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Principal planners take a lead role in protecting and shaping our cities, towns and countryside. They make our natural and built environments work together to create sustainable and diverse communities.


Average salaries are in the region of £26,000.00 to £50,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Principal planners take a lead role in protecting and shaping our cities, towns and countryside. They make our natural and built environments work together to create sustainable and diverse communities. 

What they do

Planning managers (also known as planning team leaders or planning associates) are responsible for a team of planners, technicians and support staff.

These are senior and satisfying careers devoted to making communities healthy and successful. Principal planners and planning managers are in demand to help design towns and cities across the country. They aim for attractive, affordable and environmentally-friendly buildings and community-friendly public spaces.  

Typical duties include:

  • Developing planning policy that takes account of transport, the local economy, jobs, environmental factors and the historic environment
  • Ensuring that areas are safe and pleasant places to live, work and visit
  • Producing planning submissions, appeals, design and access statements
  • Planning statements 
  • Managing client portfolios
  • Developing business relationships
  • Running public consultations

They are usually based in an office but are often out and about on site visits and can work for national, regional or local government organisations. At this level some work as independent planning consultants, giving advice to businesses and individuals. 

Hours & Salary:

  • Salaries typically range from £29,000 to £50,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility, and salaries and career options can improve with chartered status. 


 

Learn more about construction careers – and some of the misconceptions surrounding them – with our Mythbusters.

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Qualifications & Training

To be a planning manager or principal planner you need several years of relevant experience in a planning environment. You also need to have developed your management skills and be able to think strategically.

To progress to this level you need experience in day-to-day management of a team, activity, project or small department – as well as running a budget.  

You must show experience in a range of projects as well as in building and maintaining partnerships with lots of stakeholders. If you’re working in the private sector you should have good client and business development skills.

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy? 

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Indeed

Guardian Jobs

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

16,240 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 16,240 other construction professionals and technical staff (which includes principle planners and planning managers) to meet demand every year between 2017 until 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of this demand will be in Scotland.

Search other careers

Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

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