Ever wonder who the people are behind the beautiful parks you visit or the line of trees you drive by on your way to work? They were probably designed by a landscape architect.

What is a Landscape Architect?

To put it simply, a landscape architect is responsible for the design of an outdoor space. They may be hired to work on projects like gardens, parks, streets, trails, plazas, residential communities, and school campuses. There’s a lot of work that goes into creating these beautiful and environmentally friendly spaces. They’ll first meet with clients, building architects, and engineers to get all the details of the project. From there, they’ll draw up plans using computer programs like CADD and GIS. Those plans may also include environmental reports, the location of utilities, the landscaping materials the project will need, and cost estimates. Once the work starts, they may stick around to oversee the construction to make sure everything goes according to their plans.

How Do You Become a Landscape Architect?

Because this is a very specialized job, you’ll need a 4-year degree in landscape architecture. In that program, you may take courses in drawing and design, hydrology, environmental planning, landscape design construction, and landscape plants. Once you graduate, you’re required to take the Landscape Architect Registration Examination to get licensed in the state you live in. There may be additional things you may need depending on your home state.

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What Skills Do You Need to Be a Great Landscape Architect?          

Aside from learning all the ins and outs of landscape design, there are other skills you’ll need to be successful in this line of work. One of them is creativity, which comes in handy when you need ideas for landscaping that’s beautiful and functional. Successful landscape architects are very analytical in that they have a great understanding of how their design will work on the actual site. Problem-solving skills are also great to have, especially while supervising the landscaping project. Problems may come up and it’s up to the architect to come up with quick solutions to keep the project on track. Communication is another big skill to have because landscape architects need to make sure they can get their ideas across to clients and construction workers.

Are There A Lot of Jobs for Landscape Architects?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 26,300 landscape architects employed by 2026. There is a growing need for these workers to lend their design skills to new construction projects. You can find work as a landscape architect in these three sectors:

The public sector hires landscape architects to work in agencies like the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Transportation.

Corporations and designing firms in the private sector hire landscape architects for their land planning and development projects.

Work in the academic sector includes teaching landscape architecture in college and universities settings.

 

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