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Occupational Profile

Community Planner

Community planners study the social, economic, cultural, environmental, political and physical conditions of urban and rural communities, and develop plans for the overall management and protection of specific land parcels or regions.

  • Avg. Salary $91,708.00
  • Avg. Wage $48.80
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 2,600
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

City Planner, Land Use Planner, Park Planner, Regional Planner, Urban Planner

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Community Planner is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Urban and Land Use Planners
NOC code: 2153
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to review and evaluate proposals for land use and development plans and prepare recommendations, and to develop long-range objectives for future land use

SOCIAL

Interest in precision working to prepare land development concepts and proposals for presentation to civic, rural and regional authorities; and in holding public meetings to present plans, proposals and studies to the general public and special interest groups

DIRECTIVE

Interest in supervising and co-ordinating the work of urban planning technicians and technologists; and in processing applications for land development permits and administering land use plans and zoning by-laws

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Community planners:

  • support civic leaders and citizens to envision new possibilities
  • lead in the development of innovations
  • facilitate sound development
  • anticipate change to help communities meet the challenges of growth and development
  • design communities that create better choices for where people live and work
  • strike a balance between public and private, individual and community interests.

Community planners may focus on:

  • subdivision design
  • public facilities
  • public consultation
  • transportation and transit
  • parks and recreation
  • heritage preservation
  • tourism
  • downtown revitalization 
  • health care services and systems
  • community and regional economic development
  • municipal or regional planning
  • current or long-range planning
  • environmental impact assessment
  • commercial or industrial developments
  • intensive agricultural operations.

Duties therefore vary but, in general, community planners:

  • prepare statutory plans, community plans and land use bylaws
  • prepare development guidelines
  • prepare or review proposals for developments or subdivision
  • facilitate public participation meetings and public forums
  • conduct urban design studies
  • confer with local authorities, civic leaders, architects, engineers, developers, land surveyors, land owners, social scientists, lawyers and other professionals
  • assess social, environmental and economic conditions and trends
  • control and guide community development and renewal
  • set up and maintain database and information systems.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most planners work standard office hours in an office environment. Occasionally, they work longer hours to meet project deadlines or attend meetings (for example, stakeholder consultations) in the evening.

Planners often are expected to conduct site visits to locations proposed for development or redevelopment.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Community planners need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to consider a situation from many competing points of view
  • analytical skills and decision making skills
  • the ability to work in a team environment
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • an interest in serving the public.

They should enjoy synthesizing information and developing innovative proposals, presenting plans and proposals to people, and supervising and co-ordinating the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Planning requires knowledge in diverse fields including community design, economics, architecture, engineering, social sciences, ecology and geography, as well as physical environment design skills. For this reason, planners come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Many have a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in planning or a related discipline such as urban studies, engineering, architecture, geography, forestry or economics.

Community planners who wish to become Registered Professional Planners must have at least a 4-year bachelor's degree and a prescribed number of years of professional planning experience. For more information about certification and for a list of accredited planning degree programs available across Canada, visit the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Community Planner

Community planners study the social, economic, political and physical conditions of urban and rural communities, and lead efforts to adapt to and manage forces that affect communities.

Legislation

Registered Professional Planner is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act and Professional Planner Regulation. This means that to call yourself a Registered Professional Planner or RPP, you must be a registered member of the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Registered Professional Planner.

Education

Membership requires: (1) a minimum of a 4-year bachelor's degree, (2) applicable years of acceptable experience and (3) successful completion of approved examinations as prescribed by the institute. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the APPI website or contact the APPI.

Working in Alberta

Community planners who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered community planners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Professional Planners Institute
Box 596
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2K8
Phone number: 780-435-8716
Toll-free phone number: 1-888-286-8716
Fax number: 780-452-7718
Website: www.albertaplanners.com

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Community planners may work for:

  • provincial government departments
  • federal government departments and agencies
  • municipal governments (for example, towns, counties or cities)
  • inter-municipal service agencies
  • school boards
  • land development companies
  • research and policy institutions (for example, universities, not-for-profit organizations)
  • large corporations in resource and utility industries
  • organizations such as economic development authorities
  • consulting companies related to planning and engineering.

Experienced planners may advance to management positions such as planning director. Planning directors supervise other planners, advise and assist in developing policies, and serve on planning boards. They spend most of their time setting policy direction, performing administrative tasks such as writing reports, attending meetings and supervising planners and researchers.

Community planners are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2153: Urban and land use planners. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover(work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016
Urban and land use planners
NOC code: 2153

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $30.08 $55.67 $39.69 $40.41
Overall $30.08 $71.16 $48.80 $49.03
Top $31.68 $73.40 $53.54 $53.13

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

18%
18%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

1%
1%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Alberta Professional Planners Institute website: www.albertaplanners.com

Canadian Institute of Planners website: www.cip-icu.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 09, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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