What is the nature of the work?
Landscape architects work for many types of organizations—from real estate development firms starting new projects to municipalities constructing airports or parks—and they often are involved with the development of a site from its conception. Working with architects, surveyors, and engineers, landscape architects help determine the best arrangement of roads and buildings. They also collaborate with environmental scientists, foresters, and other professionals to find the best way to conserve or restore natural resources. Once these decisions are made, landscape architects create detailed plans indicating new topography, vegetation, walkways, and other landscaping details, such as fountains and decorative features.
What are the working conditions?
Landscape architects spend most of their time in offices creating plans and designs, preparing models and cost estimates, doing research, or attending meetings with clients and other professionals involved in a design or planning project. The remainder of their time is spent at the site. During the design and planning stage, landscape architects visit and analyze the site to verify that the design can be incorporated into the landscape. After the plans and specifications are completed, they may spend additional time at the site observing or supervising the construction. Those who work in large national or regional firms may spend considerably more time out of the office, traveling to sites.
What type of training do you have to have and other qualifications?
Almost every state requires landscape architects to be licensed. While requirements vary among the states, they usually include a degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school, work experience, and the passage of the Landscape Architect Registration Exam.
What is the job outlook?
Employment of landscape architects is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2016. There should be good job prospects for landscape architects overall, but opportunities may depend on geographic location and local real estate and construction markets.
What are the earnings or pay?
In May 2006, median annual earnings for landscape architects were $55,140. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,720 and $73,240. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,230 and the highest 10 percent earned over $95,420. Architectural, engineering, and related services employed more landscape architects than any other group of industries, and there the median annual earnings were $56,060 in May 2006.
What are other occupations related to this career?
Landscape architects use their knowledge of design, construction, land-use planning, and environmental issues to develop a landscape project. Others whose work requires similar skills are architects, except landscape and naval; surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and surveying technicians; civil engineers; and urban and regional planners. Landscape architects also must know how to grow and use plants in the landscape.