Landscape Architect


Though landscape architect jobs are often tossed around as meaning the same thing, there are a few differences. The landscape designer job description includes:

  • Using creativity and the beauty of nature to create a harmonious, aesthetically pleasing and functional area. Areas may include personal lawns, parks, highways, walkways, and more.
  • Planning the finished product, tying in new features with current ones, by sketching it to scale. These drawings will be very detailed, down to the window and door placement on the buildings.
  • Performing site analyses that include the assessment of current plants, soil conditions, lighting, the view, and architecture style of the house.
  • The ability to communicate well both with clients and other types of workers (contractors, supervisors, etc) on the landscaping team.
  • Researching topics such as plants and their ability to survive in an area, guidelines and codes.
  • Make public presentations when necessary to discuss the project, complete with charts, sketches, and so forth.
  • Reviewing plans, proposed changes, and any other necessary documents.
  • Oversees progression of the project to ensure that it is going as planned.
  • Keeping records, including everything from correspondence to reports.
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Experience or Education

Landscape architects plan and design traditional places such as parks, residential developments, campuses, gardens, cemeteries, commercial centers, resorts, transportation facilities, corporate and institutional centers and waterfront developments. They also design and plan the restoration of natural places disturbed by humans such as wetlands, stream corridors, mined areas and forested land. Their appreciation for historic landscapes and cultural resources enables landscape architects to undertake preservation planning projects for national, regional and local historic sites and areas.

Working with architects, city planners, civil engineers and other professionals, landscape architects play an important role in environmental protection by designing and implementing projects that respect both the needs of people and of our environment.

Required Education for a Career in Landscape Architecture

A landscape architect needs:

  • Sensitivity to landscape quality

  • Understanding of the arts and a humanistic approach to design.

  • Ability to analyze problems in terms of design and physical form.

  • Technical competence to translate a design into a built work.

  • Skills in all aspects of professional practice including management and professional ethics.

A formal education is essential to gain these skills and knowledge. Professional education in landscape architecture can be obtained at the undergraduate or graduate level. There are two undergraduate professional degrees: a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA). These usually require four or five years of study in design, construction techniques, art, history, natural and social sciences.

There are generally three types of graduate degree programs:

  1. The first-professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is for persons who hold an undergraduate degree in a field other than landscape architecture, and intend to become landscape architecture practitioners. It can usually be earned in three years of full-time study.

  2. The second-professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is for persons who hold an undergraduate professional degree in landscape architecture. It normally takes two years.

  3. The MA/MS in Landscape Architecture is for persons who want to conduct research in landscape architecture, but do not seek to be registered professional practitioners.

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Salary and Location

San Jose, CA - 55,288

New York - 63,728

San Francisco - 72,112

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Professional organizations or groups of Landscape Architects

  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)
  • European Foundation for Landscape Architecture (EFLA)

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