Landscape Architects

What Landscape Architects Do

Landscape architects design parks and other outdoor spaces.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRsp6BF1NIc

Work Environment

Landscape architects spend much of their time in offices, where they create designs, prepare models, and meet with clients. They spend the rest of their time at jobsites.

How to Become a Landscape Architect

All states require landscape architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state but usually include at least a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school, internship experience, and passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.

Pay

The median annual wage for landscape architects was $69,360 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Employment of landscape architects is projected to decline 2 percent from 2019 to 2029. Improving technologies are expected to increase landscape architects’ productivity, which should reduce overall demand for the occupation over the next 10 years.

Landscape architects design parks and the outdoor spaces of campuses, recreational facilities, businesses, private homes, and other open spaces.

Duties

Landscape architects typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients, engineers, and building architects to understand the requirements of a project
  • Prepare site plans, specifications, and cost estimates
  • Coordinate the arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures
  • Prepare graphic representations of plans using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software
  • Select appropriate landscaping materials
  • Analyze environmental reports on land conditions, such as drainage and energy usage
  • Inspect landscape project progress to ensure that it adheres to plans
  • Seek new work through marketing activities or by giving presentations

Landscape architects design attractive and functional public parks, gardens, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and public spaces. They also plan the locations of buildings, roads, walkways, flowers, shrubs, and trees within these environments. Landscape architects design these areas so that they are not only easy to use but also harmonious with the natural environment.

Landscape architects use various technologies in their work. For example, using CADD software, landscape architects prepare models of their proposed work. They present these models to clients for feedback and then prepare the final look of the project. Many landscape architects also use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which offer GPS coordinates of different geographical features. This helps landscape architects design different environments by providing clues on where to start planning and how to anticipate future effects of the landscape, such as rainfall running into a valley.

The goals of landscape architects are to enhance the natural beauty of a space and foster environmental benefits. Landscape architects may plan the restoration of natural places that were changed by humans or nature, such as wetlands, streams, and mined areas. They also may design green roofs (roofs that are covered in soil and plants) or rooftop gardens that can retain storm water, absorb air pollution, and cool buildings while also providing pleasant scenery.

Landscape architects held about 24,500 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of landscape architects were as follows:

Architectural, engineering, and related services 53%
Self-employed workers 17
Landscaping services 16
Government 7
Construction 2

Landscape architects spend much of their time in offices, where they create plans and designs, prepare models and preliminary cost estimates, and meet with clients and workers involved in designing or planning a project. They spend the rest of their time at jobsites.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of landscape architects.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Architects

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures.

Bachelor’s degree $80,750

Civil engineers

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers design, build, and supervise infrastructure projects and systems. 

Bachelor’s degree $87,060

Construction Managers

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

Bachelor’s degree $95,260

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.

Bachelor’s degree $71,360

Hydrologists

Hydrologists

Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust.

Bachelor’s degree $81,270

Surveying and Mapping Technicians

Surveying and mapping technicians collect data and make maps of the Earth’s surface.

High school diploma or equivalent $45,010

Surveyors

Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries.

Bachelor’s degree $63,420

Urban and Regional Planners

Urban and regional planners develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities.

Master’s degree $74,350

Drafters

Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings.

Associate’s degree $56,830

Interior Designers

Interior designers make indoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items.

Bachelor’s degree $56,040

For more information, including a list of colleges and universities offering accredited programs in landscape architecture, visit  

American Society of Landscape Architects

For information on registration or licensing requirements, visit  

Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards

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Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Landscape Architects,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/landscape-architects.htm (visited ).