassing region plan to a policy recommendation for a particular project.

Planners employ a range of devices and software, such as geographic information systems (GIS) tools that evaluate and deal with data. The data and digital maps are integrated using GIS. Planners might, for instance, utilize GIS to overlay population density indications on a geographical map. They also employ financial spreadsheets, other databases, statistical software, visualization and presentation tools, and presentation software.


Urban Planner Job Description

What is an urban planner job description? An urban planner job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of an urban planner in an organization. Below are the urban planner job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an urban planner job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of an urban planner include the following;

  • Meet with members of the public, business owners, and elected officials to discuss land use and development plans.
  • Gather and analyze data from censuses, market research, and economic and environmental studies.
  • Investigate the elements influencing land usage in the field.
  • Examine the site plans that developers have provided.
  • Analyze the viability of ideas and pinpoint the necessary adjustments.
  • Advise on whether proposals should be accepted or rejected.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of zoning or building codes, environmental laws, and other legal matters.
  • Analyze market data, demographic data, environmental research, and economic studies.
  • Estimate the size and potential use of the development-ready land available.
  • Examine and evaluate many potential influences on land use.
  • Meet with the general people, governmental representatives, and developers about land development.
  • Examine and approve site plans for the property under-considered.
  • Present urban designs to commissioners and individuals involved in urban planning for approval.
  • Observe all applicable local, state, and federal regulations about urban development.
  • Investigate the area directly to find out what influences community growth and potential decline, such as land use.
  • Take traffic growth into account and plan for common transit needs
  • Look at the finest techniques for enhancing energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions from neighborhood stores and enterprises.
  • Supervise project development and assist with affordable homes.
  • Create towns and cities that encourage leading active and healthy lifestyles.
  • Participate in the planning and revitalization of low-income neighborhoods within the district.
  • Consult with business leaders to find the best Disaster Risk Assessment strategies for Emergency Management.
  • Create plans for infrastructure, public facilities, and zoning to suit community needs.
  • Supply technical support to an organization’s city planning, engineering, public works, and finance departments.
  • Examine demographic patterns to anticipate future community needs, such as population growth, household size, and income levels.
  • Compose reports and present planning-related topics to government agencies.
  • Coordinate with architects, builders, engineers, surveyors, and other experts to make sure that the designs adhere to the law.
  • Evaluate the environmental impacts of new development projects in the areas that will be impacted.
  • Create strategies to efficiently manage expansion while protecting natural resources.
  • Conduct research on issues like housing trends travel habits, and community development requirements.
  • Establish land use restrictions that adhere to regional, national and international environmental legislation.
  • Prepare studies and plans.
  • Perform examinations.
  • Prepare for the creation of new urban facilities.
  • Help to manage the urban resources and current infrastructure of a city.
  • Create and modify municipal plans to accommodate development and growth.
  • Document the site’s acceptance.
  • Organize with other regional administrations.
  • Construct and understand maps and diagrams.
  • Consult with the general public and elected representatives about land use and development plans.
  • Suggest whether to accept or reject ideas.



  • A master’s degree in urban and regional planning, environmental planning, urban design, or a related discipline.
  • Experience as a regional and urban planner in the past.
  • Excellent project management abilities.
  • Outstanding analytical abilities.
  • Ability to produce graphics, diagrams, maps, sketches, and/or renderings of a high caliber.
  • Thorough understanding of contemporary urbanism, transit-oriented development, and comprehensive street design ideas.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication abilities.
  • Possessing knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite’s tools, including Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.
  • Working familiarity with web-based mapping tools like CartoDB and Mapbox.


Essential Skills

  • Adobe Creative Suite: The Adobe Creative Suite is a set of software tools that lets users produce and edit photos, videos, documents, and other digital material. Because it enables experts to create visual representations of their initiatives, such as maps or diagrams, this set of tools is crucial for urban planning. They can also use it to convey their plans in a clear, attractive manner to clients and coworkers.
  • Presentation Technique: Urban planners must be able to effectively articulate the justification for their ideas to present them to customers and other stakeholders. Public speaking, active listening, and nonverbal communication are all part of presentation abilities. Urban planners must also have the ability to influence people to embrace their ideas.
  • Critical Thinking: The capacity for analysis and problem-solving is known as critical thinking. Urban planners apply critical thinking techniques to analyze current situations, plan for future growth, and monitor the status of their initiatives. This skill set also includes the capacity to recognize future difficulties and dangers so that you can take precautions against them before they materialize.
  • Creativity: Urban designers frequently employ creativity to come up with original answers to challenging issues. For instance, an urban planner might suggest building vertically rather than horizontally if a city needs to construct cheap housing but lacks the requisite acreage. Urban planner must use their imagination to come up with the distinctive architectural ideas and construction techniques needed for this solution.
  • SketchUp: Software like SketchUp is used by urban planners to construct 3D models of buildings and landscapes. They may envision their plans using this software before they start building, allowing them to make any necessary revisions. Additionally, it facilitates client communication with the project’s design for urban planners.
  • ArcView: GIS, or geographic information system, the software is used by urban planners to produce maps that provide information about the neighborhood. This covers demographic details like income levels and population density, environmental aspects like water and air contaminant levels, transit networks, and more. Urban planners can use this technology to examine their surroundings and come to well-informed conclusions while developing new plans for an area.
  • Writing Reports: The practice of producing written documentation that outlines a sequence of events or results is known as report writing. Urban planners utilize reports to present their concepts and recommendations to clients, associates, and other planning process participants. Strong report writers can concisely explain complex subjects and support their views with proof.
  • Attention to Detail: To ensure they have all the data required for their initiatives, urban planners must be detail-oriented. In addition to obtaining information on demographics, traffic patterns, environmental conditions, and other details that can have an impact on a project’s effectiveness, this entails researching and comprehending local laws, rules, and standards. Being detail-oriented also entails being able to finish jobs by making sure you have all the tools or knowledge required to do so.
  • Organizing Techniques: Urban planners need to be able to manage their time well and keep tabs on numerous initiatives. They may be in charge of a variety of duties, such as managing budgets, planning meetings with clients or other stakeholders, monitoring the status of projects, and making sure that all pertinent paperwork is filed properly. Urban planners may keep on top of their responsibilities and make sure they meet deadlines for each work by using strong organizing abilities.
  • GIS: Urban planners use GIS, or geographic information systems, as a tool to evaluate and store data. They must understand GIS so they can use the program to make maps and charts. To properly decide on city planning, they must also be able to analyze the data they discover on these maps and charts.
  • Management of projects: Urban planners who want to succeed in their careers need to have project management abilities. For example, while developing a new city plan or planning a public park, they frequently supervise projects that call for the work of numerous individuals and teams. Urban planners that possess project management skills can assign work efficiently, monitor the status of individual projects, and guarantee that every part of a project is successfully finished.
  • Communication: To develop and carry out initiatives, urban planners frequently collaborate with a team of people. Urban planners that have good communication skills can work well with their teams because they can clearly articulate their ideas and solicit feedback from others. They can also communicate with clients or other stakeholders who might have questions regarding the project thanks to their effective communication abilities.
  • AutoCAD: To develop and alter maps, urban planners utilize AutoCAD, a computer-aided drafting tool. Many sectors use this program to create technical diagrams and drawings. This ability is crucial for urban planners to possess because it enables them to create detailed plans that are simple for others to comprehend.
  • Analysis Capabilities: Analytical abilities are used by urban planners to examine data and come to wise decisions. They assess a community’s needs, such as those for housing or transportation, then work out the most effective approach to address those needs. For instance, an urban planner might advise constructing new police stations if a city has a high crime rate to lower crime rates.
  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office software is used by urban planners to make spreadsheets, papers, and presentations. This is a crucial skill because it indicates your capacity to manage administrative duties at work. Additionally, it demonstrates to prospective employers that you are capable of finishing tasks or projects quickly.


How to Become an Urban Planner

  • Acquire a bachelor’s degree: An urban planning degree is available from several colleges. A degree that covers site planning, urban development, budgeting, and land analysis is beneficial for those who choose urban planning as a vocation. The following degrees and specializations are related to urban planning:
    • Civil engineering
    • Environmental design
    • Public administration
  • Achieve a master’s degree: The majority of hiring managers favor candidates for urban planner positions who have advanced degrees that extend their knowledge of subjects including building codes, transit, and legal restrictions.

A master’s degree in urban planning might help you focus your study on your desired job path if your bachelor’s degree is in a relevant discipline.

  • Obtain a certificate: Although certification is not a prerequisite for employment as an urban planner, it can open up more doors because certain employers prefer certified planners. Numerous certification programs are offered by academic institutions and other organizations, including the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). There are plenty of these online. Each certification has a varied set of educational and professional prerequisites, but they all call for passing a test.
  • Become more experienced: Some firms demand that urban planners have up to two years of relevant experience. Planning for transportation, public policy, or architecture can all fall under this category. The most popular approach for aspiring urban planners to obtain experience is through temporary employment or internships. Most students complete this as part of their master’s degree, although some employers can want more experience gained outside of the classroom.
  • Become a member of a professional organization: Urban planners can join several specialized organizations. Joining one is beneficial for networking, getting to know other urban planners, learning more about the field, and discovering career prospects.


Where to Work as an Urban Planner

The typical employers of urban planners are municipal governments, planning organizations, or architectural businesses. To fulfill deadlines, some of them may work more than 40 hours a week in addition to their typical full-time schedules. In addition, a lot of urban planners go to conferences, seminars, and field research. To attend public meetings, some urban planners may work erratic hours, including evenings and weekends. Urban planners sometimes operate under tight deadlines, and their work can be stressful because they must make judgments that will have an impact on many people’s lives.


Urban Planner Salary Scale

Urban planners in Canada make an average pay of $90,447 per year or $46.38 per hour. Most experienced workers can earn up to $110,891 per year, while entry-level occupations start at $70,135 annually.

In the United Kingdom, an urban planner makes an average salary of £40,000 per year or £20.51 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to £47,500 per year, while entry-level occupations start at £31,717.

Urban planners in Australia make an average of $101,000 a year, or $51.79 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $122,197 per year, while entry-level occupations start at $85,784 annually.

In Ireland, an urban planner makes, on average, €48,750 a year, or €25 an hour. Most experienced workers earn up to €80 000 per year, while entry-level roles start at € 37 500.

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