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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.

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

  • 2153: Urban and Land Use Planners

2006 NOC-S

  • C053: Urban and Land Use Planners

2011 NOC

  • 2153: Urban and land use planners

2016 NOC

  • 2153: Urban and land use planners

2021 NOC

  • 21202: Urban and land use planners

2023 OaSIS

  • 21202.00: Urban and land use planners
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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Urban and Land Use Planners

2006 NOC: 2153

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Urban and land use planners

2016 NOC: 2153

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 21 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Feb 11, 2022 and May 10, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Construction Specialization: Initiative
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Organized
Health benefits: Health care plan
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

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.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

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).

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Community Planner.

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2153: Urban and land use planners occupational group, 76.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2153: Urban and land use planners occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 47 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Urban and land use planners

2016 NOC: 2153
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2153 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.04 $57.41 $41.29 $39.86
Overall $31.73 $70.06 $51.60 $49.79
Top $39.50 $89.67 $61.49 $64.62

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration

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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