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Become A Landscape Designer

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Working As A Landscape Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Landscape Designer Do

Landscape architects design parks and the outdoor spaces of campuses, recreational facilities, private homes, and other open spaces.

Duties

Landscape architects typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients, engineers, and building architects to understand the requirements of a project
  • Prepare site plans, specifications, and cost estimates
  • Coordinate the arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures
  • Prepare graphic representations of plans using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software
  • Select appropriate materials for use in landscape designs
  • Analyze environmental reports on land conditions, such as drainage and energy usage
  • Inspect landscape project progress to ensure that it adheres to plans
  • Seek new work through marketing activities or by giving presentations

Landscape architects design attractive and functional public parks, gardens, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and public spaces. They also plan the locations of buildings, roads, walkways, flowers, shrubs, and trees within these environments. Landscape architects design these areas so that they are not only easy to use but also harmonious with the natural environment.

Landscape architects use several different technologies in their work. For example, using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software, landscape architects prepare models of their proposed work. They present these models to clients for feedback and then prepare the final look of the project. Many landscape architects also use geographic information systems (GIS) which offer GPS coordinates of different geographical features. This helps landscape architects design different environments by giving them clues on where to start planning and how to anticipate future effects of the landscape, such as rainfall running into a valley.

The goals of landscape architects are to enhance the natural beauty of a space and provide environmental benefits. They may plan the restoration of natural places that were changed by humans or nature, such as wetlands, streams, and mined areas. They may also design “green roofs” or rooftop gardens that can retain storm water, absorb air pollution, and cool buildings while also providing pleasant scenery. Landscape architects also play a role in preserving and restoring historic landscapes. Landscape architects and architects sometimes work together to create historic memorials, such as the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.

Landscape architects who work for government agencies design sites and landscapes for government buildings, parks, and other public lands, as well as plan for landscapes and recreation areas in national parks and forests. In addition, they prepare environmental impact assessments based on proposed construction.

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How To Become A Landscape Designer

All states except for Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, and Washington, D.C. require landscape architects to have a license. In addition, all 50 states (but not Washington, D.C.) require applicants to be licensed before they can use the title “landscape architect” while soliciting business. Licensing requirements vary among states, but usually include a degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school, internship experience, and passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.

Education

A bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture usually is necessary for entry into the profession. There are two undergraduate landscape architect professional degrees: a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA). These programs usually require 4 to 5 years of study.

Accredited programs are approved by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). Those with an undergraduate degree in a field other than landscape architecture may enroll in a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) graduate degree program, which typically takes 3 years of full-time study.

Courses typically include surveying, landscape design and construction, landscape ecology, site design, and urban and regional planning. Other relevant coursework may include history of landscape architecture, plant and soil science, geology, professional practice, and general management.

The design studio is a key component of any curriculum. Whenever possible, students are assigned real projects, providing them with valuable hands-on experience. While working on these projects, students become proficient in the use of computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), model building, and other design software.

Training

In order to become licensed, candidates must meet experience requirements determined by each state. A list of training requirements can be found at the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.

New hires are called intern landscape architects until they become licensed. Although duties vary with the type and size of the employing firm, interns typically must work under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect for the experience to count toward licensure. In addition, all drawings and specifications must be signed and sealed by the licensed landscape architect.

Potential prospects may benefit by completing an internship with a landscape architecture firm during educational studies. Interns may improve their technical skills and gain an understanding of the day-to-day operations of the business, including learning how to recruit clients, generate fees, and work within a budget.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states, except for Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, and Washington, D.C., require landscape architects to be licensed in order to practice. In addition, all 50 states (but not Washington, D.C.) require applicants to be licensed before they can use the title “landscape architect” while soliciting business. Licensing is based on candidates passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE), which is sponsored by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.

Candidates who are interested in taking the exam usually need a degree from an accredited school and several years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect, although standards vary by state. For those without an accredited landscape architecture degree, many states provide alternative paths to qualify to take the LARE, which usually require more work experience.

In addition to the LARE, some states have their own registration exam to test for competency on state-specific issues, such as earthquakes in California or hurricanes in Florida. State-specific exams may focus on laws, environmental regulations, plants, soils, climate, and other characteristics unique to the state.

Because requirements for licensure vary, landscape architects may find it difficult to transfer their registration from one state to another. Common requirements include graduating from an accredited program, completing several years of an internship under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect, and passing the LARE. By meeting national requirements, a landscape architect may also obtain certification from the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, which may be useful in getting a license in another state.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Landscape architects must understand the content of designs. When designing a building’s drainage system, for example, landscape architects must understand how the building’s location and surrounding land affect each other.

Communication skills. Landscape architects share their ideas, both orally and in writing, with clients, other architects, and workers who help prepare drawings. Effective communication is essential to ensuring that the vision for a project gets translated into reality.

Creativity. Landscape architects create the overall look of gardens, parks, and other outdoor areas. Their designs should be both pleasing to the eye and functional.

Problem-solving skills. When designing outdoor spaces, landscape architects must be able to provide solutions to unanticipated challenges. These solutions often involve looking at challenges from different perspectives and providing the best recommendations.

Technical skills. Landscape architects use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) programs to create representations of their projects. Some also must use geographic information systems (GIS) for their designs.

Visualization skills. Landscape architects must be able to imagine how an overall outdoor space will look once completed.

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Landscape Designer Career Paths

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Do you work as a Landscape Designer?

Average Yearly Salary
$77,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$41,000
Min 10%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$141,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CyberCoders
Highest Paying City
San Rafael, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Landscape Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Landscape Designer in the United States is $77,190 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $41,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $142,000.

Real Landscape Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Landscape Designer MLA Green, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 03, 2015 $115,000
Landscape Designer Aki OMI LLC San Francisco, CA Aug 02, 2016 $85,734
Landscape Designer Aki OMI LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 28, 2015 $85,734
Landscape Designer Aki OMI LLC San Francisco, CA Dec 21, 2015 $85,734
Landscape Designer RGA Landscape Architects, Inc. Palm Desert, CA Aug 16, 2015 $84,524
Landscape Designer Richard Krumwiede Inc. Rancho Cucamonga, CA Sep 24, 2015 $84,127
Landscape Designer Richard Krumwiede Inc. Rancho Cucamonga, CA Sep 15, 2015 $84,127
Landscape Designer Plant Specialists, LLC Islandia, NY Apr 10, 2016 $78,500
Landscape Designer SWA Group Los Angeles, CA Oct 16, 2016 $78,000 -
$81,000
Senior Urban Landscape Designer Plant Specialists LLC Islandia, NY Aug 25, 2016 $77,418
Landscape Designer/Project Manager-II TBG Partners Dallas, TX Sep 02, 2016 $76,773
Senior Landscape Designer CREO Landscape Architecture Urban Design Incorporated San Francisco, CA Aug 25, 2015 $75,005
Landscape Designer CREO Landscape Architecture Urban Design Incorporated San Francisco, CA Sep 12, 2016 $75,005
Landscape Designer Plant Specialist, LLC Islandia, NY Feb 18, 2015 $75,000
JR Landscape Designer Thomas Balsley Associate Landscape Architecture PLLC New York, NY Oct 08, 2016 $58,000
Landscape Designer Lifescapes International, Inc. Newport Beach, CA Mar 18, 2016 $58,000
Landscape Designer Job Captain Groundlevel Landscape Architecture, Inc. San Diego, CA Dec 26, 2016 $58,000 -
$62,000
Landscape Designer SWA Group San Francisco, CA Aug 18, 2016 $58,000 -
$68,000
Landscape Designer April Philips Design Works, Inc. San Rafael, CA Jan 06, 2016 $58,000 -
$60,000
Landscape Designer SWA Group San Francisco, CA Mar 16, 2016 $58,000 -
$68,000
Landscape Designer I Robert A.M. Stern Architects New York, NY Aug 24, 2016 $57,900
Landscape Designer RVI, Inc. Austin, TX Jul 25, 2016 $57,500
Landscape Designer Dodson & Flinker, Inc. Ashfield, MA Feb 09, 2016 $52,166
Landscape Designer Dodson & Flinker, Inc. MA Jan 10, 2016 $52,166
Landscape Designer Design Workshop, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 06, 2016 $52,104
Landscape Designer 2 Olin Partnership, Ltd. Philadelphia, PA Mar 22, 2015 $52,000
Landscape Designer M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Associates, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 03, 2015 $52,000 -
$57,000
Landscape Designer Harrison Green LLC New York, NY Jan 01, 2016 $52,000
Landscape Designer The Broussard Group, Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Sep 04, 2015 $52,000

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Top Skills for A Landscape Designer

  1. CAD
  2. New Construction
  3. Landscape Maintenance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented AutoCAD drafting template boosting firm profitability through reducing design revisions.
  • Designed landscapes and supervised installation for new construction and remodels.
  • Consult with existing and potential clientele on commercial/ residential landscape maintenance and enhancement projects.
  • Project development & management, budget estimation, specifications, customer service, sales, office management and contractor communications.
  • Provided landscape and hardscape plans for new and existing clients.

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Top 10 Best States for Landscape Designers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Alaska
  5. New York
  6. Nevada
  7. California
  8. Connecticut
  9. Tennessee
  10. Rhode Island
  • (42 jobs)
  • (189 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (310 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (443 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)

Landscape Designer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,609 Landscape Designer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Landscape Designer Resume

View Resume Examples

Landscape Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

57.9%

Female

33.7%

Unknown

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

64.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.2%

French

11.3%

Italian

7.8%

Mandarin

5.7%

Chinese

5.7%

German

4.3%

Cantonese

2.8%

Japanese

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Portuguese

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Persian

1.4%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Danish

0.7%

Indonesian

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Malay

0.7%
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Landscape Designer Education

Schools

University of Georgia

7.0%

Pennsylvania State University

6.8%

Ohio State University

6.4%

Ball State University

6.0%

West Virginia University

5.8%

Iowa State University

5.6%

Texas A&M University

5.4%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

5.4%

Arizona State University

5.0%

Purdue University

5.0%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

4.8%

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.6%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

4.4%

Mississippi State University

4.2%

Kansas State University

4.0%

University of Idaho

3.8%

Texas Tech University

3.8%

Utah State University

3.6%

Clemson University

3.4%
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Majors

Landscape Architecture

40.2%

Applied Horticulture

14.9%

Plant Sciences

9.5%

Business

8.3%

Architecture

3.2%

Graphic Design

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.3%

Environmental Science

2.2%

Environmental Design

1.7%

Interior Design

1.6%

Drafting And Design

1.6%

Urban Planning

1.6%

General Studies

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Biology

1.5%

Psychology

1.5%

Communication

1.3%

Marketing

1.1%

Liberal Arts

1.0%

Accounting

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.7%

Other

22.0%

Masters

15.9%

Associate

10.7%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.1%
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