Career Detail


Landscape Architect
“I Really Like the View”
Landscape architects design the outside layout of residential areas, public parks and playgrounds, college campuses, shopping centers, golf courses, and parkways.
The Job
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. They also consider the purpose of the project and the funds available. They analyze the natural elements of the site, such as the climate, soil, slope of the land, drainage, and vegetation; observe where sunlight falls on the site at different times of the day; and assess the effect of existing buildings, roads, walkways, and utilities. After studying and analyzing the site, landscape architects prepare a preliminary design. In preparing designs, computer-aided design (CAD) has become an essential tool for most landscape architects.
Work Environment
Landscape architects spend most of their time in offices creating plans and designs, doing research, or monitoring site developments.
College Majors
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture
Minimum 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.
Personality traits helpful for this career
appreciate nature, enjoy working with their hands, and possess strong analytical skills. Creative vision and artistic talent also are desirable qualities.
Quick Facts
  • Almost 19 percent of all landscape architects are self-employed-more than 2 times the proportion for all occupations.
  • New graduates can expect to face competition for jobs in the largest and most prestigious landscape architecture firms.
  • There should be good job opportunities overall as demand for landscape architecture services increases.
  • opportunities may depend on geographic location and local real estate and construction markets.
  • More Info: American Society of Landscape Architects, Internet: http://www.asla.org
Compensation and Outlook
In May 2008, median annual wages for landscape architects were $58,960. The middle 50 percent earned between $45,840 and $77,610. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,520 and the highest 10 percent earned over $97,370. Architectural, engineering, and related services employed more landscape architects than any other group of industries, and there the median annual wages were $59,610 in May 2008.
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