Career Profile: Landscape Architect

What does a Landscape Architect do?
Landscape architects plan and design land areas for parks, gardens, recreational facilities, highways and airports. This includes environmental restoration, town and urban planning, park and recreation planning, regional planning and historical preservation. Projects may take place at commercial, industrial, government and residential sites.

What type of schooling do you need to become a Landscape Architect?
Becoming a landscape architect requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. A master’s degree can sometimes be helpful. Most landscape architects must gain skills and experience through multi-year internships with professionals in the field. Landscape architects must also pass an exam called the L.A.R.E. (Landscape Architect Registration Examination) to obtain a license to practice landscape architecture as certified professionals.

What types of skills are best suited to becoming a Landscape Architect?
Landscape architects should have an appreciation for nature, a creative flair and a passion for hands-on work. They should also have strong writing and researching skills and an affinity for engineering and environmental sciences. All of these skills will be useful for mastering the art and science of the analysis, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation of land.

What is the job outlook for Landscape Architects?
The median pay for landscape architects is $62,000 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, employment of landscape architects is projected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Planning and development of new construction and redevelopment of existing buildings will drive employment growth. Many employers prefer to hire entry-level landscape architects who have internship experience, which significantly reduces the amount of on-the-job training required.

Many landscape architects can also find related careers such as landscape supervisors, landscape designers or consultants, drafters, environmental planners or golf course designers.

Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Princeton Review.