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Community Planner

Community planners study the social, economic, cultural, environmental, political, and physical conditions of urban and rural communities. They develop policies and plans to manage and protect specific land parcels, regions, resources, or public services.

  • Avg. Salary $94,688.00
  • Avg. Wage $51.29
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,100
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

(City / Conservation / Consultation / Engagement / Indigenous / Land Use / Park / Policy / Regional / Resource / Strategic / Urban / Watershed) Planner

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Urban and Land Use Planners (2153) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Urban and Land Use Planners (C053) 
  • 2011 NOC: Urban and land use planners (2153) 
  • 2016 NOC: Urban and land use planners (2153) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Community Planner is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Urban and Land Use Planners

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


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


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

Updated Mar 31, 2020

Community planners support civic leaders, industry sectors, and citizens to envision, develop, and realize new possibilities. They focus on:

  • Subdivision and urban design
  • Public facilities and services, such as including schools and healthcare centres
  • Public, stakeholder, and Indigenous consultation
  • Transportation and transit
  • Parks and recreation
  • Heritage preservation and tourism
  • Urban and rural revitalization
  • Community and regional economic development
  • Municipal, regional, resource, or policy planning
  • Current or long-range planning
  • Environmental impact assessment and conservation
  • Commercial or industrial developments
  • Intensive agricultural operations

Duties therefore vary widely. In general, community planners prepare policies and statutory plans, community plans, strategic plans or policies, and land use bylaws. They regulate and guide community development by:

  • Conducting urban design studies, population studies, and other research about human settlements
  • Anticipating change to help communities meet challenges such as the social, physical, and environmental impacts of population growth
  • Developing plans, policies, and guidelines for developments or subdivisions that account for public, private, individual, and community interests
  • Preparing or reviewing proposals with an eye to innovation
  • Conferring with local authorities, civic leaders, landowners, and land surveyors
  • Consulting with architects, engineers, developers, social scientists, lawyers, and other professionals
  • Planning and facilitating public and stakeholder participation processes
  • Developing sustainable responses and processes to address emerging issues such as climate change and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
  • Designing sustainable, adaptive, and resilient communities that create better choices for where people live and work
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Most planners work standard office hours in an office environment. Occasionally, they may work evenings or weekends to meet project deadlines or attend meetings. These could include consultation with other professionals or with stakeholders.

Planners often are expected to make site visits to locations proposed for development, redevelopment, conservation, or other uses.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Community planners need:

  • The ability to consider many points of view
  • Analytical and decision-making skills
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • A commitment to protecting and serving the public interest

They should enjoy synthesizing information, developing innovative proposals, and presenting plans and proposals. They should be comfortable collaborating with others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Planning requires knowledge in diverse fields, including:

  • Community design
  • Communications
  • Relationship-building
  • Strategic analysis
  • Demographics
  • Economics
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Social sciences
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Design of physical environments

For this reason, planners may come from a variety of academic backgrounds. Some have a master’s of planning (M.Plan) degree or equivalent. Others have a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in planning or a related discipline. Related fields could include urban studies, urban and regional planning, or geography.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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, regional landscapes and resources.


Registered Professional Planner is a protected title under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf] and Professional Planner Regulation [pdf]. This means that to call yourself a Registered Professional Planner or RPP, you must be a certified and registered member of the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI).

What You Need

For official, detailed information about registration requirements, 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 equivalent    competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the APPI website.

Contact Details

Alberta Professional Planners Institute
PO Box 309
Sherwood Park, Alberta  T8H 2T1

Call: 780-435-8716
Call toll-free: 1-888-286-8716
Fax number: 780-452-7718

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Community planners may work for:

  • Provincial government departments and agencies
  • Federal government departments and agencies
  • Municipal governments (such as towns, counties, or cities)
  • Inter-municipal service agencies
  • School boards
  • Indigenous communities or organizations
  • Land development companies
  • Research and policy institutions (such as universities or think tanks)
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Large corporations in industries such as resources or utilities
  • 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 may serve on planning boards.

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 [pdf] in this occupation is 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 2153: Urban and land use planners occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020
Urban and land use planners

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
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $26.29 $49.72 $41.01 $42.25
Overall $33.59 $62.32 $51.29 $51.55
Top $36.35 $74.31 $56.35 $57.93

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
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

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 Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Professional Planners Institute website:

Canadian Institute of Planners website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. 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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