Landscape Architects

Last updated December 31, 2014

Landscape architects create outdoor areas that beautify and accent the buildings they surround. But they do more than design around buildings. They also create large open spaces, such as parks and golf courses, and help conserve and restore natural resources, such as forests.

Landscape architects make these outdoor spaces user-friendly, sustainable, and pleasing to the senses. To do so, they draw on their knowledge of design, construction, ecology, botany, horticulture (the study and practice of growing plants), and soil science.

Landscape architects design and create outdoor spaces using plants, trees, structures, and other natural and human-made elements.

Did You Know?

Most states require landscape architects to be licensed. Before pursuing licensure, you’ll need to graduate from an accredited school and have some work experience.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Analyze the climate, soil, slope, and drainage of sites
  • Choose plants that will thrive on the site
  • Plan the location of buildings, roads, and walkways and the arrangement of flowers, shrubs, and trees
  • Create written reports, sketches, plans, and models
  • Estimate costs
  • Know environmental guidelines
  • Use computer-assisted drafting programs and other computer applications
  • Work with architects, surveyors, engineers, environmental scientists, and construction contractors

It Helps To Be...

Creative, interested in nature and ecology, and good at communicating your ideas to others.

Make High School Count

  • Get a good foundation in art and design. Consider taking the AP® Art History exam.
  • Do your best in math and physics. Try to get in a year of calculus.
  • Consider working or interning with a local landscape architecture firm, an architectural firm, a garden center, or a plant nursery.
  • Read landscape architecture journals and magazines to build your knowledge of landscaping styles, plant materials, and trends in the industry.

Did You Know?

To become licensed, you'll need to pass an exam given by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards and possibly take a state exam.