On graduating college as a landscape architect, you may be in dire need of landing a well-paying job. The labour market isn’t always a straightforward place to navigate.
However, you must understand their job scope, qualities, and skills that potential hires will be looking out for.
Who is a landscape architect?
A landscaper or landscape architect is a designer of worlds. He designs the natural and social worlds, including residential areas, public/commercial sites, gardens, public parks, and other urban spaces on land, water, and even air. They typically suggest the placement and location of buildings, roads, walkways, trees, and every other physical component of the environment in question.
Their objective is to plan and oversee outdoor areas and structures to achieve a functional and visually pleasing outcome.
With the above, you can see that a landscape architectural professional is more than a structural architect that designs single buildings at a time. Landscape architects do not design buildings, but environments wherein the buildings will sit.
How can you practice in the field?
To become a landscape architectural professional and practice in the field, you must first obtain a license as required in your state. Although licensing requirements vary from state to state, you’d typically be required to have a Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from an approved institution and some level of experience.
You can get some experience by running an internship as a graduate landscaper. There are also Graduate Landscape Architecture Jobs posted online, which you can check out once you have a Bachelor’s degree.
What are their job requirements?
A landscaper will typically expect the following skills and requirements while working with a company.
- Mid-level interpersonal relationships and social contact with others at the office. They work with clients and a team but also do some of their designs single-handedly.
- Will be responsible for their designs. Clients would expect the finished work to be according to their expectations.
- Should be able to work with a team of other engineers and designers
- Should be able to work indoors and outdoors.
- Must be exact in their designs as errors may cost clients huge amounts of money.
- Should be able to make decisions on their own without supervision. Some employers lookout for designers whose decisions would positively impact the company’s reputation.
- Must always remember that their work directly impacts the environment and, therefore, has to be top-notch.
- Must be able to abide by strict company guidelines as well as community policies.
What is a landscaper’s work environment like?
A landscaper will most often be in the office, conceptualizing design ideas. They can prepare models individually, meet with clients, and discuss ideas with other engineers and architects. They spend the rest of their work time supervising the realization of their designs on the site.
What are the average annual wages of a graduate landscaper?
According to the Bureau of 2020, the median annual salary for landscape architects in the US was $70,630.
According to Payscale, the annual salary varies between $44,000 and $89,000.
However, work experience usually affects pay range since a landscaper with 15 years of experience will be valued more than a graduate-level expert.
How many hours a week do they work?
Landscapers usually work regular office hours, about 40 hours weekly. As a graduate, you must be prepared to sometimes work on weekends or evenings to meet with clients. Also, be prepared to travel to job sites outside your city, especially when working for a reputable firm.
Which other professionals do they work with?
This specialized architectural professional often needs to work with civil engineers, hydrologists, city planners, and building architects involved in the same projects. It can be on a team or consultancy basis, and they also often need the assistance of landscape designers.
Are they different from landscape designers?
The two phrases are often used interchangeably. After all, they are both concerned with designing landscapes and physical environments. However, the major difference between the two is that the architects work on larger and more complex projects while landscape designers work on residential and smaller projects.
All the same, it’s basically the same field, creating physical, functional, and aesthetically pleasing outdoor environments.
How to charge a client for a landscape design/architecture project?
The cost of a landscape job will depend on multiple factors, just like almost every other project.
What kind of firms do they work in?
These specialized architects can get jobs in the private sector in architectural, engineering, and land planning firms. Some non-engineering firms also have physical planning and developing departments that would require the services of a landscaper.
On the other hand, the public sector offers employment opportunities through federal, state, regional, and municipal agencies concerned with land planning and preserving the natural environment. Such agencies include the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Transportation, and US Forest Service (the greatest employer of landscapers in the US).
One can also get a career in academic practise as a lecturer or professor. However, one would need to further their studies to get qualifications higher than the graduate degree.
Architects in academic practice conduct research to further the science and technology of landscape architecture, write publications on their findings, and lecture in colleges.
What other practices can you venture into with a Bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture?
As with other architectural and engineering fields, you can exhibit your skills as landscape architectural professionals without being officially called a landscape architect.
Here are a few job roles that require the knowledge and skills of a graduate landscape architectural professional:
- Computer-aided design designer
- Landscape designer
- Architectural internship
- Architectural designer
- Design internship
- Community planner
- Junior designer
What is expected of a landscape architectural professional when executing a project?
The landscaper is expected to work alongside other relevant professionals to outline the challenges and possible solutions.
They also have to consider environmental factors like energy and drainage availability.
Clients would also want to visualise the finished work on paper or computer. He, therefore, has to be conversant with CAD software.
Landscape architecture is a promising field for anyone with a passion for creating beautiful worlds. Although you may start small, commitment and constant improvement are all you need to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself.