Landscape Architect Jobs
Landscape architecture is designing outdoor public spaces in an exciting way. Its imagination, art, architecture, and nature all in one. If that sounds intriguing you should try it.
Landscape architecture is a hodgepodge of disciplines – botany, horticulture, art, architecture, psychology, ecology, geology, industrial design, and green technology.
This profession utilizes all this knowledge to help create a site that maintains a harmony between nature and structure.
The work of a landscape architect can be seen on large projects like mountain resorts, botanical gardens, nature preserves, wetland areas, mega-malls, corporate business parks, housing developments, university campuses, wilderness areas, historic sites, park and recreation districts, community playgrounds, urban planning, and even in the backyards of the rich and famous.
The first part of any job is to visit a site and speak with the client about how they want to use the land, what their plans are for buildings, roads, athletic fields, or other permanent structures. Next the landscape architect takes photos and starts to formulate a plan of how to best utilize the land for aesthetics and function.
The landscape architect must consider things like sun patterns, land slopes, drainages, geography, climate, location, soil characteristics, and plant life. He must consider where to place roads, utilities, highways, bridges, fountains, buildings, or bike paths. The landscape architect’s design should leave a minimal amount of environmental impact. A professional landscape architect designs with a creative passion, an appreciation for nature, and the ideal of functionality. Every aspect and detail of the area is planned. For larger projects, the process can take over 12 months.
Next the landscape architect meets with clients to show presentations, establish cost estimates, draw blueprints, build models, doodle sketches, and explain construction techniques. Most of this can be done with CAD design software that allows the landscape designer to detail the plans including types of plants, building locations, land slope, water features, and other fine details.
If the clients approve the plans, the landscape architect will meet with developers, building architects, construction contractors, landscape contractors, landscaping teams, engineers, hydrologists, government leaders, and others involved with the project to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Finally, the project is a go. The landscape architect spends his time inspecting the project and making sure that it meets standards. If anything needs to be tweaked mid-project, the landscape architect is still around to make adjustments. This time is used to complete necessary paperwork.
Land and the reason for building on that land is different for every location and every client. One project may be restoring wetlands, another designing a corporate headquarters, and a third to utilize an abandoned landfill. The opportunities are endless. Many landscape designers specialize in the niche they enjoy the most.
If you want to become a landscape architect, you must obtain a bachelor or master degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school. Most landscape architects also learn the business through an student internship during or immediately after school. To practice on their own landscape architects must obtain certification from the Landscape Architect Registration Exam (LARE) offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board. The exam consists of a graphic portion and a multiple choice portion. The majority of states require this license to practice professionally.
Through a love of nature, landscape architects help to utilize the land in the best way possible for enjoyment, aesthetics, purpose, and minimal environmental impact. Well-designed land is a wonderful thing that everyone enjoys.
Landscape Architect Salary Information
Over 20% of landscape architects are self-employed. The rest of them work for the government or private firms. Most landscape architects become members of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Starting with small projects is best, and as a portfolio is developed larger projects are the way to make money. Landscape architects can make $53,000 to $77,000 per year, with the average salary being $62,000.
Quick Facts About Landscape Architect Careers
Title: Landscape Architect
Description: Designing outdoor spaces for aesthetics, functionality, and minimal impact
Employers: Government, Self-Employed, Landscape Architect Firms
Pay: $53,000 to $77,000 per year, average is $62,000.
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards
American Society of Landscape Architects