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Difference Between Landscape Architect & Architect

Landscape architects and architects can affect how a neighborhood or region looks, but they focus on designing different things. Continue reading to learn more about the similarities and differences between landscape architects and architects.

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Comparing Landscape Architects to Architects

Landscape architects and architects both work in design. The key difference between a landscape architect and an architect is the focus of what they design. Landscape architects focus on designing outdoor areas while architects design building plans.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary* (2016) Job Outlook* (2014-2024)
Landscape Architect Bachelor's Degree $63,480 5%
Architect Bachelor's Degree $76,930 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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  • Architectural History
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Responsibilities of Landscape Architects vs. Architects

Landscape architects and architects are highly trained professionals who need a bachelor's degree in their field. Professionals in both fields need to be aware of environmental regulations and building codes that might affect their work, and they both need to meet with their clients to discuss the projects and prepare proposals and budgets for the project. After work has begun on the site, both landscape architects and architects will visit the site to ensure that their plans are being followed. The key difference is the type of design work that they focus on. Architects design structures such as houses or office buildings, while landscape architects produce plans for the outdoor areas around structures. They may design a public park or the layout of the grounds at a school or business.

Landscape Architect

Landscape architects need to be licensed in almost all states. In order to work as a landscape architect a bachelor's degree is normally required, and some may opt to complete a master's degree before entering this field. Landscape architects apply their creative talents to design plans for places such as school campuses or parks. They have to consider environmental regulations, client needs, geographic variables and existing structures when they're working on their designs. Their design work and meetings are conducted in offices, but they also visit worksites.

Job responsibilities of a landscape architect include:

  • Discussing projects with clients
  • Meeting with other professionals working on other aspects of a project
  • Inspecting the site to identify immovable items they need to work around, such as rock formations or buildings
  • Drafting plans for how they propose to design the space
  • Preparing a budget for the client

Architect

Architects are the innovative, creative designers who develop blueprints for buildings. Architects may work with a company that's building a new office or a city that is adding condominiums to increase housing. All buildings that are constructed begin as a design plan created by an architect. Although some architects are self-employed, most work in offices. Travel is required when they visit worksites to check on the progress of the buildings they've designed. A degree in architecture is required to work in this field, and architects must also pass an exam and complete an internship to acquire practical experience before entering the field.

Job responsibilities of an architect include:

  • Talking to potential clients about their project
  • Developing a budget proposal for a project
  • Drafting design plans
  • Visiting the site of a building project to make sure the blueprints are followed
  • Checking environmental regulations to ensure their design plan is appropriate for the site
  • Developing contracts with construction crews

Related Careers

Aspiring landscape architects may be interested in exploring a career as a regional planner, since regional planners work on design plans for communities, which includes determining where buildings and parks will be located. Those interested in architecture may also want to consider civil engineering, since civil engineers also work on design plans for things such as bridges.

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