Roughly half of urban planners work in private industry, while the other half works in the public sector.
Private sector companies include consulting and law firms, real estate firms, retail firms, and service firms. Urban planners can work on cases involving land-use controversies, housing developments, or managing the leasing for new retail complexes. They can also work in getting permissions to build facilities such as cell phone towers, hydro transmission lines, and extensions to airports.
In the public sector, urban planners work for cities and towns, at the regional level, and at the provincial and national level. There they work in planning, land development, and developing transit systems. This takes place usually in collaboration with civil and structural engineers, environmental engineers, government officials, and lawyers.
Some urban planners work in the voluntary sector such as industry associations, social agencies, non-profit housing groups, and community centers. As well, urban planners can go into business for themselves as consultants.