As a specialized profession that used to be handled by an architect, a landscape architect is now a highly evolved professional who is often a part of a building project team consisting of building architects, engineers, interior decorators and surveyors. The work takes care of designing gardens, parks and campuses, golf courses and shopping surrounds.
Education and Training required
You can take a 4-year Bachelor of Arts degree in landscape architecture or a 5-year Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture in any of 67 colleges accredited by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board of the American Society of Landscape Architects. There are now 49 states that require you to pass the LARE (Landscape Architect Registration Exam) to practice your profession in any of these states.
Landscape Architect: Getting the Job
There are about 26,700 landscape architects in the country as of 2008. Apart form the licensing, you may have to take a 3-year masteral degree to become competitive in the job markets. About a quarter of landscape architects work independently, about 3 times compared to other occupation. This is a highly competitive profession if you want to land in prestigious architectural firms who prefer to hire those with experience in the job.
Landscape Architect Working Conditions
A landscape architects spends most of his productive time indoors working on drafting designs and plans, making cost estimates, crafting models, researching on evolving landscaping developments as well as attending design meetings with clients and fellow architects in a project. They also spend time checking the site together with surveyors. After their plans are approved by the project lead and the client, more time is allotted on site visits and supervision. Working with large construction projects in parks, malls, resorts or golf courses can take more time outdoors.
Landscape Architect Salary and Benefits
The median annual income for landscape architects was about $59,000 in 2008. About half of them earned between $45,000 and $78,000. The highest 10% earned over $98,000 while the lowest 10% earned less than $37,000.