Career Guide

Landscape Architect

Ben Maples  · Nov 30th 2021

Are you a fan of design, open spaces and the environment?

Landscape of maintained garden

If you answered yes, then the landscape designer career is an excellent opportunity to turn a passion into a job! They say when you love what you do, it’s no longer work, right? Find out more about this creative job below!

Landscape Architect Career Guide

What is landscape architecture?

It is when outdoor areas, both natural and built, are designed by a landscape engineer.

The landscape description includes parks, gardens, public spaces and playgrounds, as well as residential areas and university campuses. There are various types of landscapes, both big and small, from locations outside buildings, alongside roads and walkways. It’s one of those jobs related to geography as it focuses on achieving aesthetic, environmental and social outcomes. The result needs to look good and be functional at the same time.

What is a landscape architect?

Landscape architects design, plan and maintain open spaces. Under the landscape architect job description, we find that they create aesthetically-pleasing natural and built environments for the public to enjoy will ensuring it is appropriate for the environment. They need to consider something that is attractive, sustainable and sensitive to both people and the natural surroundings.

Also, we know that they work within urban and rural areas, according to the landscaper job description. A landscape designer will work with other professionals across various projects, from city centre parks to housing developments. There are five main specialisms within this career, including landscape science, design, planning, management and urban design. Ecology architecture definition is a growing field, focusing on special consideration for the impact on the environment during the build’s whole lifecycle.

If you’ve got a passion for the world, environment and conservation, it’s one of those careers in geography that offers excellent rewards and an exciting role.

What does a garden architect do?

They’ll create a landscape architect plan, establish requirements with the client, study the site and carry out environmental impact assessments. They’ll produce landscape architecture drawings from these studies and ensure the site meets the correct specifications and potential. A landscape designer will work across a range of projects, from pedestrian and urban regeneration schemes to housing estates and retail areas. Understanding the soil, buildings, contours, ecology and heritage of a site is imperative, as well as obtaining the views of residents and potential users in the surrounding area.

Urban landscape architecture requires individuals to prepare plans of the site, construction deals, drawings and present these to the client. They may deal with queries, changes and specification alterations throughout the process. Using computer-aided design (CAD), computers and related software is part of the role. Also, they’ll need to liaise with manufacturers, suppliers, other professionals during the project. Conducting site visits, monitoring work, attending public inquiries, and leading teams fall under the remit of this role. All of this is done while matching the desire of the plan and to a deadline.

Landscape Architect Career

How to become a landscape architect?

It’s one of those careers with geography that requires an individual to be a chartered landscape architect. There are no direct entry positions for this level, with most people needing to pass a landscape architecture degree, or Master’s course accredited by the LI (Landscape Institute, some may refer to it as the institute of landscape architects).

If you’re interested in geography degree careers, have already obtained a geography undergraduate qualification and want to train in a further specialism it’s an excellent choice. There are courses in landscape planning, environmental conservation, landscape design and ecology, garden design, landscape management and restoration or landscape architecture.

If you haven’t gone to university yet, there are undergraduate courses available that usually take four years to complete. Some students choose to take a year out between years two and three or three and four to undertake work experience or a placement.

But if you already have a degree, which is not accredited, you can study a postgraduate conversion course which is LI-accredited. These qualifications can last up to two years full-time, or longer if studied part-time. Graduates applying for a spot on the conversion course don’t need to have a relevant undergraduate qualification but should be able to show their interest in the environment and design.

Whilst studying on LI-accredited qualifications, students are encouraged to become a member, where they can access networks and events. It provides student news, industry updates and students can enter the Student Travel Awards competition. Once you graduate, the student membership automatically upgrades to a licentiate membership.

It is when outdoor areas, both natural and built, are designed by a landscape engineer

What skills are useful for landscape engineering?

Excellent drawing and design skills are essential for landscape design plans, as well as imagination, creativity and enthusiasm for the industry. You’ll need superb communication, observational and negotiating skills when dealing with clients, professionals and contractors.

A landscape designer will need to learn how to use CAD and similar software and understand computers. A genuine concern for the environment, a practical outlook and insight into conservation is crucial. Having an eye for detail, being able to work independently and within a team, and seeing the big picture are also desirable.

What is the average garden designer salary?

A graduate landscape architect typically receives a wage between £20,000 and £24,000, which rises to £29,000 after gaining experience and the Licentiate Membership and the professional qualifications. The landscaper salary for chartered individuals who are fully-qualified members of the LI is within the range of £30,000 and £45,000. After a considerable amount of experience, a chartered landscape architect can earn more than £100,000. The salaries are generally higher in the private sector.

Where to find landscape architect jobs?

Are you searching for a landscape architect vacancy or jobs in geography? Several industries offer these related geography jobs, like local authorities, public bodies, construction, private practices and water companies. A landscape architect can WORK in environmental agencies, the government and voluntary organisations.

In the private sector, work is usually in architectural recruitment agencies or companies specialising in landscape engineering. You’ll open up more doors if you follow the Landscape Institute Pathway to chartership or focus your search to built-up areas and cities, for example, there will be more landscape architecture jobs in London compared to a small town in the Midlands.

Landscape Architect

What to do with a geography degree?

You may be a school leaver, or choosing your courses at university and wondering ‘What can I do with a geography degree?’ If you’ve got a passion for the world, environment and conservation, it’s one of those careers in geography that offers excellent rewards and an exciting role. No two projects will be the same! You can also choose what area to specialise in if something catches your eye, like urban design.

Much like other jobs for geography graduates, it can open doors overseas, from Europe to the Middle East, or in big cities in the UK. Your day will be between the office and site visits, and you’ll speak to people from all sectors, including government, developers and members of the public. If you have great business and design skills, love drawing and designing new spaces, it’s one of the more favourable jobs with geography where you can see your plans come to life.

What is the Landscape Institute pathway?

After obtaining your accredited qualification - whether via undergraduate or the postgraduate conversion course - you will then complete a mentored experience where you’re supported while you work until you finish the Pathway to Chartership (P2C). Now you can apply for chartered status and become a full member of the LI. Then you’ll get to use the letters CMLI after your name, impressive, huh?

A landscape designer will need to learn how to use CAD and similar software and understand computers.

P2C allows you to deepen your understanding of landscape architecture, specialist knowledge and professionalism within the career. Most architects spend one to three years working on their pathway while working before moving on to the oral exam, so there is no direct deadline you need to meet. Once you achieve chartered landscape architect status, you need to complete at least 25 hours of CPD (Continuing professional development) each year. It is finished through an array of ways, with more information on the LI website. Once you reach the to of your profession, you can also apply to be a Fellow with the LI.

What are the prospects for a landscape architect?

Career progression is depending on the type of architect companies that employ you. In most cases, you’ll take on more significant projects, have greater responsibility, and even manage a team. There is also the option to become a specialist n particular area of landscape design. How quickly you progress also depends on your knowledge, skills and your ambition. Achieving chartered status is the highlight of your career, as it shows you are a fully qualified designer.

After gaining substantial experience, working on various projects and having superb commercial and business awareness, you can move to consultancy roles, set up a business or agency yourself or be a partner in private practice. If working in the private sector appeals to you, you’ll need to maintain a decent book of clients and impressive expertise and insight. Another option is to move into higher education and support future architects in the industry.

undergraduate Uni's

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