Students enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science (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.
Programs are typically two years in length and require a high school diploma or GED. Some program specializations include planting design, spatial design, irrigation design, and plant properties.
Associate of Applied Science 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
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 2016, all but three states and Washington D.C. 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).
Students who pursue an AAS in landscape design will study subjects such as landscape architecture and botany. These students will be able to work as a landscape design technician or pursue further education and certification as a landscape architect.