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Thread: Thinking of becoming a town planner?

  1. #1
    Member
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    Gold Coast, Australia
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    Thinking of becoming a town planner?

    heay guys

    I live on the Gold Coast and im 20 years old and I would love some advice.

    At the moment im studying to be a Draftsman at tafe and im thinking of going to university and Studying Urban and Environmental Planning. Mainly because the are almost no Jobs for drafting, and also architecture, its nearly impossible to find un-payed work experience so finding work its nearly impossible.

    But iv been told there is still a demand for for Town planners here on the Gold Coast and abroad. And also the town planning coarse is shorter than the architecture coarse. And i don't want to be like everyone else when the finish their course they cant get work.

    Do u guys think its a good Idea?

    I have some questions regarding the actual job.

    What do town planners do, what does a day at work consist of?

    What is the average wage of a town planner? Do that get payed more than a draftsman and architects?

    Is there Job Very Stressful?


    Do they work Long hours?

    Is it true that town planners are pretty much lawyers for town planning, as in there job consists of heavily on reading and knowing law or is it balanced with other aspects as well as law?

    Is there a design or art aspect to town planning? I hope so

    Do town planners use cad software like draftsman and architects?

    To the towns planners, do u enjoy your work, if so why?

    Thank You.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    I am 24 and also a fellow Gold Coaster,


    It is a very rewarding degree I must say. You will see the world differently and it makes you become critical. Keep in mind you are not restricted to just town planning there is so many different opportunities. If you are looking at the design aspect consider Urban Design.

    A vast group of people in my course do Urban and Environmental Planning degree because they were not able to get the required OP to study Architecture. Check out the Planning Institute of Australia Website to get a definition of planning and the various career opportunities it presents.

    We do some drafting by hand and some rendering in Development Processes Studio. Just do not get caught using CAD as the lecturer will be very upset (personal experience last year). I have done some drafting and created full size setouts based on my past career as a cabinetmaker.

    The future is in your hands if you are looking to do drafting I am sure you can find pathways to it. There is also GIS which I am a big fan of. The business of creating maps and analysing data. Can do amazing things with ArcGIS and Google Earth.

    We also Learn about
    Politics
    Ecology
    Botany/Zoology
    GIS
    Real Estate
    Geography
    Philosophy
    Drafting
    Economics
    Earth Science
    The list goes on

    There is quite a lot of law involved, but you have to expect that. Statutory planning is what we call the bread and butter of planning. Many planners have been lawyers and vice versa. Any degree in planning will require some knowledge in Law. However, it is something you can avoid depending on your career path.

  3. #3
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    Thanks man for the advice, but only one reply doesnt anyone else want to give my some advice too, this is a forum overall

  4. #4
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    Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
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    Good Idea

    Hey
    I started studying architecture and working for myself at the same time. I realised that while it was fun n into all kinds of tripp stuff, it wouldnt pay me to study anything else. The uni had a combined urban design school then (architecture, landscape, planning and urban design).
    It was very clear that planning paid a LOT better, there were tons of jobs, and it was probably a lot more interesting. after 12 years workiing, I dont regret the change. I also can afford to pay an architect to do what I want (regardless of whether it is my house extension or as a developer).
    there are down sides - it has a high burn out rate. your advice isnt always taken, elected members often get to make the contentious decisions, you often arent the most popular person in town (but the same people often like you because you give consistent advice).
    I would suggest doing a few years in local government while you study (most Councils will reimburse costs). I have noticed that most consultants who havent done this dont understand fundamental components of the job as well.
    These days I invest my own money on developing my communications int interpersonal relations skills, accredited mediation and negotiation skills.
    Im also about to go holidaying to the US for 6 weeks, a lot of which will be tax deductible.
    Think of town planning as architecture on the macro scale - you are building the town, valley, region, not just one clients house who wants to bla bla bla...
    12 years on, theres still a chronic shortage, the pay and conditions are getting better as the profession develops and you can still go most places in the world and get a job. Need any more info, just ask!
    Mick

  5. #5
    BWharrie's avatar
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    Jul 2002
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    Cross Country Skiing, Australia
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    Life of a Town Planner

    I started out as a draftsman in town planing (preparing maps for planning instruments) then became multi careered with starting my own mapping business in town planning and working as a outdoor educator/tour guide. One of my clients in mapping suggested I try the UNE course, which I did (whilst working overseas in tourism!) a became qualified. Then I was offered a TP position in Development Assessment and excelled due in part to my customer focused skills developed in the tourism industries.
    Now I have an enjoyable TP position in regional Australia near the snow.
    However the position ivolves being very conversant with PCs, GIS and all the opportunities and constraints for each property and each type of development (a very large multi-dimensioned matrix that expands every second!)
    Day's work for a Development Control Planner involves prioritising work continuosly, assisting colleagues with regulations and Word, inspect properties, taking photos and make inspection notes, transferring photos into PC and write assessment report, make comments based on the proposal and the location, copy and remove objectors details and send with covering letter to applicant, advise objectors and applicant of extensions to submission perid, assessing car parking using turning template from Australian standards, checking on ability to vary a development standard, draft a set of conditions for approval then adjust according to the proposal and location, issue developoment consent, update assessment monitoring sytem, attend Council meetings and present current application status for each, advise Councillors of particular development issues and market trend, cordinate adminstration staff in issuing adjoiuning owner notification letters, requesting further information from applicants (happens to 50% of applications), answering public enquiries by phone, email and on the front counter and it keeps going...
    Be aware of the difference between Development Control/Assessment work and Strategic Planning.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Just so you know most people when they finish uni end up in a Development Assessment role to begin with

  7. #7
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Woolley View post
    Just so you know most people when they finish uni end up in a Development Assessment role to begin with
    how do you qualify this statement? Its a mix of both, just depends on what your interests are
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
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    Quote Originally posted by natski View post
    how do you qualify this statement? Its a mix of both, just depends on what your interests are
    I have no doubt its a mix. I have been told by 2 senior planners and a lecturer that is where you are likely to start off. Maybe its different on the Gold Coast? Rapid coastal development and population growth and the need for DAs

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