Landscape ArchitectJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

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, and much more. The job is more than making the outside of a structure or building complex look attractive.

Landscape architects need collaboration skills. They often work in concert with other architects on related buildings, harmonizing each project with the overall character of the location. Landscape architects also work hand-in-hand with government officials to ensure compliance with local regulations and standards. 

Sample job description

[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

Preferred qualifications

  • 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

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a landscape architect is $56,400 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$56,050$75,850
Los Angeles, California$63,250$85,600
Denver, Colorado$52,750$71,350
Washington, DC$64,250$86,900
Miami, Florida$52,450$71,000
Orlando, Florida$48,450$65,500
Tampa, Florida$48,850$66,150
Atlanta, Georgia$51,250$69,400
Chicago, Illinois$58,950$79,750
Boston, Massachusetts$63,750$86,250
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$50,800$68,750
New York City, New York$67,150$90,800
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$54,650$73,950
Dallas, Texas$53,200$71,950
Houston, Texas$52,950$71,650
Seattle, Washington$61,350$83,000
National Average$47,950$64,850

Typical work environment

Most landscape architects spend much of their time in their offices, creating plans, designs, preparing cost estimates, arranging meetings with clients, and making plans with employees involved with the project like other engineers or architects. When they are not in the office they are making visits to the job sites in order to create practical and efficient environments.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a landscape architect are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, generally in an office or on-site setting.  

Available certifications

Those wanting to become a landscape architect would benefit from receiving additional certifications. Here are a few popular ones:

  • Certified Landscape Architect. (CLARB). For this certification you 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. Those who obtain this certification shows that you have met the standards required by CLARB. 
  • Certified Urban Designer. (CUD). Persons who obtain this certification have at least 8 years of experience in urban design. This certification signifies that you have the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to succeed in this line of work.
  • LEED AP Building Design & Construction. (LEED). This certification is for those who are designing green buildings. LEED AP stands for Accredited Professional. This ensures that you 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 you gain the top planning skills needed in this industry. 
  • Professional Landscape Architect. (PLA). This certification signifies that you are a licensed professional landscape architect. You have taken the necessary steps to make sure you are knowledgeable about this line of work. This abbreviation means that you have a college degree in landscape architecture, have passed the licensing exam, and you are licensed in the state you are currently in.

Career path

Becoming a landscape architect is a rigorous process that starts with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. Job candidates also need a license to practice in the state they will be working in, by gaining work experience and passing the appropriate exams. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 17-1012

2020 Employment23,600
Projected Employment in 203023,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 0%
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift100 increase

Unsurprisingly, clients will increasingly task landscape architects with solutions to mitigate climate change’s effects on all landscape types. Similar requests could come from governments and the insurance industry. This trend will help drive innovations and improvements in designs and standards for landscape architecture. 

Sample interview questions

  • What do you enjoy most about architecture?
  • What would you say your least favorite thing about architecture is?
  • What top skills would you say are the most important when it comes to this job?
  • What would you say your design style is?
  • Have you ever had any issues with clients before? How did you handle those situations? 
  • Has there ever been a time when a deadline was not met? What happened?
  • Do you work well under pressure or stressful situations?
  • What made you want to become a landscape architect?
  • What would you say the hardest part about this job would be?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What would you say your favorite project would be out of your portfolio? And why?
  • Strong communications skills are important as a landscape architect. Can you tell us about a time you effectively communicated about a concern you had?
  • What makes you a good fit for this position?

Landscape Architect Jobs in Ashburn

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