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A planner has one of the most important jobs in construction – deciding on the best methods for tackling a job and the most efficient order for doing the work.

Average salaries are in the region of £19,000.00 to £45,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

A planner is a construction professional who is the person concerned with developing the time plans on a construction project, deciding on the best methods for tackling a job and the most efficient order for doing the work.

What they do

Planners are responsible for construction projects being completed on time, safely, at the right price. Demand is high for skilled planners, they can be employed in a variety of ways. Most planners work directly for a main contractor tasked with completing the project, some work for specialist subcontractors, some planners work directly for the client, a consultancy capacity on behalf of the client.

A working day can include developing planning policy that takes account of transport, the local economy, jobs, environmental factors and the historic environment. 

Site based planners usually report to either the project manager/director for the project delivery. Departmental planners report to a pre-construction director or a planning manager if there is a dedicated planning department.

One of the key skills for a planner is the ability to communicate with everyone in the project team. A planner must have good organisational and problem solving skills as he or she must co-ordinate a complicated sequence of work activities and keep everything going according to plan.

Typical tasks include:

  • Assisting with the development of planning policy at a national, regional or local level including strategies which take account of transport, the local economy, jobs, green infrastructure, renewable energy, climate change and the historic environment
  • Reviewing and monitoring existing planning policy documents
  • Assisting with the preparation and implementation of transport policies, strategies and plans at national, regional or local level to create an efficient transport network
  • This could include cycle routes, rail and road routes and new airports or runways
  • Helping to ensure that areas are attractive, safe and pleasant to live, work in and visit and designing out features which create unattractive or unsafe areas
  • Helping to energise places that have become run-down while conserving historic buildings and making the most of the landscape
  • Helping to balance the needs of a growing population for more homes and more travel with the environmental impact and how we manage/ reduce waste
  • Helping to draft and review planning applications
  • Conducting appropriate research to inform planning applications
  • Assisting with consultations and negotiations with consultants and developers
  • Helping to enforce planning controls for developments
  • Helping to prepare policy or guidance documents on how to manage historic environments
  • Helping to advise on the refurbishment or re-use of listed buildings
  • Assisting with the provision of services to clients and contributing to projects
  • Liasing with managers and engineers to discuss the project progress and sort any issues which arise
  • Producing tender plans to support tender bids
  • Creating, maintaining, reviewing and administering construction schedules and plans
  • Presenting information internally and keeping the client team updated on progress for presentation to the client
  • Liaising with external contractors and suppliers to organise the many phases of the construction development

Career development:

Many planners start their life as assistant planners or graduate planners who have finished a relevant degree course. They will be given small levels of responsibility and focus on supporting the planner.  

After several years and significant experience in the role, planners can become Principal planners. They take a lead role in protecting and shaping our cities, towns and countryside and making our natural and built environments work together to create sustainable and diverse communities. 

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

They have an important role in balancing the housing and travel needs of a growing population with the impact on the planet. This could be looking at managing and reducing waste, and adapting to climate change. This could be by protecting against flooding or making sure new buildings don’t waste energy.

The job also means bringing run-down areas back to life, meeting modern development demands while protecting historic places, conservation areas and protected landscapes.Principal planners and planning managers also produce planning submissions, appeals, design and access statements, planning statements and other documents. They can manage a client portfolio, develop business relationships and run public consultations.

Hours & Salary:

Due to planning being considered as one of the most important professions within Construction, and planners being high in demand means salaries can be very attractive. Freelance planners can demand very good rates. There is an opportunity of working overseas, with more possibility of this for planners who have Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) membership.

  • Newly trained construction planner’s can earn in the region of £19,000 - £30,000
  • Trained with experience construction planner’s can earn in the region of £30,000 - £50,000
  • Senior, chartered or master construction planner’s can earn in the region of £50,000 - £70,000

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


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Case Study

Mark - Construction Planner|3:32

Qualifications & Training

The qualifications you need to become a planner include:

  • 7 GCSEs A*-C grade (or equivalent) including Maths, English and Science
  • BTEC National Certificate in Construction
  • NVQ Level 3 – Construction Site Supervision
  • Higher National Certificate in Building Studies
  • NVQ Level 6 – Construction Contracting Operations Management
  • BSc (Hons) Construction Management

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: 


Careers in Construction

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

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 16,240 Construction Professionals and Technical staff (which includes Construction Planners), every year between 2017 - 2021.  The majority of this demand will be in Scotland followed by a fairly even spread across North East, East England, Wales, Northern Ireland and West Midlands.

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