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Construction planner, building planner

Planners create programmes of all the work needed on large construction projects and direct activities. As a planner, you’ll oversee logistics, deploy workers, manage budgets and ensure that work is on schedule. You’ll work closely with estimators, engineers, surveyors and architects to keep projects on track and manage conflicting priorities.

Average salary*




How to become a planner

There are several routes to becoming a planner. You can gain the qualifications needed by doing a university or college course, or an apprenticeship. If you already have some experience you may be able to apply directly to become a planning assistant.

You should explore the options to find out which is the right one for you.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


You could do an undergraduate degree in construction management or project management.

If you already have a first degree you could study for a postgraduate qualification in construction project management.

You’ll need:

College/training provider

You could do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment or a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Building Studies.

You’ll need:

  • 4 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths (extended diploma)
  • A Levels or a Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject or trade (HNC).

If you are already working as a site supervisor in a construction trade you could do an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Occupational Work Supervision to help you become a planner.


An apprenticeship with a construction firm is a good way into the industry. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

An intermediate apprenticeship takes around two years to complete. To become a construction planner you could follow a higher apprenticeship in Construction Management.

You’ll need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs, or equivalent, at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) (intermediate apprenticeship)
  • 3 GCSEs, or equivalent, at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) (advanced apprenticeship).

  • Guide to apprenticeships

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works in construction. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a planner:

  • Knowledge of English language, maths, and geography
  • Able to work well with others
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Persistence and determination
  • Ambition and a desire to succeed
  • Business management skills
  • Able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What does a planner do?

As a planner you will be responsible for ensuring that projects are kept on track by producing reports and using project management tools to keep all other teams involved in the project on track.

The job role of a planner involves the following duties:

  • Creating, maintaining and reviewing a programme of work
  • Ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget
  • Liaising with surveyors, engineers and architects
  • Producing progress reports and forecasts for team members, clients and stakeholders
  • Breaking large jobs down into phases of development
  • Using project management tools to plan timeframes
  • Working with estimators to calculate the resources needed for a project
  • Planning contingency programmes in case timeframes change
  • Meeting with contractors and suppliers
  • Demonstrating knowledge of construction
  • Writing bids for tender
  • Managing several projects with the support of junior planners
  • Working between offices and construction sites.

How much could you earn as a planner?

The expected salary for a planner varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained construction planner’s can earn in the region of £20,000 - £30,000
  • Trained with experience construction planner’s can earn in the region of £30,000 - £50,000
  • Senior, chartered or master construction planner’s can earn in the region of £50,000 - £70,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility, and salaries and career options can improve with chatered status.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest planner vacancies:

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

Most planners start out as planning assistants or trainees. They share programmes of work with colleagues and suppliers and ensure each phase is on schedule.

As a more experienced planner, you could progress to become a senior project manager or construction director.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Planner Fill a vital role during the construction process by creating a plan that leads ...
    Read more
  • Current role Contracts manager During a construction project, the contracts manager overseas the contracts proc...
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  • Current role Project director Manage progress, budget & teams to ensure the successful conclusion of construct...
    Read more
  • Current role Construction director As head of construction, the construction director is responsible for planning &...
    Read more
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