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Thread: Anyone work in/know of the planning job situation in Singapore?

  1. #1
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    Anyone work in/know of the planning job situation in Singapore?

    I wanted to know if there's anyone out there who's considered or worked in singapore as a planner. What's it like? Is there shortage of planning jobs as it is in america? thank you.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    I do know a couple people who have worked in Singapore as planners. From what I understand it has an extremely strong urban planning regime, something that should probably make the rest of us jealous (although there are lots of reasons why what they do can't be replicated here). Both of these planners are American, so it's at least possible to get a job, although my sense is like anywhere else networking/connections are important in landing one - I don't want to give the impression that they're throwing planning jobs around to anyone who wants one.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Hello, I'm working in Singapore now as a planner. Job situation wise, there isn't a very big market for planners. But then again, we don't have a planning degree on offer in Singapore so people who are actually trained as planners are difficult to come by. In the public sector, most come from the affiliated professions like Geography or Economics, while planners in the private sector tend to be design-trained, i.e. Architects or Landscape Architects, due to the nature of the work.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Current economic situation may have impacted the market somewhat. Jobs in government ministries may be open to locals only but the restriction does not seem to apply to statutory boards and public agencies. Positions are being advertised but the same ones keep appearing periodically, so actual vacancies might not be happening.

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    Thank you so much for your replies. I'd love to work as a planner in singapore and it's discouraging to hear that government agencies mostly only hire locals... I guess planning is a difficult job to come by at any country right now... thanks again everyone!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally posted by joshww81 View post
    Hello, I'm working in Singapore now as a planner. Job situation wise, there isn't a very big market for planners. But then again, we don't have a planning degree on offer in Singapore so people who are actually trained as planners are difficult to come by. In the public sector, most come from the affiliated professions like Geography or Economics, while planners in the private sector tend to be design-trained, i.e. Architects or Landscape Architects, due to the nature of the work.

    Hope this helps.
    Hi Joshww81,

    I tried to send you a private message but let me know if it worked. There's no mail in the outbox so just wanted to make sure it was sent. thank you

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally posted by yk2366 View post
    Thank you so much for your replies. I'd love to work as a planner in singapore and it's discouraging to hear that government agencies mostly only hire locals... I guess planning is a difficult job to come by at any country right now... thanks again everyone!

    Hi yk2366,

    There are actually a lot of overseas planners in my organisation at the moment, although the majority are still locals. Check your PM.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by yk2366 View post
    it's discouraging to hear that government agencies mostly only hire locals...
    In the US, Federal jobs are mostly only for US citizens.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Reefe View post
    In the US, Federal jobs are mostly only for US citizens.
    To be fair, you're going to find that in a lot of jobs abroad. Unless you provide a unique or in demand skill set, there's very little reason for employers to go through the hoops to hire someone internationally.

  10. #10
    I am actually working as a development consulting in Seoul and am looking to possibly move to Singapore for a planning related job.

    I tried applying to the URA a couple of times for entry level Tech Officer (GIS) and one of their Planner positions...considering I am a U.S. trained planner, they are looking for locals for these types of jobs?

    I heard Surbana was one of the top planning companies, but are there any others? I also tried checking out the Singapore Institute of Planners, but they don't really have any listings on their site either?

  11. #11
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    URA - Suggestions on Networking / Researching?

    Hello! Thanks for all of your posts! Other than this forum, it has been difficult to find much info on planning jobs in Singapore. I am a Canadian trained planner. My professional experience has been primarily in the development industry in Canada. I also have brief internship experience in Taiwan. am interested in working as a planner in Singapore (likely a 2 year plan). So I have some time for research and networking before applying for jobs. Do you have any suggestions on where to start and what to expect as a foreigner? Over the last few months, I have noticed constant job postings on the URA website. Is the organization expanding? It is not clear if all of these are entry level jobs?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by rjchetti View post
    I am actually working as a development consulting in Seoul and am looking to possibly move to Singapore for a planning related job.

    I tried applying to the URA a couple of times for entry level Tech Officer (GIS) and one of their Planner positions...considering I am a U.S. trained planner, they are looking for locals for these types of jobs?

    I heard Surbana was one of the top planning companies, but are there any others? I also tried checking out the Singapore Institute of Planners, but they don't really have any listings on their site either?
    Quote Originally posted by ShaShaLo View post
    Hello! Thanks for all of your posts! Other than this forum, it has been difficult to find much info on planning jobs in Singapore. I am a Canadian trained planner. My professional experience has been primarily in the development industry in Canada. I also have brief internship experience in Taiwan. am interested in working as a planner in Singapore (likely a 2 year plan). So I have some time for research and networking before applying for jobs. Do you have any suggestions on where to start and what to expect as a foreigner? Over the last few months, I have noticed constant job postings on the URA website. Is the organization expanding? It is not clear if all of these are entry level jobs?
    Hi, the URA has expanded recently but it seems that we've slowed down in our hiring process. Most of our positions are entry level, although if you have more experience you can be considered for more senior positions, I guess.

    But I think that we've slowed down in the hiring of foreigners. A friend of mine from Australia tried to apply but he also got rejected.

    Apart from the URA, there are other agencies that hire planners, for instance JTC (to do industrial estate planning), LTA (transport planning), NParks (parks planning) and HDB (public housing and new town master planning). Do check them out too: www.careers.gov.sg (it's a one-stop website for the govt agencies in Singapore).

    As for private sector firms, the Singaporean-based planning firms would be Surbana, CPG Consultants, RSP, Jurong Consultants, DP Architects and SCP Consultants. As I've mentioned before, the private consultants do mostly overseas physical planning / master planning work, so design skills are almost a must. Apart from them, AECOM is also active in Singapore. You can check out this link on local consultancies: http://www.dpa.com.sg/books/urban-transformations/

  13. #13
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    Thank you so much for your response and suggestions!
    My skills experience are more focused on policy and development approval. So i guess I can cross off the private sector from my list. Thanks again for your response Josh!

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