Landscape architects design public parks, playgrounds, college campuses, residential areas and other open spaces. They create appealing environments that are both functional and in harmony with nature.
A great deal of their work involves analysing and accommodating geographical and environmental factors in their plans. They direct the placement of buildings, walkways, garden structures, roads, greenery and flowers.
Duties and responsibilities
- Meet clients, building architects and engineers to discuss requirements, requests and limitations of project
- Evaluate site's geography, existing landscaping and structures
- Analyse data on environmental factors including soil condition and drainage
- Draw up site plans, specifications and cost estimates
- Use computer-aided software to create models that incorporate all architectural and topographical elements
- Present designs for approval to client, government agency, community group or other invested parties
- Hire and supervise subcontractors for building and landscape work
- Select appropriate materials for building and landscaping, using sustainable items when possible
- Stay current on latest technology, science, products and design trends
- Coordinate work of consultants, subcontractors and staff, and monitor progress of project
- Prepare visual representations of how space will look with predicted growth of landscaping
- Schedule follow-up meetings with clients to assure landscape designs and growth are developing as planned
- Develop marketing materials and advertising plans to ensure future work
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Nights and weekends occasionally
Most landscape architects work full time, often in an office environment during regular business hours. They typically find positions at architectural, engineering or landscaping service firms. Many are self-employed.
Landscape architects must also visit outdoor job sites. You’ll potentially work some nights and weekends to address problems and to meet deadlines.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture
Most landscape architects have a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. Coursework can take four to five years to complete. Prospective architects with an alternate degree may obtain a master’s in landscape architecture in three years.
All landscape architects must be licensed in their state. Education and experience requirements vary by location. The list of prerequisites is available through the licensing entity, the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB). They also offer certification for licenced architects.
Internships during your schooling will assist you in getting your licence sooner.
Many landscape architects begin work as an intern, learning from experienced architects before earning their own licence. Success with smaller projects can then lead to more challenging endeavours. A combination of creative designs, quality work and good marketing can help build your client base and increase your income.
Earning a certification can help you earn licensing in other states if you want to expand your job opportunities.