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Landscape Architect Working On Design

How To Become A Landscape Architect

Anyone with a passion for plants or the outdoors may be interested in how to become a landscape architect. Landscape architects design outdoor spaces like parks, gardens, and college campuses for people to enjoy. This unique career incorporates nature, art, technology, and science.

a landscape architect working with a client in a garden

Preparing for a landscape architecture career requires gaining the right combination of education, experience, and licensure. Keep reading for more specific details, such as what education is required to be a landscape architect and where landscape architects work.

Career Path Overview for Landscape Architect

Education Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree

Recommended Degree Program

B.S. in Sustainable Horticulture 

Average Salary (2021)


Workers Employed in U.S. (2021)


Projected Job Openings (2021-31)

1,500 per year

Projected Growth Rate

0% (Little or no change)

Other Job Titles

Landscape Designer

Related Careers

Urban PlannerBotanistConservation Biologist

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does A Landscape Architect Do?

A landscape architect designs and manages outdoor spaces. For example, in a park, a landscape artist determines where pathways, playgrounds, and new trees will go. They are responsible for selecting appropriate materials for the outdoor spaces based on intended use, climate, and ecology. They also analyze land conditions such as water drainage and soil quality and adjust their plans accordingly. 

Other types of spaces that landscape architects design are:

  • Public gardens
  • Private lawns
  • Golf courses
  • School campuses
  • New neighborhoods

Landscape architects collaborate with government officials, engineers, gardeners, and building architects when planning new projects and managing existing ones. On teams, they work to create outdoor areas that are beautiful, functional, and sustainable.

Junior Landscape Architect Job Description 

Junior-level landscape architects assist their more experienced colleagues with various projects. Usually, entry-level landscape architects start on small-scale projects before working their way up to larger ones. Typical duties include:

  • Conducting job site assessments
  • Using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to create digital models
  • Preparing cost estimates for new projects 

Advanced Landscape Architect Job Description

Advanced landscape architects manage projects and oversee their implementation. They typically handle large-scale projects such as college campuses and new subdivisions. Common duties of a senior-level landscape architect include:

  • Meeting with clients to determine their vision for the project and presenting plans
  • Training and supervising interns and entry-level landscape architects
  • Coordinating with contractors and other team members to ensure projects are running smoothly

Where Do Landscape Architects Work?

The majority of landscape architects work for architectural and engineering companies. Some landscape architects are self-employed, while a smaller percentage work for the government. The landscape architect’s work environment varies depending on the employer, but generally, time is split between the office and the job site. The job may involve some travel depending on the project, but hours are usually regular. 

In the Office

In the office, landscape architects design plans and create models. Models help ensure the design will work and prepare cost estimates for the project. Landscape architects often have to present these plans to the clients and the workers who will be building the park, garden, or other outdoor space. 

In the Field

In the planning stages of a project, the landscape architect will visit the site to observe it and collect any pertinent information for the design process. During project implementation, landscape architects may help manage the construction of the space. They may need to wear safety gear depending on the project and the stage that it’s at.

Landscape Designer In Backyard

Explore more jobs that let you get out in nature and get your hands dirty from Unity Environmental University’s blog. 

Average Landscape Architect Salary

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a landscape architect in 2021 was $67,950. Landscape architects that work for the government make significantly more, with a median of $99,240, whereas those who work in construction only make an average of $49,440. The average salary also varies depending on what state or city you work in and your position. Landscape architects in the top 10% of earners make more than $115,000 per year. 

Top 5 States for Landscape Architect Salary in U.S.


Average Annual Salary

Average Hourly Rate

District of Columbia






New York









Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is the Job Outlook for Landscape Architects? 

The demand for landscape architects is not expected to change much in the next decade. However, around 1,500 openings for landscape architects may be available each year due to people retiring or leaving the field. Furthermore, as the need for conservation and sustainable practices continues to grow, more landscape architects may be needed. 

  • Estimate of jobs available: 19,800
  • Rate of projected job growth: 0% (little to no change)
  • New job openings in the next 10 years: 1,500 per year
  • States with the most jobs: California, Florida, Colorado, and New York

Landscape Architect Education Recommendations

Becoming a landscape architect typically requires a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture or a related field such as sustainable horticulture. After completing your degree program, it’s recommended to get a state-issued landscape architecture license by passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) and gaining work experience under a licensed landscape architect. This can be done during or after college depending on your degree program. 

Landscape Architect High School Recommendations

You can begin preparing to become a landscape designer in high school by designing and building your own garden. Some schools have on-campus gardens that students can volunteer to tend. If your school doesn’t, think about talking to a teacher about starting a school garden. You could also join an agricultural club like the Future Farmers of America (FFA). 

The following high school courses may be helpful to prepare for a landscape architecture career:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Art
  • Environmental studies
  • Agriculture classes

Looking for sustainable agriculture jobs? Consider a career as a greenhouse manager or hemp farmer. 

Landscape Architect College Education Recommendations

The path of how to become a landscape designer begins with the right education. A landscape architect’s education requirements include a bachelor’s degree to get the license to work legally. This typically takes about four years of full-time school to complete. 

Your landscape architect education should include courses on horticulture, soil and water analysis, and sustainable practices. It should also include an internship under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect. This is part of the landscape architect requirements for state licensure. 


The two most common landscape architecture degrees are the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and the Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA). Other related degrees such as a B.S. in Sustainable Horticulture are also accepted by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB), which provides work licenses for landscape architects. 


While most entry-level positions only require a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree can help you advance in your landscape architecture career. A master’s typically takes about two years of full-time school after you earn your undergraduate degree. Unity Environmental University offers graduate degrees completely online so that you can continue working from wherever you are! 

Landscape Architecture License

Most states require landscape architects to be licensed. The last step of the journey of how to become a licensed landscape architect is the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE). To register for the exam, you must have your qualifying degree and work experience. The exact requirements for licensure vary by state. 

Landscape Architect Designing Urban Park

Recommended Unity Degrees and Courses

B.S. in Sustainable Horticulture

This is the ideal degree if you want to focus on sustainability in your work as a landscape designer. You will learn how to incorporate knowledge of plant biology, environmental laws and regulations, and indigenous practices in the creation of outdoor spaces. The program provides the flexibility of online courses with the hands-on experience of fieldwork. 

B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation & Management

Sustainable practices are key to responsible land development and use. A degree in resource conservation and management can prepare you for a career as a landscape architect, environmental consultant, or natural resource manager.

unity environmental university logo

Explore More Career Paths Related to Landscape Architect

Urban Planner

Urban planners work with various government agencies to plan new or updated infrastructure. This includes outdoor spaces such as city parks and medians. Urban planners usually work in cities but may work for the county, state, or federal governments.


If you are fascinated by plants, a career as a botanist may be fulfilling for you. Botanists study plant life and share what they learn with others to inform sustainable design and conservation practices all over the country. 

Conservation Biologist

Conservation biologists work to understand and protect the Earth’s biodiversity. They may collaborate with landscape architects, urban planners, and other professionals to ensure that land is used sustainably.