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Landscape Architect: Career Information


Job Description - Landscape Architect:

A landscape architect designs residential areas, parks, shopping centers, parkways, golf courses and school campuses in order to make them beautiful, as well as functional. He or she must also see to it that these facilities are compatible with the natural environment. A landscape architect may work with other professionals including civil engineers, hydrologists and architects.

Employment Facts - Landscape Architect:

There were 27,000 landscape architects employed in 2008.

Educational Requirements - Landscape Architect:

A landscape architect must have a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) or a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA). Either will take four to five years of classes in design, construction techniques, art, history, and natural and social sciences. Instead of, or in addition to these degrees, you can earn a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). This will take two or three years depending on whether or not your bachelor's degree is in landscape architecture. Your degree should be from a program accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Other Requirements - Landscape Architect:

To work in any one of 49 states you must get a license from that state. To get a license you must pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) which is administered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. To sit for the licensing exam in most of the states in which licensing is required, you must have graduated from an accredited landscape architecture program and worked under the supervision of a licensed architect from one to four years.

Advancement Opportunities - Landscape Architect:

With a few years of experience a landscape architect may become a project manager. Two out of every 10 landscape architects become self employed.

Job Outlook - Landscape Architect:

Opportunities in this field should be very good over the next several years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of landscape architects will grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018.

Earnings - Landscape Architect:

In 2009 landscape architects earned a median annual salary of $60,560.

Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a landscape architect currently earns in your city.

A Day in a Landscape Architect's Life:

On a typical day a landscape architect's tasks might include:

  • Preparing site plans, specifications and cost estimates for land development, coordinating arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures.
  • Conferring with clients, engineering personnel and architects on overall program.
  • Compiling and analyzing data on conditions such as location, drainage and location of structures for environmental reports and landscaping plans.
  • Inspecting landscape work to ensure compliance with specifications, approving quality of materials and work, and advising client and construction personnel.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Landscape Architect, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos039.htm (visited November 29, 2010).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Landscape Architect, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/17-1012.00 (visited November 29, 2010).

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