Careers at Council

Planning &

Shape the future of Australian cities, towns and suburbs with a career in planning and development.

By developing effective strategies, you’ll be an integral part of delivering vibrant and livable communities, protecting our natural environment and providing adequate infrastructure and green spaces.

You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that the work you do impacts and shapes the future of your community.

Planning and Development

A Planning and Development career with Local Government offers the opportunity to be a part of delivering the cities, towns and regions of the future. The impact of your work will span generations. 

Local Government employs planners with expertise in many areas including:    

Strategy and Policy

  • Developing plans for the redevelopment of residential, industrial or commercial areas
  • Strategic land use planning
  • Planning law
  • Heritage and conservation
  • Planning research and project management
  • Assessing development applications


  • Natural resources management
  • Environmental planning and sustainability
  • Water catchment management
  • Coastal planning


  • Social planning and population projections
  • Economic development
  • Community consultation and mediation
  • Health, sport and recreation


  • Transport planning
  • Residential subdivision and new housing development
  • Designing public spaces
  • Urban design

Types of Roles:

Manager of Planning and Development

Strategic Planner/ Senior Strategic Planner

Statutory Planner

Urban Planner City Planner

Town Planner/ Senior Town Planner

Social Planner/ Social Infrastructure Planner

Development Planner

Maintenance Planner – Water and Waste

GIS Operator Spatial Officers

Graduate Planner

Student Planner/ Cadet Planner/ Trainee Town Planner

Planning Compliance Officer

Planning Assistant

What we do:

  • Manage the growth and change of urban and regional areas
  • Plan for an adequate supply of appropriate and affordable housing
  • Coordinate and plan for infrastructure
  • Support protection of natural environments and sustainable outcomes
  • Facilitate economic and cultural development
  • Engage with the community and stakeholders to develop plans and strategies and provide advice on planning matters


Read more about the trends and characteristics of the planning workforce in Planning Institute of Australia’s Planners in Australia: the State of the Profession Report.


A university qualification is usually essential for these roles. Over 40 qualifications have been accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia. Typical examples are:

  • Bachelor of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Bachelor of Urban & Environmental Planning
  • Master of Planning

Many councils also employ staff to assist with planning enquiries from residents, architects and developers. The following qualifications are suitable for these and similar positions:

  • Diploma of Local Government (Planning)

Building Surveying

Building Surveying professionals in Local Government assess building plans to ensure they are compliant with relevant building codes, standards and legislation. They ensure buildings are safe, accessible and energy efficient.

Surveyors can be involved in the entire length of a building project and conduct inspections to sign off on every stage of the construction. They also undertake inspections for requirements such as compliance audits for insurance or dilapidation reports.

Types of Roles:

Building Surveyor/ Senior Building Surveyor

Building Inspector/ Building Compliance Officer/ Building Assessment Officer

Assistant Building Surveyor

Development Officer


Cadet Building Surveyor


The first step to becoming a Building Surveyor is to obtain a relevant tertiary qualification. A list of appropriate courses is provided by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors.

It’s also a good idea to check with the relevant state body in charge of registration and licensing to see which courses are the best fit for you because accreditation and registration requirements vary from one state to another.

Read here how Dwayne started his career as a trainee at council.

The Universities Admission Centre

For more information about university courses visit The Universities Admission Centre.

My Skills

For more information about VET courses and training providers visit My Skills.

Planning & Development People Stories

Working in Councils

The scale and diversity of work on offer in Local Government is impressive as is the direct and positive impact this work has on the communities we serve.

Is council right for you?

Local Government’s 189,000 employees have many different skills and backgrounds, but together they share certain values and attributes that enable them to succeed at Council.