Landscape architects need a bachelor's or master's degree, and typically require state licensure. They consult with other professionals as well as clients, and consider the environmental impact, budget and laws when creating designs for outdoor spaces. Here are the requirements and career facts for landscape architects.
Landscape architects create functional and attractive outdoor spaces for businesses, residents and other organizations. Working with the natural environment, a landscape architect plans the layout of structures, walkways and green spaces. These professionals typically need a bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture. Licensure is required in most states by successful completion of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE).
|Required Education||Professional bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture|
|Licensure||State-mandated completion of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||4%* (for all landscape architects)|
|Median Annual Salary (2018)||$68,230* (for landscape architects)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Landscape Architects
Landscape architects are responsible for designing public and private outdoor spaces, such as parks, gardens, golf courses, playgrounds and arboretums. Their plans may include trees, flowers, water features, sidewalks and buildings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that landscape architects entering the field may find good employment opportunities, but stiff competition for jobs with top firms (www.bls.gov). The field is slated to grow as fast as average with growing environmental concerns and rising land prices, though a slow economy might impact industry growth. The BLS notes that the diversity of projects available to landscape architects means that the industry might be less affected by a recession than other design fields.
To create detailed land use plans, landscape architects consult with clients, environmental experts, architects, surveyors and engineers to determine the best layout and design of a site. Landscape architects visit sites throughout a project and most use computer-aided design (CAD) tools to create the design.
They consider environmental and budgetary issues for each project and must adhere to local, state and federal laws. Contractors typically do the physical work of bringing the plans to life, though the landscape architect frequently spends a lot of time on-site to oversee the progress. According to the BLS, some landscape architects specialize in specific projects like roadways, shopping malls, golf courses or waterfront improvement. Other specialties include wetland and historic restoration projects.
The median annual salary for all landscape architects in May 2018, as reported by the BLS, was $68,230. Landscape architects working for the state government earned more than those in other industries, with landscape architects employed by the federal executive branch not far behind.
Licensing and Education Information
Nearly all states require landscape architects to become licensed through the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE). To take the LARE, landscape architects must possess a degree from an accredited school and work in the field for 1-4 years under a licensed landscape architect. The most common degrees for this career are a bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture.
The BLS says that most large landscape architecture firms prefer to hire candidates with internship experience. After several years working as a licensed landscape architect, available jobs include project management, landscape consulting and environmental planning. Some landscape architects become partners in a large firm or start their own businesses.
Landscape architects design private and public outdoor spaces, using flowers, trees, buildings, sidewalks and water. They sometimes use computer software, oversee the physical work of others, and can specialize in specific projects. The number of job opportunities for landscape architects is expected to grow by 4% from 2018-2028.