How to Become a Landscape Architect

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Landscape architecture is a very important aspect of construction that deals with designing outdoor spaces that appeal to the public. Everyone enjoys exterior spaces that are attractively designed and trained professionals are required to create these areas. This is the job of landscape architects


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What does a landscape architect do?

Landscape architects design areas that are beautiful, practical, and well-suited with the natural surrounding environment. They create a variety of areas such as public parks, playgrounds, parkways, golf courses, shopping centers, residential areas, and college campuses. They plan out the location of roads, buildings, walkways and also the arrangement of trees, shrubs, flowers, and other greenery. They plan and design the re-establishment of natural areas that were disturbed by construction such as forests, wetlands, stream corridors, and mined regions. They analyze the sites and develop detailed plans that designated new vegetation, scenery, walkways, and other landscaping features such as decorations and fountains.

Landscape architects often use computer-aided design (CAD) to help them prepare designs. Many also use video simulation to present their plans and ideas to clients. They often use geographic information systems (GIS) technology for planning larger areas.

What kind of training does a landscape architect need?

Landscape architects typically have a bachelor or master degree in landscape architecture. Coursework typically includes landscape design and construction, surveying, landscape ecology, urban and regional planning, and site design. Programs also provide students with hands-on experience. Many landscape architects complete internship programs during or after completing their education. Nearly all states require landscape architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include a landscape architecture degree from an accredited program, related work experience, and passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination that is administer by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. Some states also require landscape architects to pass a state examination. Continuing education is usually required to maintain a license.

What are the prospects for a career as a landscape architect?

Employment of landscape architects is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 16% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing population and increase in new construction will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for landscape architects with internship experience. Landscape architects with strong technical skills will have the best opportunities. Job openings will also occur from the need to replace landscape architects who retire or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do landscape architects make?

As of September 2009, the middle 50% of landscape architects earned annual salaries between $34,497 and $44,032. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $47,769(2).

A career as a landscape architect is an excellent choice for individuals interested in designing a variety of landscapes. Landscape architects should have an appreciation for nature and enjoy working with their hands. Creativity, artistic talent, strong analytical skills, and good communication are essential traits. They must also be familiar with computer applications and CAD software.

Joshua T Osborne

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