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Associate Degree in Landscaping Design

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in landscaping design is a 2-year program most often available at technical schools or community colleges. Students study landscape design theory and technique, as well as the business aspects of landscape design work.

Essential Information

Students enrolled in the AAS degree program in landscaping design learn how to plan and implement plantings, paths, irrigation and structural items to create both aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces. They might learn about the properties of herbaceous plants, woody plants, grasses and flowering plants. Within the program, students explore design styles applicable for commercial, residential and public park properties.

  • Program Levels in Landscape Designing: Associate's degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Program Specializations: Planting design; irrigation design; spatial design; plant properties
  • Program Length: 2 years

Associate of Applied Science Degree in Landscaping Design

Coursework combines studies in horticulture and design principles. Students learn (through hands-on experience as well as classroom instruction) to create a design program, perform an existing conditions analysis, and create functional and aesthetic design solutions.

Examples of courses offered include:

  • Plant identification
  • Soil fertility
  • Computer-aided landscape design
  • Landscape architecture
  • Plant health and diseases
  • Insect pests
  • Ornamental horticulture

Popular Career Options

Upon completing an AAS program, one is typically prepared to enter a career as a landscape design technician. A graduate may start her own business, or she might be employed by:

  • Landscape companies
  • Private organizations
  • Public recreation departments
  • Nurseries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of landscape architects is projected to increase by 14% from 2012 to 2022, which is about average compared to all job sectors. In May of 2014, the BLS estimated that these professionals earned an average annual salary of $69,530.

Continuing Education and Licensure Information

Although graduates can seek immediate employment, they might also continue their formal education in order to qualify for additional jobs, like that of the landscape architect. A graduate might consider earning a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture or Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture degree. In these programs, students gain real-world experience as they work closely with city planners and engineers to create landscape projects. Issues such as sustainability, ecological conservation and social concerns are likely to be topics of study. For further training, one might enter a Master of Landscape Architecture program, which typically offers areas of concentration including urban design, environmental science, art and architecture.

The BLS reported that as of 2010, all states require licensure for architect landscapers. Applicants can obtain licensure by completing the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.). After successfully passing the exam, which is sponsored by the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB), students must periodically complete a specific number of hours of continuing education requirements to maintain licensure status (www.clarb.org).

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