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How To Become A Landscape Architect Without A Degree

By David Krug 5 minute read

A degree in landscape design may be an investment of time and money, but it opens up the landscape architecture profession for individuals who desire to be landscape architects. 

Some have gone out into the wild to learn by doing, but today’s intelligent and ecologically-minded culture makes it exceedingly improbable that experience alone will succeed. A landscape architect is someone who designs and implements landscapes.

Architecture landscape

Natural and man-made landscapes are combined to produce landscape architecture. For example, they create parks and golf courses and hiking trails as well as urban plazas as well as home development plans, and other outdoor places. 

The work of landscape architects, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, defines a neighborhood.

This indicates that they must first have a thorough knowledge of the neighborhood, including its history, geology, occupants, and other relevant variables.

What is a Landscape Architect’s Role?

The work of a landscape architect entails in-depth analysis, conceptualization, and design. In order to make sure everything is proceeding according to plan, they collaborate with clients and construction firms.

These experts are frequently employed to create useable spaces that may restore endangered wetlands, remove pollutants from rainfall in a public place, and implement other ecologically responsible approaches so that people can interact with their natural surroundings. 

There is some evidence to suggest that the small patch of greenery outside the hospital has a therapeutic purpose in terms of landscape architecture and may even aid in recovery.

In other projects, you may design something like a college campus, a hiker-friendly route, or an urban oasis where people can bring their lunch and help fight erosion at the same time!

However, in order to have a clearer idea of why this field necessitates a college degree, let’s zoom in on the day-to-day activities involved.

When a landscape architect begins a new project, he or she will first meet with the client to get a sense of what the client wants and how they envision it being achieved.

Afterward, the professional examines the geological characteristics, identifies any issues, and analyzes the site’s current resources. 

If the project has a broader impact than just a few individuals, the architect will meet with stakeholders in the neighborhood to get their thoughts.

He or she will come up with ideas for what makes the project unique and how it will impact the surrounding community’s unique character and culture.

The following phase will only take place if you have a clear picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. The landscape architect begins by sketching out his ideas and then further refines them into a virtual or physical 3-D model for the customer to see. 

The architect meets with the construction manager to make sure he or she is on the same page as the architect. The landscaping specialist visits the site frequently throughout construction and then again after the project is completed to ensure that the design works as intended.

Ability Requirements

It is apparent that a professional needs a wide range of abilities and abilities. In an article in The Field Magazine, architects were asked to rank the importance of certain abilities.

Although technological concerns were mentioned, the most common answer was a lack of communication skills. A third-dimensional way of thinking and seeing was also emphasized in the responses. 

In their view, landscape architects need to be able to think about how a project will integrate many disciplines such as transportation and architecture as well as social and ecological processes.

One more quality that experts deemed critical was having a positive attitude. Everything that landscape architects consider essential is a result of their years of experience and education.

Different kinds of degrees

With a two-year college degree, one can begin a career in this profession. In order to be proficient, they must have knowledge in engineering, geology, ecology, and other areas of study. This is an issue for them. You’ll need more than just a few months of schooling to master these skills.

Many colleges and institutions offer degrees in landscape architecture, including the Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture.

The Bachelor of Landscape Architecture may need more time and fieldwork than the Bachelor of Science degree. It also focuses more on design with studio work and emphasizes collaborative urban planners, engineers, and ecologists, among other things. 

Landscape architecture is a four-year degree program that covers soil science, landscape plants, ecology, and a variety of other topics. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be able to study a variety of topics.

Both degrees will necessitate internships and fieldwork experience. If you want to work in business management or at the highest levels of government, a graduate degree is a must.

Landscape architects must be licensed in virtually every state, and licensing demands that they have a degree and internship experience as well. In order to become a licensed Landscape Architect, you must pass the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (LARE).

Salary and Employment Outlook

As a landscape architect, you may expect to make a lot of money. For starters, their involvement in housing developments increases the appeal of the properties to both inhabitants and companies, resulting in a more vibrant local economy.

The US economy benefited by 2.7 billion dollars from landscape architect services in 2015. Consequently, they are in high demand and the rivalry for employment is fierce.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professions make $68,230 per year on average. At $87,150, professionals employed by the federal government were the highest-earning workers. Fewer than a quarter of landscape architects work by themselves.

Despite the fact that some professionals in this field believe that on-the-job training is sufficient for employment, degrees are clearly required for practitioners for a variety of reasons.

It would take several years outside of a degree program to gain all of the skills and competencies they must possess. 

Licensed landscape architects are also required to have a degree in order to be licensed, and states demand this for licensing purposes.

Landscape architects can operate without a degree, but the state and businesses won’t recognize them as professionals unless they have a degree from an approved institution.

David Krug