Environmental Planner

NOC #21202

  • Environment Primarily indoor/office work
  • Education Post-secondary degree

Career profile

Environmental planners navigate strict environmental regulations to ensure corporate compliance in the complex production and construction activities associated with the energy sector. They are responsible for strategic land use planning and they assess and mitigate the environmental impact of projects on land, water, air and nearby communities.

They compile and analyze data related to environmental, demographic, economic, legal political, cultural, sociological and physical factors that impact land use. Environmental planners provide strategic advice to management on how social, economic, and environmental considerations and regulatory frameworks such as environmental impact assessments will affect projects through their entire lifecycle. They work across functional areas in companies and often lead teams of technical environmental and engineering specialists to support environmental impact assessments, project planning, applications, development and permitting processes.

Exploration and production, Oil sands, Pipelines, Oil and gas services

In this occupation, activities may include:

  • Compiling and analyzing data on environmental, demographic, economic, legal, political, cultural, sociological, physical and other factors affecting land use.
  • Supporting engagement efforts with Indigenous communities, stakeholders and regulatory agencies.
  • Communicating and collaborating with other environmental and regulatory specialists to ensure consistency in project execution.
  • Providing strategic environmental advice and project management throughout all stages of a project’s lifecycle including approval, construction, post-construction and operational management within both provincial and federal regulatory frameworks.
  • Leading teams of technical environmental and engineering specialists to support the environmental assessment, application development and permitting processes.


  • Generally environmental planners come from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Many have a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in planning or a related discipline such as urban studies, engineering, architecture, geography, forestry or economics.
  • It is very common in oil and gas for an Environmental Planner to have a B.Sc or M.Sc. in environment related disciplines.


  • Although it is not necessary to be certified in order to work as an environmental planner, many practitioners choose to belong to professional associations. The requirements for membership vary among provinces.
  • Additional health and safety certifications may be required depending on employer requirements.

Additional Requirements

  • Membership in the Canadian Institute of Planners may be required.
  • Urban and land use planners are regulated in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and membership in a provincial planning institute may be required in other provinces.
  • Travel likely required
  • Primarily indoor/office work
  • Work not physically demanding

You can compile and analyze data on factors affecting land use. You are also a strong communicator and collaborator.

  • Biology
  • Information and Document Management
  • Laws and Regulations
  • Understanding Risk
  • Cost Benefit Analysis
  • Public Speaking
  • Systems Evaluation and Analysis
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Professional Judgment and Decision Making
  • Managing Conflict
  • Persuasion
  • Collaborative