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Transport planner

Transport planners manage road, rail and air transport networks at local, regional and national level.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need a degree in civil engineering, economics, environmental science, or geography followed by a master’s qualification in transport planning. 

Some employers may accept degree subjects like business studies or social sciences.

You could start as a transport planning assistant if you have an HNC or HND in a similar subject area, or relevant work experience.

The Transport Planning Society (TPS) has more information on becoming a transport planner.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • a creative approach to problem solving
  • project management skills
  • report writing and presentation skills
  • excellent communication and negotiation skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll look at the impact of large and small scale transport issues on the public. This could be a village bypass proposal, or road safety measures outside a school.

You’ll plan and advise on transport policies for new systems and on improvements to existing ones.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • simulating transport problems using computer models to work out solutions
  • analysing and interpreting data from transport studies
  • forecasting the impact of new developments like shopping centres
  • looking at schemes to manage traffic, like congestion charging or parking controls
  • studying accident 'black spots' to design road safety improvements
  • writing reports for funding bids and planning authorities
  • acting as an expert witness during public enquiries

You’ll also encourage people to use their cars less and walk, cycle or use public transport. 

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 to £50,000

You may earn more working as a freelance consultant.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work up to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. 

You may have extra duties in the evenings or at weekends.

You’ll be based in an office, but you’ll spend some time visiting sites and attending planning meetings.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior transport planner or traffic engineer.

You could also move into town planning, policy development, or consultancy.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016