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Transportation Planner

by Staff Reporter
If you are an organised individual and have a passion for numbers, a career as a Transportation Planner could be for you.

Career Overview

A Transportation Planner is someone who works alongside government agencies to select and develop plans to organise mass transit.  Essentially Transportation Planners design, maintain, and improve community infrastructure such as bridges, highway roads, and interstate expressways so that drivers can safely and easily travel from one place to another.

Required School Subjects

You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school:

  • Pure Mathematics

Recommended subjects:

  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Economics

Institution and APS

The following institutions are highly recommended for studies:

  • Stellenbosch University – No specific APS requirement
  • University of Johannesburg (UJ) – APS of 26+
  • UNISA – No specific APS requirement
  • University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 30

Required Qualification/s

Transportation Planners typically hold bachelor’s degrees in engineering or a related field, as well as have several years of experience in working with traffic trends and planning with specific focus on vehicular and pedestrian traffic in a variety of settings.  Some of the specific qualifications available at each of the abovementioned institutions include:

University of Johannesburg

  • Diploma in Transportation Management
  • Diploma in Logistics
  • BCom in Logistics Management
  • BCom Honours in Transport Economics

Stellenbosch University

  • BCom in Logistics Management
  • Quantitative Management (Offered during second year as a major)

UNISA

  • Bachelor of Commerce in Transport and Logistics
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Supply Chain and Operations Management
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Transport and Logistics

University of Pretoria

  • BCom Supply Chain Management

Required Skills

You will need to show the following skills in order to succeed as a Transportation Planner:

  • Ability to understand the entire user journey from end to end (supplier to customer)
  • Numeracy and IT skills
  • Interpersonal skills that enable cross-functional teamwork
  • Organisational and planning skills which help you scope out detailed and well thought out plans
  • Great written and verbal communication and negotiation skills
  • Willingness to work unusual hours (a lot of supply chain activity happens at night)
  • Ability to work under strict deadlines and project pressures

Where you can work

Transportation Planners may work with (or for) local, provincial and national governments.  

Some employers require that you travel long distances that could conceivably cover whole regions as jobs are more likely to arise in densely-populated or urban areas.

Working Hours

A typical work day for a Transportation Planner takes place in an office setting, with some visits to field sites for purposes of inspection.  You should also be prepared to work shifts which include evenings and weekends.

Expected Salary

Salaries of a Transportation Planner vary depending on the level of education and experience.

1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R217 771 per annum

5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R385 635 per annum

10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of R505 862 + per annum

What to expect

There are many things that you’ll like about this career, some of them include:

The job security that comes with being a scarce skill in an in-demand role

Playing an important role that has a wide impact

When interacting with suppliers, it can take time to form reliable relationships that work well to help the business succeed. This means that you’re under great pressure to think critically about the bigger picture, which can sometimes be stressful – especially if you have to work long hours to get the job done.

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