How To Become A Landscape Architect
Career Video: Landscape Architect
A landscape architect is responsible for planning and designing the outdoor landscapes in our local areas. If you enjoy the outdoors and have an eye for design, you may enjoy working as a landscape architect. You will build beautiful spaces for people to enjoy. You will use computers and technology to help you in your line of work. This career path involves several years of education, including graduate school, as well as extensive training.
Why Become A Landscape Architect
If you have ever enjoyed a public park, a college campus, a recreational facility, a garden, a playground, or any other outdoor amenities, you can thank a landscape architect. Landscape architects are the masterminds behind planning, designing and building the outdoor spaces in our world.
There are many specializations within architecture. Landscape architects are interested in building outdoor spaces that are not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing. There is a lot of planning and design that goes into a public space before the construction process can begin. Landscape architects help decide where every building, road, tree and plant is going to go. They use a variety of technologies such as computer-aided design (CAD) and geographic information systems (GIS) in order to create their plans and drafts.
A landscape architect is responsible for making their communities a more beautiful and greener place to live. This is a great career choice for somebody whose passion is the environment, who enjoys planning and designing, who is skilled at using computer technologies, and is an innovative problem solver.
Landscape Architects must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Problem Solver
- Decision Maker
Landscape Architect Work Environment
Even though this is a job geared towards the outdoors, landscape architects actually spend most of their time indoors. Inside of their offices is where they spend time planning, drafting, and designing plans. They also attend meetings with clients and do research on their projects. When they are not in the office, they can be found traveling to different jobsites. This is a full time career. It may involve traveling, as landscape architects may be building projects in many different areas. Approximately 20 percent of landscape architects were self-employed in 2014.
Landscape Architect Salary
The median salary for landscape architects was $64,000 in May 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are many factors that can affect the salary for landscape architects. Whether an architect works for a government agency, a private employer, or is self-employed will determine salary. The state a person is location in, and whether they are located in a more rural area or a large city, may determine salary. The number of clients they have will also affect their pay.
Landscape Architect Career Outlook
Employment for landscape architects is expected to grow by five percent from 2014 to 2024. This is slightly less than the average expected growth of all occupations in the United States.
As the economy grows, there will be a need to build new infrastructure as well as maintain old infrastructure. Landscape architects will plan and develop new and existing residential buildings, as well as commercial projects. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in environmentalism. Sustainably designed buildings will be of much interest in the future. They will also need to be able to deliver projects on time and under budget.
Landscape Architect Degree
Step 1. Undergraduate education. Receive an undergraduate education. Some good programs would be environmental studies, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, and more. These programs will give you a good foundation in the field. You will be able to take classes in science, math, and learn the basics of landscape architecture.
Step 2: Graduate school. Studies who didn’t receive a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture may be required to enroll in a Masters in Landscape Architecture program to pursue this career. Research universities that offer this program, apply and enroll. This will be a more in-depth look into the career, where you will receive on-the-job training and learn about planning and drafting.
Step 3: Receive training. Each state has specific experience requirements for landscape architects. These are requirements on how much experience an architect needs on the job. When a landscape architect is first hired, they are considered an intern. They work under the supervision of the other architects in the office. This internship portion may be completed while the intern is still in the graduate program. An internship is a great way to receive on-the-job training and learn if this is the right career choice for you. It is also a good way to network and potentially land a future job position.
Step 4: Get licensed. All states require landscape architects to be licensed in their state. You must pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE). You must have a degree and several years of experience before taking the exam. Upon completion of the examination, you qualify for licensure.