How to Become a

Landscape Architect

The complete career guide to be a Landscape Architect: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $68,600
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Landscape architects endeavor to promote, enhance and highlight the aesthetic beauty of a space. They design a wide array of open spaces, including college campuses, parks, private homes and gardens to be both attractive and functional. They also plan the walkways, paths, roads, buildings, trees, flowers and fauna within these locations.

Recommended Schools

What is a Landscape Architect?

Landscape architects must be creative thinkers, possess strong analytical and technical skills, and communicate ideas and vision succinctly and effectively. They are thinkers and problem solvers who know how to convince others that change is needed. Compensation tends towards the higher end of the spectrum, but hours are at times unpredictable and the work can be physically taxing.

In the course of their work, landscape architects typically fulfill the following duties:

  • Prepare plans for the job site with expense estimates, calendar and specs
  • Conceptualize, prepare and present graphic representations of proposed plans using both computer aided design and drafting software and classical methods
  • Research and analyze government and environmental reports on proposed building sites to account for regulations, zoning laws, energy usage and drainage
  • Sketch preliminary drawings to express larger concepts and proposals
  • Originate and share ideas, both written and orally, with prospective clients, other landscape architects, and co-workers

Day In the Life

Landscape architects primarily operate from an office designing projects for their clients, though time spent at the jobsite once the project is underway is not uncommon. Their work takes the form of drawing sketches, preparing models, leveling cost estimates, arranging and coordinating a team to implement the approved plan once in place and meeting with clients regularly to discuss and deliver progress reports.

Landscape architects utilize numerous different technologies to support and enhance their work. Drafting software allows landscape architects to prepare models of their proposed work, and many utilize GIS (geographic information systems) to allow for an easier assessment of varied geographical aspects of the proposed jobsite. This saves time by avoiding problematic or expensive areas and also contributes to the overall aesthetic of the final product, such as using cliffs to accentuate the view of the valley below. They can then present this information and the models to clients for feedback, finalizing the visual presentation and expediting the process.


The everpresent desire for functional and gorgeous spaces will ensure employment opportunities in the near and distant future. Job growth is slightly above average for all occupations in the United States. Higher than average salaries and pleasant working conditions contribute to a competitive environment, especially in the larger and most prestigious firms, such as Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), Oehme van Sweden & Associates and PWP Landscape Architecture.

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How To Become a Landscape Architect

A bachelor’s degree is not absolutely required to enter into a career as a landscape architect, however it is overwhelmingly desired by all but a handful of employers. Additionally, licensing requirements make the lack of a degree particularly problematic. Specifically, an undergraduate degree in either professional degree, whether a BSLA (Bachelor of Science of Landscape Architecture) of a BLA, (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture) is the most common starting point.

An undergraduate degree in a field other than landscape architecture, paired with a MLA (Master of Landscape Architecture), is also sufficient. A graduate degree program is typically a three-year program in length.

Landscape architects are required to be licensed in every state but Maine, Illinois, Massachuessetts and Washington, D.C. Requirements to obtain a license varies from state to state, but usually demands a degree in landscape architecture from an accredited institution and the successful completion of the Landscape Architect Registration Exam. Those should be aware that since requirements vary from state to state, landscape architects often find it challenging to transfer their registration if they change their residency status.

Internships at landscape architecture firms are common and allow for students to gain experience while completing their degree.

Landscape Architect Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Landscape Architect salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Landscape Architect's can make an average annual salary of $68,600, or $33 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $49,780 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #210 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Landscape Architect. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Landscape Architects

  • 8.2%   Doctorate
  • 31.9%   Masters
  • 49.1%   Bachelors
  • 4.7%   Associates
  • 4.6%   College
  • 1.3%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Landscape Architect job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 1,200 jobs for a total of 23,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #412 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Landscape Architects

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 4,200 200 0%
Landscaping services 3,500 200 0%
Engineering services 2,400 300 0%

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