Get to know this growing profession
Landscape architecture is all around us. And the visionary work of these licensed professionals results in usable, beautiful, ecologically responsible, natural areas that enhance our communities and, ultimately, our own quality of life.
A COMMUNITY-DEFINING CAREER
As described by the American Society of Landscape Architects, landscape architects “analyze, plan, design, manage, and nurture the built and natural environments. They design parks, campuses, streetscapes, trails, plazas, and other projects that help define a community.”
While every day is a bit different for a landscape architect, typical duties include:
- Meeting with clients, engineers, contractors, and building architects to understand the requirements of a project.
- Preparing site plans, specifications, and cost estimates.
- Coordinating the arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures.
- Preparing graphic representations of plans using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software.
- Selecting appropriate materials.
- Analyzing environmental reports on land conditions, such as drainage and energy usage.
- Inspecting project progress to ensure that it adheres to plans.
All of these day-to-day duties add up to a finished product that seamlessly and harmoniously connects people with a nature-based, human-built environment.
While each different state sets its own requirements for licensure, each requires candidates to pass the national Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE), which is administered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.
California regulation and licensure are overseen by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC). Prior to registering for the LARE in California, those wishing to become licensed landscape architects in California must:
- Be at least 18 years of age (or have graduated from high school to receive training/experience credit).
- Have a bachelor’s, master’s, or associate degree, or an extension certificate in landscape architecture or an architecture degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
- Have six years of qualifying education and training experience in actual practice of landscape architecture (an approved degree or extension certificate in landscape architecture will allow applicants to take LARE sections 1 and 2 prior to earning training experience).
Upon meeting education and training experience requirements, the licensure candidate must apply for eligibility. The application and all required documents must be received by LATC no later than 45 days before the first date of any LARE section the candidate wants to take.
For those wishing to move and practice from out of state, California has a licensure reciprocity program.
And this licensed profession is in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady growth for landscape architect careers, citing:
- Ongoing commercial, industrial, and residential construction needs.
- Increasing demands for sustainably designed outdoor spaces.
- Conservation of water and other natural resources.
FIND OUT MORE
To become one of the more than 3,500 licensed California landscape architects, or to find out more about the profession and its services, visit www.latc.ca.gov. If you are interested in hiring a landscape architect, check out LATC’s “Consumer’s Guide to Hiring a Landscape Architect” and check the professional’s license at search.dca.ca.gov.