What Does a Landscape Architect Do?
The world of architecture involves so much more than designing the form and function of buildings. Typically an equal amount of attention needs to be paid to each building’s surroundings and how they look, function, and complement the project as a whole.
Landscape architects specialize in a building’s surroundings. Beyond simply deciding where plants or fountains should be, these professionals are licensed and trained in the design and planning of outdoor spaces in their entirety. The scope of a landscape architect’s responsibilities includes gardens, plantings, pools, walkways, stormwater management, irrigation, and much more. The job is so much more than making the outside of a structure or building complex simply look attractive, it needs to be functional and meet the specifications of the client.
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National Average Salary
Landscape architect salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Landscape Architect is:
Landscape Architect Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great landscape architect is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
[Your company name] is searching for an experienced landscape architect. We are in need of a licensed architect who is responsible with exceptional communication skills, who has an eye for detail, and has excellent listening skills. A landscape architect is responsible for drawing plans, making designs, preparing cost estimates, arranging meetings, conducting contracts, and analyzing reports. It is important that as a landscape architect you be tech-savvy, as a lot of the work is done on a computer. This position comes with a lot of responsibility so it is crucial that you have strong analytical skills, problem solving skills, and critical thinking skills. If you enjoy planning and designing then this position at our company could be the perfect fit!
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Design landscape proposals using drafting software and by hand when necessary
- Interact and consult with clients and maintain client relationships
- Confer with government officials to ensure compliance of local regulations and standards
- Collaborate with a team in the creation and completion of projects
- Prepare proposal documents and assist in client presentations
- Work closely with vendors and subcontractors to ensure quality deliverables
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture and a landscape architecture license.
Required skills and qualifications
- Leadership and collaboration expertise
- Developed negotiation skills
- Client-consulting and relationship-building ability
- Proficient in AutoCAD, SketchUp, and other related software
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Organized, detail-oriented and self-starting
- Master’s degree in architecture, design, or a related field
- 5+ years of experience working in landscape design
- Extremely creative with a flair for modern style
What you will do
- Helps in preparing site plans and master plans as a landscape designer (PLA in training)
- Knowledge of the contemporary trends of landscape planning, principles, and practices of landscape architecture
- Assists in preparing conceptual designs, site layouts, and master plan documentation
- Researches and provides site analysis/due diligence including code requirements
- Assists in preparing development plans to support planning and zoning approvals for clients
- Participates in continuing education clinics including, but not limited to, CEU’s, Lunch & Learns, trade organizations, and independent study
- Communicates well and works with co-workers such as other engineering departments, architects, project managers, administrative staff, and others to provide high quality, design solutions for a variety of project assignments
- Participates in design meetings with the project team and able to communicate strategies and design theory for a variety of project types. Engages well with the entire project team and show the initiative to learn and be proactive in a design environment
- Able to work successfully in a multi-disciplined team environment on multiple projects, sometimes with competing deadlines or milestone requirements
- Performs site visits to conduct site analysis and information reconnaissance
- Operates in a cross-functional capacity as workflow demands change it may be necessary to support other production requirements as part of a project team
- Actively supports strategic goals of the firm, departments, and managers and understands how your actions contribute to them
Key success factors
- Proficient in AutoCAD or Civil 3D
- Exhibits “self-starter” characteristics and motivated to learn
- Exhibits a high sense of personal motivation and urgency
- Willingness to perform activities not specified here, that may become necessary as the Company, position or the marketplace evolves with the changing business environment
- Preferred 1 to 4 years of professional experience
- Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture
- Master Planning is a plus
- Provide creative and innovative design solutions to a broad range of project types including planning, urban design, parks, athletic and recreational fields, collegiate and corporate campuses, and PK-12 schools
- Foster collaborative design methods amongst all of our in-house disciplines
- Work with the site design team including landscape architects and civil engineers to provide high-quality construction documents and details
- Prepare comprehensive, high-quality 3D, and plan renderings in all phases of design
- Preparation of construction documents and opinion of costs
- Participation in site visits and client meetings
- Other duties assigned
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture
- 5-15 years of experience preferred
- Oral presentation experience
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Proficiency in AutoCAD Civil 3-D, Lumion, and Adobe Creative Suite
Portfolio or work samples will be required if considered for an interview**
- This position will support our practices by providing site planning, urban and landscape design, and graphic and technical expertise and guidance to staff
- The role will also coordinate with over 200 Landscape Architecture professionals practicing in studios across the country
- This candidate must have strong presentation skills and a desire to pursue work
- Project experiences will be diverse as we provide services to both the public and private sectors. Projects include higher education, multifamily, mixed-use, community planning, and streetscape design throughout the region for a wide variety of great clients
- BS or MS in Landscape Architecture
- Professional licensure is preferred
- 1 or more years of relevant work experience
- Project management experience or desire to manage projects
- Strong AutoCAD, Civil 3D, and/or Microsoft (Word and Excel) skills
- Working knowledge of graphic software programs (Adobe Photoshop, Sketchup, InDesign, Illustrator, GIS/Arcview, and PowerPoint)
- Strong freehand illustration and rendering skills
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Positive attitude, team oriented, and a strong work ethic
- Ability to manage multiple priorities
- Self-motivated; sense of urgency to produce high quality work
- Involvement in professional organizations desired
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Landscape Architect. (CLARB). For this certification candidates need to have at least 2 years of work experience. CLARB stands for The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards which is known in this industry. Candidates who obtain this certification show that they have met the standards required by CLARB.
- Certified Urban Designer. (CUD). Candidates who obtain this certification have at least 8 years of experience in urban design. This certification signifies that they have the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to succeed in this line of work.
- LEED AP Building Design & Construction. (LEED). This certification is for candidates who are designing green buildings. LEED AP stands for Accredited Professional. This ensures that they are knowledgeable in constructing and designing green buildings.
- Certified Planning Engineer. (CPE). This certification is a great one to have as a landscape architect as many of them don’t go on to get this certificate. This certificate can ensure candidates gain the top planning skills needed in this industry.
- Professional Landscape Architect. (PLA). This certification signifies that candidates are licensed professional landscape architects. They have taken the necessary steps to make sure they are knowledgeable about this line of work. This abbreviation means that candidates have a college degree in landscape architecture, have passed the licensing exam, and are licensed in the state they are currently in.
Sample Interview Questions
- Can you describe a project you worked on from conception to completion? How did you contribute to the project?
- What is your experience with landscape design software, such as AutoCAD?
- When it comes to staying organized and managing multiple projects at once, what strategies do you use?
- What are some ways you ensure that your designs are both aesthetically pleasing and functional?
- Is it possible for you to share your experience working with contractors or construction teams to ensure your designs are implemented?
- Are you familiar with sustainable design practices and how do you incorporate them into your work?
- Are you able to provide an example of how you have effectively communicated with clients to ensure they are satisfied with your design?
- When designing outdoor spaces, how do you balance creativity with practicality?
- How have you overcome a challenge from one of your recent landscape projects?