Is a degree in landscape architecture worth it?

Trained with a wide range of skills that combine art and science, the opportunities are endless for landscape architects. Virginia Tech offers a five-year accredited bachelor's degree in landscape architecture in a highly selective program at the School of Architecture+Design. Students are educated to be independent thinkers in a program that emphasizes theoretical and applied approaches to design. Students often work with communities that address real problems in real places.

The sequence of the study culminates in a final one-year project developed with a faculty advisor. Published landscape architect jobs generally require the next level of education. The figures below are based on job offers in the United States last year. Not all job offers indicate education requirements.

These figures give little indication that allied professions are to blame for diverting aspiring landscape architects. Landscape architects design attractive and functional public parks, gardens, residential areas, university campuses and public spaces. Many new landscape architect jobs have estimated salaries in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in last year's job postings. Candidates who are interested in taking the exam generally need a degree from an accredited school and a few years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect, although standards vary by state.

The landscape architect is responsible for drawing up the plans using CAD software, monitoring the site, being a liaison with the customer, writing and analyzing reports, drafting contracts and working. Landscape architects are people who design the environment, buildings and the natural world to make it pleasant and charming. Below you'll find everything you need to know about a career as a landscape architect with lots of details. For those who do not have an accredited degree in landscape architecture, many states offer alternative paths that generally require more work experience to qualify to take the LARE.

For the rare breed pursuing a career in landscape architecture, money is clearly not the driving force. Below are lists of the most common general and specialized skills that landscape architect positions expect applicants to have, as well as the most common skills that distinguish people from their peers. A list of training requirements can be found on the Council of Landscape Architecture Registry Boards. Most workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical or mechanical sketches and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.

These are the employers who have published most of the landscape architect's work in the past year along with the amount they have published. Typically, landscape architects work in teams where ideas are exchanged and how best to carry out a project are discussed. The Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board approved revisions to the accreditation standards to allow online programs to enter the accreditation process last year, although at the time of writing the University of the Academy of Art has not sought accreditation, which is necessary to obtain the license in some states. Courses typically include surveying, landscape design and construction, landscape ecology, site design, and urban and regional planning.

Stephanie Scales
Stephanie Scales

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