How to become an Urban Planner (Town Planner) in India?


India is one of the fastest developing nations with around 8,000 cities and towns, 600 districts besides over 4,00,000 villages. According to a report of Expert committee which was set up by Ministry of Human Resource Development, in 2011, India would need around 3 lacs town and country planners by 2031 while we had hardly 5 thousand town planners in the year 2019 in the country. Hence, we do not have the sufficient number of town planners even if one qualified town planner is to be deployed in these towns and cities. Moreover, currently the job is being done by other professionals whose area of expertise are in fields associated to planning instead of professional planners or simply non-qualified planners which further adds up to the problem.

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Urban area

Who is a Town Planner/ Urban Planner?

Town Planners serve as a bridge between the desires of general public or the needs of the town or area for which they are responsible and public officials or authorities. Planners undertake complex assessments and analyze the variables involved with developing land and its resources. Following this, they determine and propose the best use for the land, also known as land use.

In other words, a planner is a professional who is responsible for judiciously planning resources in order to develop communities, accommodate population growth and provide them with their needs including physical and social infrastructure. You can read more about B.Planning course on our newsletter A Guide to B.Planning in India (for school students & budding planners) -[opens in new tab] or on FAQs Urban Planning Course (B.Plan) in India.

How to become a Town Planner/ Urban Planner?

One can go for graduation in Urban Planning after 10 + 2 from any stream with Maths as a mandatory subject and later on pursue post-graduation in the field of Planning. There is a wide variety of options available to select from for the purpose of Master’s programme such as Environmental Planning, Housing, Regional Planning, Urban Planning and Transport Planning.

Another way to enter Planning field after completing 10 + 2 is to purse bachelor’s degree in Geography, Economics, Sociology and other such fields which makes you eligible for Masters degree in Urban Planning. An important thing to note is that apart from Maths being a mandatory subject, students should score a minimum of 50% marks in 10 + 2 exams. Also, there is an option of pursuing PhD after post-graduation.

Another option is to pursue M.Plan (Master in Planning) after your bachelor degree in Planning, Architecture, Geography, Sociology or Law depending on the eligible courses for admission to M.Plan. For more information please refer to our Guide to M.Planning (opens in new tab) or refer to the admission details for some widely known colleges below:

Urban Planning Colleges in India

In India, Urban Planning or Town Planning is offered by a number of colleges which are affiliated to Institute of Town Planners of India (ITPI) and/ or All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) or state departments. These colleges offer undergraduate, postgraduate courses and some of them offer PhD as well. The list includes both public and private institutes like IIT, Kharagpur, SPAs, CEPT, Lovely Professional University and so on. A complete list of colleges available on Urban Planning Colleges in India.

Work Description

Urban Planners are in great demand in the country as the field of education is getting recognition and the need of Planners is being realized. Due to awareness, being made at various levels, importance and role of Planners are now being properly put in place which was not the scenario earlier. Thus, more people are now interested in exploring this field of knowledge and considering it as a career.

Since Planning is a multidisciplinary field, Planners possess knowledge related to huge number of subjects that are required in proper functioning of towns or cities. This, in turn, makes Urban planners eligible to work in a variety of sectors including government, private and NGOs.

Related: Urban Planning Job Description

Salaries and outlook

While choosing a career option, one of the most important questions that crosses the mind of majority is regarding the monetary returns that can be made after investing huge amount of time and money during the process. This is an important indicator to be looked into while assessing all the available career options, after all, monetary value of a profession cannot be ignored. So, there are several factors that affects the monetary value of an Urban Planner. These factors range widely from the city you are posted in to the organization you are working with. But broadly speaking, as a graduate after B.Plan, salary could range from 3 LPA to 5 PLA whereas a post graduate with M.Plan degree could get offers ranging from 4.5 to 10 LPA. Further, work experience highly adds up to the market value of a Planner.

Related: Market Value of a Planner in India or a detailed version with reviews and feedback from professionals on B.Plan on The Market Value of a B.Planner (India)