Professional landscapers maintain and create functional outdoor spaces, such as golf courses, college campuses, parks and shopping centers. Graduation from a professional landscaper online diploma program may lead to employment at landscaping firms or the opening of one's own business.
The professional landscaper online diploma program educates students in all aspects of landscape design, including the creative process, project assessment and horticulture and planting standards. Graduates of the program learn to understand the natural environment and to create designs that compliment and function within that environment. At the completion of the program, graduates qualify to sit for the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) in order to become licensed.
A professional landscaper online diploma program exposes students to various facets of the landscape design process. Graduates of the program should exhibit proficiency in:
- Producing conceptual plans
- Creating sustainable eco-friendly designs
- Solving site problems
- Maintaining client relations
- Understanding hard landscape construction and ground contouring
The professional landscaper online diploma program courses showcase landscape design applications by emphasizing site engineering methods, sound design and the appropriate use of plant materials. Examples of courses students can expect to take include:
- Soil studies
- Landscape construction
- Plant pathology and physiology
- Landscape design
- Ornamental plants
- Landscape technology
Landscape architects may advance to become project managers in charge of overseeing the entire design process. They may also become a partner or associate within a firm or start their very own landscape design practice.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May of 2015, the median annual salary for landscape architects was $63,810 (www.bls.gov). Entry-level landscapers may earn less than $40,230 per year but may advance (with additional education and experience) to earn over $104,710.
The BLS projects a 5% increase for professional landscape architects between 2014 and 2024, partly due to the increase in popularity of environmentally sound design construction projects. Opportunities will be particularly good for those who have computer design skills and a comprehension of environmental regulations.
Individuals who want to work as professional landscapers can build their skills in developing and implementing designs for outdoor venues by earning an online diploma. Students who graduate from this type of program can create their own landscaping business or work for a landscaping company.