Careers Paths

What Do Landscape Architects Do? (With Tasks and Pay)

Landscape architects combine planning and development expertise to design spaces with plants as well as other outdoor components that are aesthetically pleasing. For those who love mixing creativity with quantitative accuracy in their design work, this can be a rewarding job. If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a landscape architect, understanding more about the field may help you decide if it’s the right choice for your professional goals.

In this post, we describe the duties of a landscape architect and offer other crucial employment details, such as the normal working environment, the typical compensation, and the educational qualifications.

What is the role of a landscape architect?

Landscape architects create outdoor spaces to connect parks, businesses, campuses, residences, recreation facilities, parks, communities, golf resorts, and rooftop gardens. They map out where to put buildings, pathways, trees, plants, and other features on a site. It is their responsibility to design attractive and useful green places. Certain landscape architects have areas of expertise, including:

  • Historical renovation
  • Land preservation
  • Private residences and gardens
  • Public areas
  • Sustainability and urban planning

Typical duties for a landscape architect could be:

  • Discussing ideas and objectives during client meetings
  • Developing models and site layouts, as well as designs
  • Assembling requirements and cost projections
  • Working in conjunction with architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors, and other people
  • Creating models of landscape designs with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and software
  • Examining the drainage and flow from the land
  • Directing tasks through to completion while maintaining a budget
  • Restoring nature’s beauty, particularly wetlands, and streams
  • Making and changing landscape ideas to suit the needs of the customer
  • Directing gardening projects from start to finish
  • Creating project budgets and timelines
  • Cooperating with surveyors, engineers, architects of communities, biologists, and foresters
  • Studying the aspects of the natural terrain and considering how to integrate them into their blueprints
  • Updating important project stakeholders on progress

Working conditions for landscape architects

Landscape architects often work normal hours. They could occasionally work on the weekends or at night to finish tasks on schedule. They may devote a certain amount of time inside the workplace or the studio drafting designs, constructing models, analyzing expenses, and interacting with customers and coworkers. The remainder of their time is spent outside inspecting job sites and supervising projects. Within urban or rural settings, landscape architects may operate for the following people:

  • Private customers
  • Government institutions
  • Commercial developers
  • Public institutions
  • Contractors

What is the process of becoming a landscape architect?

Do the following actions to become a landscape architect:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree

Finish a four-year undergraduate program in landscape architecture or a related discipline first. Finding a program with accreditation from the Landscape Architecture Accrediting Board (LAAB) or Landscape Architecture Accreditation Council can be particularly helpful (LAAC). It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case the backup fails. Spend some time using your design abilities in the studio.

2. Acquire experience

The following step may be to invest one to 4 years in getting professional expertise. This can assist you in using what you’ve learned in the classroom in real-world situations. Also, it may open up networking opportunities for you in the professional world, which could lead to more customers in the figure. Before obtaining your license, internships and operating under the direction of a licensed landscape architect are also excellent means of gaining experience.

3. Think about earning a master’s degree

You might choose to enroll in a two- to three-year master’s course in landscape architecture to advance your knowledge. Also, doing this can improve your employment prospects. You might enroll in the following classes to acquire a master’s degree in landscaping architecture:

  • Architectural landscape studio
  • The development of landscape architecture
  • Methods and technologies
  • Ecology
  • Climate and city planning
  • A landscape illustration
  • Urbanism

4. Pass the certification test

After completing your internship and receiving your degree, you are qualified to sit for the compulsory Landscape Architect Registration (LARE) exam. This four-part test is administered and graded by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB). It has the following sections:

  • Construction and Project Management
  • Analysis and Inventories
  • Design
  • Documents for building, drainage, and grading

5. Complete state examinations

States may have different requirements for specific licenses. Verify with your state to see whether you need to pass any more exams after passing the LARE. For example, California mandates that landscape architects complete an earthquake exam.

6. Submit a job application

After receiving your license, you can hunt for employment with:

  • Private companies
  • Government institutions
  • Land or commercial developers
  • Public institutions

Your greatest level of education, abilities, and experience should be listed on your resume. To write a pertinent cover letter for every job, use the keywords from the open job listings.

Average income

According to Indeed wages, the average yearly pay for a landscape architect is $70,636. Salary ranges for landscape architects depend on their geographical region and body of work. The cities with the highest salaries for these people are:

  • Dallas, Texas
  • New York, New York
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Houston, Texas
  • Queens, New York

There is usually a greater need for landscape architects in regions experiencing a great deal of development, expansion, and consumer expenditure.

Prerequisites for a landscape architect

When looking for employment as a landscape architect, make sure you meet the following requirements:

Education prerequisites

Most landscape architects hold a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields: landscape architecture, environmental science, fine arts, or architecture. To advance their abilities, education, and income potential, certain landscape architects pursue a master’s degree in the field. Courses in landscape architecture often include:

  • Landscape architecture
  • Construction
  • Site Layout
  • Science of plants and soils
  • History of landscape architecture
  • Geographic ecology

Also, students learn how to use design software such as computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) while working in the studio.

Requirements for training

Entry-level people frequently serve as intern landscape architects while undergoing their training. Students gain knowledge of the day-to-day activities of a landscape architectural firm as well as practical abilities including budgeting and client relations.

Landscape architects can further their education by attending classes and participating in meetings and workshops during their careers. Professional associations provide opportunities for continuing education, including the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Requirements for certification

A state license is necessary for practicing landscape architecture. To obtain a license:

  • Get a landscape architecture degree from a school with LAAB or LAAC accreditation.
  • Fulfilled the necessary number of hours of supervised experience
  • Pass the four-part Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) administered by CLARB
  • Do further tests on state-specific legislation, weather, natural catastrophes, soils, vegetation, and environmental restrictions if your state mandates it.

Some states permit people to take the LARE without a degree in landscape architecture if they have enough professional experience. Those landscape architects who adhere to CLARB’s professional standards may obtain the designation of Certified Landscape Architect, which is optional. This accreditation demonstrates a landscape architect’s commitment to the field and to further education. More work options and the possibility to obtain a license in several states may result from certification.

Required skills

Landscape architects are frequently creative and innovative people who can picture what an outdoor area might look like. To succeed, landscape architects require the following abilities:

  • Creativity: Landscape architects come up with designs for gardens, parks, and other outside areas that are both lovely and useful.
  • Analytical abilities: Landscape architects must evaluate a location to determine how to incorporate their work into it while not hurting the surroundings.
  • Communication: To ensure a project is finished properly, these people must be able to communicate effectively with clients, designers, architects, and employees. They also create written proposals and provide both written and visual descriptions of their plans.
  • Technical expertise: To visualize their plans, landscape architects use CADD, modeling, and other design software. Moreover, they study and examine geographic data using GIS.
  • Problem-solving: Landscape architects get the ability to overcome unforeseen problems and address design issues.

18 Motivating Factors to Work as a Landscape Architect

You might choose to become a landscape architect if you appreciate both art and the outdoors. The capacity to think creatively, employ cutting-edge technologies, nurture communities, and make a high pay are just a few advantages of a profession in landscaping architecture. It’s crucial to think about how pursuing a career in landscape architecture can fit your particular interests, skills, and experiences before making a decision.

Here are the top 18 motivations for becoming a landscape architect:

1. Show creativity

Many working people aspire to be landscape architects so they may use their work as a platform for their creativity. During their profession, landscape architects pick up knowledge of various visual design components, such as how to organize colors, shapes, and materials in an outdoor area. Through this artistic expression, they hope to design a location that appeals to their clients and satisfies both their aesthetic and practical requirements.

2. Create a variety of projects.

A variety of projects in many different sectors can be developed by landscape architects. While some landscape architects could opt to specialize, others might decide to work in numerous professions. A landscape architect might work in the following areas:

  • Urban planning
  • Indoor landscaping, for example, in greenhouses
  • Parks and leisure
  • Monuments
  • Residential Layout
  • Outdoor areas of hotels or resorts, for example, the tourism industry
  • Campuses of colleges or public schools with outdoor areas serve as examples of school grounds.
  • Animal refuges
  • Environmental habitat restoration
  • Conservation of history
  • Therapeutic landscapes
  • Industrial designs

3. Produce original work

Even though the majority of these experts are attentive to both recent and historical changes in landscaping architecture, they also often get to create. When faced with problems relating to the natural landscape and its desired designs, landscape architects frequently employ their innovative abilities to find solutions. For instance, designers could have to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing public park while preserving an old body of water. This kind of difficulty could inspire landscape architects to take a fresh method to their landscaping architectural plans.

4. Maintain historic components

By putting a new design into practice, landscape architects frequently aid to preserve the unique heritage of the outdoor place they are working on. They might carry out this kind of work on statues, historical sites, or other outdoor locations with significant historical ties. For instance, they might work to reintroduce native plants into a wildlife habitat that is being restored.

5. Spend lots of time the outdoors

Those who love the outdoors and the natural world should consider a career in landscape architecture. Although they normally draft their architectural designs in offices, landscape architects also spend a lot of time traveling to their outside work locations. A common activity carried out by landscape architects is to examine nurseries to choose plants for the latest project.

6. Protect wildlife.

The creation of habitats to support the local animals is an objective of several architectural landscaping projects. This can entail choosing a variety of plants that promote animal diversity and sizing diverse habitats inside the landscape accordingly. Those who are concerned about protecting endangered species or who care about animals may find that this aspect of landscape architecture makes it an excellent career choice.

7. Health advantages

Outdoor areas with thoughtful design can be beneficial for both mental and physical well-being. These advantages may include reduced stress and improved immune systems. A landscape architect could be grateful for the chance to assist users or customers of their outdoor areas in improving their general well-being.

8. Increase sustainability

The sustainability of outdoor areas and adjacent indoor spaces can be increased by applying landscaping architectural concepts. For instance, landscape designers can place plants and trees to minimize how much a home or business needs to use its cooling or heating systems. Green roofs, or roofs coated with earth and growing plants, can assist purify rainwater and lower the temperatures in the surrounding atmosphere. These roofs are often designed by landscape architects. These components can aid in the environmental friendliness of both private and public properties.

9. Build communities

Outdoor areas created by landscape architects can aid in the growth of communities. Landscape architects often go to city council meetings or other events when operating in public areas like parks since they can help them understand the requirements of the neighborhood. Access road improvements, the preservation of wetlands, the incorporation of public art, and the provision of a venue for open forums are some methods for fostering societies through landscape design.

10. Make use of various artistic instruments

Several landscape architects use a variety of artistic mediums in their work. They may use hand drawings, photos, paintings, models, or a mix of these to construct their architectural blueprints. Landscape architects and their customers can ensure that they are both happy with the final layout and building process by using these many artistic techniques.

11. Choose the type of work you’ll do.

The choice to pursue self-employment options or full-time employment with an organization is available to landscape architects. Certain landscape architects are employed by businesses, while others launch their own companies or work on their own. While employees who work for companies might enjoy greater job stability, independent contractors may have more freedom in their project kinds and working hours.

12. Get a large salary

There may be a lot of landscape architects with excellent earning potential. Landscape architects make an average of $65,979 annually. It’s vital to keep in mind that a variety of factors, such as geographic area, professional experience, education, and specialty, might have an impact on a landscape architect’s salary.

13. Increase in employment possibilities

Over the following ten years, employment possibilities for landscape architects can grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 1,600 new positions for landscape architects may open up annually through 2030. An increase in employment is anticipated by the BLS in part due to the rise in the need for outdoor and interior environments that support sustainability methods.

14. Work independently and together with others

Most landscape architects value having the option of working together on some duties while doing others on their own. Landscape architect frequently develops their design plans on their own. But when they carry out their design objectives, their roles include increased cooperation. Landscape architects might collaborate closely with experts like architects, surveyors, landscapers, medical specialists, environmentalists, and engineers, based on the project’s requirements.

15. Use cutting-edge technology

You can use contemporary technology to carry out part of your job duties if you’re a landscape architect. To visualize or solve problems relating to the natural surroundings of their present project, landscape architects frequently utilized developing technologies. These technologies can include visual simulations, digital imaging, computer-aided design, and geographical information systems.

16. Get a professional license.

Professionals must first obtain a license from their state to carry out the majority of architectural and landscaping tasks. As part of their licensing procedures, certain jurisdictions may also require prospective landscape architects to pass supplementary exams on topics including environmental legislation. Your career can develop and you can find more employment opportunities if you are a licensed professional.

17. Work in a variety of settings

Landscape architects have the opportunity to work in a variety of office settings because they frequently work in a variety of outdoor places. Landscape architects might have the opportunity to carry out some of their activities in diverse work settings, such as parks, homes, monuments, businesses, and college campuses. This feature of landscape architecture can increase the attraction of the industry to professionals looking for a position that allows them to be active and travel to new places.

18. Take up a challenge

Most landscape architects value regular job changes and the opportunity to continually find solutions to new problems in landscaping architecture. This variety of responsibilities and difficulties may make the field of landscape architecture more psychologically interesting. With new ecological techniques, the discipline of landscape architecture also keeps growing, which might make this profession even more exciting.

A sample job description for a landscape architect

Consider the following job description for a landscape architect:

A creative and modern landscape architect is needed to join the urban design group at Juniper Associates, Inc. To create and supervise landscape designs, the landscape architect works with clients, engineers, and contractors. This person feels at ease:

  • Making site models and plans
  • Putting together cost estimates and requirements
  • Completing tasks on schedule and under budget

The ideal applicant may possess a minimum of five years of experience operating on ecological and urban projects, as well as strong analytical and creative abilities. a California license in landscape architecture is required.

Related occupations

If you’re considering a career in landscape architecture, check out some of the following options:

1. A civil engineer

Average national salary: $84,155

Primary responsibilities: Civil engineers contribute to the planning of public infrastructure. They might work on highways, airports, bridges, tunnels, underpasses, and power grids. A civil engineer may also help with the upkeep of these buildings and work with others in the architecture and urban development fields to develop effective and environmentally friendly designs.

2. A landscape designer

Average national salary: $56,231

Primary responsibilities: Residential yards, gardens, and other outdoor areas are planned and created by landscape designers using their aesthetic sense and plant expertise. In contrast to the job a landscape architect might undertake, they frequently work on smaller projects that call for less technical expertise. These people are also inclined to draw inspiration for their ideas from both natural and cultural goals.

3. Architect

Average national salary: $106,772

Primary responsibilities: New structures and infrastructure are planned by architects, who work for both public and private clients. They could create scale models manually or with the aid of computers. When it comes time to build the project in the real world, they work together with the remaining designers, production, and construction crew. To make sure that their designs are secure and long-lasting, architects may also check the building codes and licensing laws of the government.


Contractors, laborers, and other architects are among the experts that landscape architects frequently collaborate with. They are frequently sought after to join interdisciplinary teams. They may work for private businesses, public municipalities, governmental organizations, real estate developers, and business developers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Landscape Architects

  • Is being a landscape architect demanding?

Although this is the case, architects frequently leave projects undone and rush them to completion. Time management issues cause unneeded tension and anxiety. One must attempt to work on this element when pursuing a career in landscape architecture.

  • What distinguishes a landscape architect from a landscape designer?

A designer will concentrate on aesthetics and plant choices, whereas a landscape architect will possess a higher degree of technical comprehension and expertise in botanical and structural design. Although they lack a license, a landscape designer could be eligible for the same job.

  • Is it possible to make a living as a landscape architect?

Sure, landscape architects may earn a nice income. The magnitude and intricacy of the assignments they work on, their level of expertise, and the area in which they reside all affect their wages. Nonetheless, landscape architects typically make a fair living.

  • Do landscape architects understand math?

When creating a new building or environment, engineers, architects, and landscape designers use geometry as one of the most crucial math concepts.

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