The premier qualification for urban planners is a masters in urban planning, which may be called a Master of Urban Planning or Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
The masters course offers rigorous training and is suitable for both (a) people wanting to become urban planners and (b) professionals already in the industry looking to upgrade skills and qualifications. Online courses allow you to study part-time as a working professional.
From the masters program, you can expect some introductory, foundation subjects as well as advanced studies. Topics may include urban redevelopment, spatial analysis, planning and environmental laws in Australia, urban design, and community engagement.
UTS Master of Urban Planning (Online)
The UTS Online Master of Urban Planning provides students with the knowledge and practical skills to become effective planners. The course welcomes candidates with a background in a non-planning field, with the multidisciplinary nature of the learning enabling professionals to change careers. It is also ideal for professionals who aim to strengthen their current skills by engaging with up-to-date, ground-breaking approaches to urban planning. Delivered 100% online, with part-time study, this course enables you to work full-time while attaining the skills to kickstart your career in urban planning.
Competition for urban planning jobs is high and, for many positions, a masters degree is almost essential. You're better able to compete for senior roles by holding a Master of Urban Planning or Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
To be a successful planner, you may be advantaged by first getting a bachelor degree in architecture, business, engineering or urban planning. The profession demands diverse skills and wide-ranging knowledge of planning considerations.
To gain full membership with the Planning Institute of Australia (which is optional for your career), you may need a 4-year professional degree, graduate diploma or masters in urban planning. Online study is the easiest way to build expertise and meet academic requirements for professional accreditation.
Embarking on a career in urban planning can carry some risk because the job market is not especially deep. So, do your due diligence. However, job and career opportunities in urban and regional planning are projected to grow strongly in the foreseeable future (Job Outlook).
Generally speaking, the safest path is to study urban and regional planning after (i) you've gained qualifications and experience in a complementary field and (ii) can see job opportunities emerging for you based on talent. Complementary fields include architecture, engineering, business and environmental consulting.
As an urban planner, you may work as a consultant or employee for:
- local councils, state planning authorities and other government agencies
- property developers and other private companies.
Planners balance many objectives and constraints in managing a project. These include aesthetics, functionality, social value, the environment, budgets, and regulatory compliance.
Planning jobs include the design of new suburbs, coastal development, creating energy-efficient housing, and introducing new public transport services.