What Do Landscape Architects Do?
Landscape architects plan and design projects such as airports, highways, schools, hospitals, parks, and commercial or residential sites for land areas to benefit the community. There are many steps involved in creating a building or community space. Those interested in a career as a landscape architect should possess both practical skills and imagination. The primary responsibility of a landscape architect is to plan how a certain space is to be used and enjoyed by the community. This involves understanding which natural components, such as grass, stone, or falling water, can be used to maximize the area. Individuals pursuing a job in landscape architecture should have an aptitude for thinking creatively, communicating with supervisors, interacting with computers, and drafting and specifying technical devices and equipment.
Landscape Architects Skills and Abilities
Skills and abilities for landscape architects typically concern the designing and planning of green space. This includes the ability to incorporate green features to the design of facilities. Other skills may include the following:
- Production of technical plans, drawings, blueprints, and models
- Building and construction
- Customer and personal service
- Public safety and security
- Active listening
- Reading comprehension
- Complex problem solving
- Decision making
- Operation analysis
- Time management
- Problem sensitivity
- Written expression
Landscape Architects Duties
There are occupation-specific as well as generalized work activities involved in landscape architecture that may include the following:
- Meeting with clients, engineering personnel, and architects on landscape projects
- Preparing site plans or cost estimates for various land development projects
- Analyzing data on site locations, structure locations, or drainage
- Inspecting landscape work and ensuring specifications
- Preparing graphic representations
- Presenting designs or project plans to stakeholders which could include government agencies or groups
- Managing work completed by subcontractors
- Ensuring quality control
- Creating landscapes that will minimize water usage
- Collaborating with other architects on the big-picture building design to maximize both aesthetic features as well as environmental efficiency
- Collaborating with estimators to create project plans and coordinate bids.
- Researching the latest design trends, products, and technology
- Inspecting sites
- Identifying and selecting the most sustainable materials to use for landscape designs
- Integrating rainwater harvesting into building or land designs
- Specifying technical devices and equipment
- Prepare conceptual drawing to estimate predicted growth of land over time.
- Providing follow-up meetings to ensure clients are satisfied with the outcome of the project.
Landscape Architects Tools and Technologies
Landscape architects should mainly be familiar with computer and software programs. This may include the following:
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders
- Digital cameras
- Global positioning systems
- Notebook computers
- Computer aided design software
- Database user interface and query software
- Desktop publishing software
- Electronic mail
- Graphics and photo imaging software
Education and Training for Landscape Architects
A career as a landscape architect generally requires a Bachelor’s degree as minimum education. There is no work experience needed for the position, although an internship or residency is usually part of the hiring process to allow for on-the-job training.
Landscape Architects Salary
The average annual income for a landscape architect is $64,000, with the lowest 10% earning $40,700, and the highest 10% earning $106,100. A majority of landscape architects are self-employed, and there is a significant income that can be gained through this position. The most income can be acquired through helping develop land for corporate headquarters and shopping centers.
Landscape Architects by Geography
It is estimated that by 20222, there will be a 14% increase in demand for landscape architects. The states with the highest demand for this position include North Dakota, Utah, and Washington. Because training and qualifications for landscape architects can vary across states, be sure to learn more about the specifications for your chosen state of residence.