Landscape architects essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $64,180
- 2012, number of jobs: 15,750
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 16 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Landscape architects; what they do:
Working as a landscaping architect is truly a creative, hands-on and visually stimulating career that combines science, design, art and the great outdoors. A landscape architect organizes and designs a variety of structural projects from parks, recreational areas, public land development, restoration projects and highways to airports, and other commercial, residential and urban properties.
A landscaping architect career includes meeting with clients, building architects and engineers to decide and manage cost, design plans and schematics and ultimately make sure the land is suitable environmentally and structurally for construction. Upon approval of a project, landscape architects decide on methods for construction and building materials.
Landscape architects job titles:
- Landscaping Architect
- Project Manager
- Golf Course Architect
- Land Planner
- Landscape Designer
Landscape Architects Education, Certification and License Requirements
Typically, people seeking a landscape architecture career need a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture degree or a Master in Landscape Architecture degree from an accredited school in landscape architecture (usually by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board).
Landscape architects need a license in every state. However, landscaping architects working for the federal government do not need a license but do need a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
There are two undergraduate landscape architect degrees which usually require four to five years of study: a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA).
People with an undergraduate degree in a field other than landscape architecture can take a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) graduate degree program.
Many employers recommend people seeking a landscape architect career complete an internship with a landscape architecture firm while in school.
Landscape architects programs cover subjects such as:
- Site construction
- Digital landscape media
- Landscape architecture design
- Landscape architecture design process
- Computer aided design (CAD)
- Landscape planning analysis
- Site planning and design
A landscape architect’s licensing is based on the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) and applicants who want to take the exam usually need a degree from an accredited school and work experience, although standards vary by state.
For people who don’t have an accredited landscape architecture degree, most states offer alternatives to qualify to take the L.A.R.E., usually requiring more work experience. Upon meeting national requirements, a landscape architect can obtain certification; it’s useful in getting one state to accept a license from another state.
Career Advancement Opportunities
There are many related careers landscape architects can move into such as engineering and urban planning. The most closely related field is architecture itself, the transition require more time and education.
Landscape Architects Job Outlook
Forecast: 16 percent employment growth for landscape architects from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
New construction, redevelopment of existing buildings and “green” construction projects contribute to job growth. For example, landscaping architects are involved in the design of environmentally friendly roofs which significantly reduce the costs of heating and cooling a building. Knowledge of environmental codes and regulations are also a big plus in attaining employment.
Individuals with additional training in urban planning increase their chances of obtaining a job with landscape architecture companies specializing in site planning and landscape design.
Landscape Architects Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $64,180
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $83,370
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $48,770
Landscape Architects Major Employers
- Architectural, engineering and related services