Careers in landscape architecture are exciting, fun to do and can be lucrative. With the right education and experience, you will find yourself in a career you are passionate about remaining in.
Getting Careers in Landscape Architecture
There are many types of Career in landscape architecture. Jobs may involve working in fields related to housing, agriculture, forestry and industry. Landscape architecture is an important facet in the everyday lives of individuals and is also critical to maintaining natural landscapes and environments to protect the earth. Individuals passionate about conservation and environmental protection may do well in this type of career.
Anyone can design a basic landscape for a backyard, but those who wish to become landscape architects must obtain a professional education and license in order to practice.
Education is critical for this profession as it teaches individuals to understand landscape design and apply that knowledge in the real world. A college education will teach individuals how to be sensitive to landscape quality and to problem solve difficult situations. It also teaches individuals the practical skills necessary to perform well in this career.
There are three types of degrees available for individuals looking for a career in landscape design or architecture:
- Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture or BSLA: This program requires four to five years of course study for completion. Individuals will be able to enter employment after obtaining their bachelor's degree and properly license.
- Master of Landscape Architecture or MLA: This degree takes three full time years to complete, if the individual has an undergraduate degree in any other field. Those specializing in this degree, and have an undergraduate degree in landscaping architecture, will finish their MLA within two years, studying full time.
- Master of Arts or Master of Science: These degrees are for those who will invest more time in research in landscape architecture, but do not plan to registered as a professional practitioner.
As with other types of architects, most states require landscape architects to receive licenses to provide professional services within the state. Each state requires specific education requirements met prior to sitting for a state provided exam called the Landscape Architect Registration Examination or LARE.
Finding employment as a landscape architect is possible in several different fields. Even before studying for your degree, consider which type of job you would like to hold so that you can tailor your degree to fit that requirement.
- Entry Level: With a BSLA, individuals will find employment in a range of fields. Many step into entry level positions within the private sector and public sector, as listed below. Most will work as an understudy within a landscaping architecture firm to build experience or work towards their graduate degree.
- Private Sector: Many landscape architects will find themselves working in the private sector. This includes positions within architectural planning firms, engineering fields and with specific landscape architectural planning firms. A variety of businesses have physical planning departments that the individual may receive employment.
- Public Sector: The public sector is another opportunity for landscape architects. These types of jobs involve working within local, state and federal agencies involved with land planning, preservation sectors and in development sectors. Government agencies like the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Transportation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers hire landscape architects.
Careers in landscape architecture are readily available most of the time. Many candidates get jobs right out of college, through internships or work-study programs. However, there are also a few websites where job listings can be found.
- Indeed.com: Search InDeed.com to find architecture jobs. Search by location or job type. The website features jobs for around the country.
- Monster.com: Some of the best jobs are on Monster.com. Individuals are also able to save a copy of their resume on the site so potential employers can view it. This resource is one of the best for employment opportunities throughout the country and internationally.
- CareerBuilder.com: Another place to find landscape architecture jobs is CareerBuilder.com. Search by location or keywords describing your position. Save your search to come back another time, too.