Is becoming a landscape architect right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
Still unsure if becoming a landscape architect is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a landscape architect or another similar career!
Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.
How to become a Landscape Architect
Here are the general steps to become a landscape architect:
- Obtain a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture: Most states require a degree from a program accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Some schools also offer dual-degree programs with related fields, such as urban planning or environmental science.
- Gain Experience: Many states require landscape architecture candidates to have one to four years of work experience under a licensed landscape architect. You can gain this experience by working for a landscape architecture firm, government agency, or other relevant organization.
- Pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE): The LARE is a national exam that tests knowledge and skills in various areas of landscape architecture, such as site analysis, design, and management. Most states require passing the LARE to become licensed as a landscape architect.
- Apply for State Licensure: Each state has its own requirements for becoming a licensed landscape architect. You will typically need to submit an application, pay a fee, and provide documentation of your education, experience, and exam results.
- Maintain Licensure: Once you become licensed, you will need to meet continuing education requirements to keep your license current.
There are several certifications available for landscape architects to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in specific areas of the field. Here are some of the most common certifications for landscape architects:
- Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Accredited Professional: This certification focuses on sustainable landscape design, development, and management practices. It is offered by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and requires passing an exam.
- LEED Accredited Professional: This certification focuses on sustainable design and construction practices for buildings and landscapes. It is also offered by GBCI and requires passing an exam.
- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Certified: This certification recognizes landscape architects who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field. It requires passing the Landscape Architecture Registration Exam (LARE) and meeting continuing education requirements.
- Arborist Certification: This certification focuses on the care and management of trees in the landscape. It is offered by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and requires passing an exam.
- Irrigation Association Certification: This certification focuses on the design, installation, and maintenance of irrigation systems in the landscape. It is offered by the Irrigation Association and requires passing an exam.
Whether you're a practicing professional, a student, or simply interested in the field, the following organizations can offer valuable insights and support for anyone involved in landscape architecture.
- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA): The ASLA is the largest professional association for landscape architects in the United States, with over 15,000 members. They provide resources for professional development, networking, and advocacy for the profession.
- International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA): The IFLA is a global organization representing landscape architects from around the world. They aim to promote the profession, advance knowledge, and advocate for sustainable and responsible landscape architecture practices.
- Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA): CELA is an organization for educators in landscape architecture, with the goal of promoting excellence in teaching, research, and service in the field.
- Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF): The LAF is a non-profit organization that supports research, scholarships, and initiatives that promote the value of landscape architecture. They also provide resources and support for professional development and advocacy.
- Urban Land Institute (ULI): The ULI is a multi-disciplinary organization that includes landscape architects as well as planners, architects, developers, and other professionals involved in land use and real estate. They provide educational programs, research, and networking opportunities to promote sustainable and responsible land use practices.