Planning and surveying

Town and regional planning

Planners work in urban and rural environments and the work can be exceedingly diverse, roles include policy planners, transport planners, urban design, environmental planning, development management, regeneration, heritage and conservation. Planners may work in the public or private sector.

To qualify as a Chartered Town Planner in the UK you have to undertake a qualification(s) accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) plus the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) which includes two years' relevant work experience.

For those who do not have a recognised first degree in town and country planning, it may be possible to undertake a postgraduate 'conversion' course accredited by the RTPI. The following degrees will be good preparation: economics, engineering, environmental studies, geography, law, politics, or social studies.

Chartered Surveyors

Surveying covers 17 areas of expertise across the three areas of land, property and construction including, building and conservation, valuation, facilities management, quantity surveying and construction, planning and development.

Getting in and getting experience

If your course does not include a placement it is still possible to gain experience and skills

  • Join the RTPI LinkedIn group, RICS group or other networks, join in discussions and attend events.
  • Keep up to date with current affairs in the industry, if you are applying for a job research the organisation, the geographic location and relevant policies and plans.
  • Unpaid short term experience is common.
  • Talk to people in the profession, you could connect with alumni and professionals on LinkedIn or simply email someone you respect and are interested in and ask for 30 minutes of their time.
  • Volunteer with environmental or community organisations who may need some planning expertise.
  • Consider your dissertation project, could you do something that would demonstrate an interest in a specific field, or showcase a skill.
  • Think widely don't forget planners work in all sorts of organisations from city councils to multidisciplinary civil engineering firms and organisations like Tesco and the COOP who own and build property. Look at where jobs are advertised and consider a speculative request for some experience and make an effort to see them if they come on campus to an event or workshop.

Planners need a variety of transferable skills that you can gain from other jobs or extracurricular activities and your education, including:

Analytical skills, report writing, attention to detail, problem solving, negotiation skills, teamwork and the ability to communicate with different stakeholders.