Planners split their time between office work, site visits and attending meetings. When conducting site visits they may be working outside in all weather conditions and in a variety of environments, which could include undeveloped bushland. Because planners liaise with a number of groups, including government departments, community interest groups, land owners and other professionals, meetings may be held in an equally broad range of locations. Planners work in locations all around the state, though the biggest demand is in areas where there is a high population or strong demand for housing, particularly in the Perth metropolitan area and surrounding suburbs.
On average urban and regional planners can expect to earn between $1,500 to $1,749 per week ($78,000 and $90,999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.
Planners use a variety of mapping and surveying equipment to gain a full understanding of a site, including aerial photographs, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and maps. In addition to the physical and environmental characteristics of a site, they also gather social and economic data through demographic surveying techniques and reports. When presenting plans to clients, community groups and other interested parties they will often use projectors, microphones and other audio-visual equipment.
To become an urban and regional planner, you usually need to study a degree in urban and regional planning or a related area.
Most universities in Western Australian offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information. Learn more about your study options.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.