Urban and Regional Planners
Urban and Regional Planners develop and implement plans and policies for the controlled use of urban and rural land, and advise on economic, environmental and social factors affecting land use.
Specialisations: Land Planner, Town Planner, Traffic and Transport Planner.
A bachelor degree in urban, regional or environmental planning is needed to work as an Urban or Regional Planner. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
compiling and analysing data on economic, legal, political, cultural, demographic, sociological, physical and environmental factors affecting land use
conferring with government authorities, communities, Architects, social scientists, Legal Professionals, and planning, development and environmental specialists
devising and recommending use and development of land, and presenting narrative and graphic plans, programs and designs to groups and individuals
advising governments and organisations on urban and regional planning and resource planning
reviewing and evaluating environmental impact reports
staying up-to-date with changes in building and zoning codes, regulations and other legal issues
may serve as mediators in disputes over planning proposals and projects
may speak at public meetings and appear before government to explain planning proposals
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow very strongly
- is likely to reach 16,200 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 80% of people employed as Urban and Regional Planners work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 14 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $2,177 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,821
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,250
Median hourly earnings are $58, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Urban and Regional Planners||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Urban and Regional Planners work in many industries such as:
- Public Administration and Safety
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
- Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Urban and Regional Planners||All Jobs Average|
Around 68% of Urban and Regional Planners live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Sydney - City and Inner South
- Brisbane Inner City
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Perth - North West.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Urban and Regional Planners is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 46% of the workforce. This is similar to the all jobs average of 48%.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Urban and Regional Planners||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.8||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in urban, regional or environmental planning is needed to work as an Urban or Regional Planner. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Urban and Regional Planners||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||36.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.8||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Urban and Regional Planners who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
61%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
57%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
55%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
46%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Looking for ways to help people.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
68%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
67%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
65%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
63%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
62%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
58%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
57%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
52%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
50%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
48%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
48%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
47%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
37%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
55%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
See details that are far away.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
52%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
48%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
87%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
86%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
84%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
84%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
79%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
78%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
78%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
78%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
76%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
76%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
75%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
74%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
73%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
73%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
70%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
67%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
67%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
62%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
54%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Use electronic mail.
Talk on the telephone.
Talk with people face-to-face.
91%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Work with people in a group or team.
90%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
89%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
86%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
84%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
79%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Work to strict deadlines.
75%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
72%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
72%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
71%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
71%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
67%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
Talk to a group of people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-3051.00 - Urban and Regional Planners.