Despite limited employment growth, about 1,500 professionals are employed in the field of landscape engineering. If you're considering a career in this field, it's important to understand the job outlook and professional requirements. Landscape architects are responsible for designing and planning outdoor spaces, such as parks, public pools, and university campuses. To do this, they must meet with customers and engineers to understand the objectives of a project, develop a plan, calculate costs, and use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), geographic information systems (GIS), and GPS.
They must also consider what materials to use, what the ground conditions are, and how these conditions may affect aspects such as drainage or energy use. To become a landscape architect, you must earn a bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture from an accredited university. A bachelor's degree program typically takes 4 to 5 years to complete, while a master's program can take 2 to 3 years. During these programs, you'll develop skills in land surveying, CAD writing, research strategies, and budgeting.
You'll also gain an understanding of construction methods and various construction materials. In addition to a degree, most states require landscape architects to be licensed in the state in which they intend to work. To become licensed, you must gain practical experience as an apprentice or intern with a landscape architect. After a period of 1 to 4 years, you can apply for the Landscape Architect Registration Exam (LARE).
Some states may require you to take an additional state exam. Obtaining a government-issued certificate from the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards can facilitate subsequent licensing in other states. A similar career that requires a bachelor's or master's degree is that of architect. Architects use similar methods to design and plan homes, buildings, and other structures. Surveyors need a degree and take measurements and define property boundaries.
Another related career is that of civil engineering. These professionals need at least a bachelor's degree to help design and build construction projects such as roads, bridges, dams and more. Prospective landscape architects can benefit from completing an internship at a landscape architecture firm during educational studies. By meeting national requirements, a landscape architect can also obtain a certification from the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards, which can be useful for obtaining a license in another state.