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Residential Landscaping Artist Career Info

Residential landscaping artists, also known as landscape architects, help to develop and implement landscape plans to a property owner's specifications. Learn about the required education, needed skills, employment outlook and salary expectations to decide if this is the right profession for you.

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Career Definition for a Residential Landscaping Artist

Residential landscape artists work with homeowners to develop landscaping plans that work with the existing environmental characteristics of a site. Residential landscape artists often work as freelance consultants or in private design firms. They collaborate with architects and contractors to design landscapes that incorporate structures, such as decks, patios, walkways and water features, with plants and other natural features.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture and earning a state license
Job Duties Include designing landscapes that incorporate structures, plants and other natural features
Median Salary (2015)* $63,810 (all landscape architects)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 5% growth (all landscape architects)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Residential landscape artists have earned bachelor's degrees or master's degrees in landscape architecture. Virtually every state requires residential landscape artists to earn licenses by passing a national exam. Coursework includes structural and construction techniques, design, natural history, geology, and computer drafting. Residential landscape artists must be licensed in all 50 states, as of 2010. Licensure requires passing a national exam known as the Landscape Architect Registration Examination, in addition to any other state requirements.

Skills Required

The American Society of Landscape Architects, www.asla.org, recommends that aspiring residential landscape artists have scientific knowledge of botany, biology and geology, as well as strong senses of aesthetics. Translating homeowners' visions into finished landscapes requires excellent communication skills. Self-employed residential landscape artists must possess the business and marketing knowledge required to successfully run their own companies.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, expects jobs for landscape architects to grow 5% from 2014-2024. One in five were self-employed, as of 2014. Demand for their services is closely tied to the housing market, and short-term declines in work opportunities may occur during economic downturns.

Landscape architects, including residential landscape artists, earned a median of $63,810 per year in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov. The highest-paid ten percent of landscape architects earned upwards of $104,710 a year.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some examples of alternative career options:

Environmental Scientist and Specialist

By earning a bachelor's degree, those interested in protecting the environment by targeting problems and finding solutions might find their futures in this profession. The BLS anticipated 11% growth in jobs for these scientists and specialists, from 2014-2024, which was a faster-than-average increase compared to all occupations during that time. In 2015, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $67,460, the BLS reported.

Civil Engineer

Individuals who want to tackle large projects might want to consider earning a bachelor's degree to enter this occupation. Civil engineers design and organize construction projects such as roads, dams, buildings, bridges and water or sewage systems. The BLS revealed a median annual wage of $82,220 in 2015 for civil engineers, and this position could expect 8% employment growth during the 2014-2024 decade.

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