Landscape Architects

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Also known as:
Golf Course Architect, Golf Course Designer, Landscape Designer, Lanscape Architect

Video transcript

It takes planning, engineering, government permits, money, and teamwork to erect a building. The same is true of parklands, golf courses, college campuses, public spaces, bike trails - even the verge of an expressway.

A landscape architect creates planned green space. To do so, he or she must possess imagination, practical skills, and a thorough knowledge of ecology, plant, and soil science. That knowledge is usually gained through several years of college course work, leading to a master's degree in landscape design.

Most states require landscape architects to be licensed, and that license might not transfer to another state, so choosing where you want to live before you get started is important. So is a love of nature.

Landscape architects consider how a space is to be used and understand what kinds of natural ingredients - from grass to stone to falling water - will serve best. Over 40% of landscape architects are self-employed. Most have a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture and served an internship.

While some developers and individual homeowners employ landscape architects to create beautiful backyards, the steadiest income comes from developing land to complement corporate headquarters, shopping centers, and other large spaces.

Landscape architects also help with historic preservation, natural resource conservation, and reclamation of damaged areas. They use computer-aided designs, sketches, video simulations, and models to explain their ideas to clients and local governments. Then they must coordinate teams of workers and equipment within budget and time limitations.

The reward is seeing a landscape plan come to life - to watch it being enjoyed by the people for whom it was designed and by those just passing by and enjoying the view.

Plan and design land areas for projects such as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, highways, hospitals, schools, land subdivisions, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Provide follow-up consultations for clients to ensure landscape designs are maturing or developing as planned.

Design and integrate rainwater harvesting or gray and reclaimed water systems to conserve water into building or land designs.

Collaborate with architects or related professionals on whole building design to maximize the aesthetic features of structures or surrounding land and to improve energy efficiency.

Prepare conceptual drawings, graphics, or other visual representations of land areas to show predicted growth or development of land areas over time.

Present project plans or designs to public stakeholders, such as government agencies or community groups.

Collaborate with estimators to cost projects, create project plans, or coordinate bids from landscaping contractors.

Manage the work of subcontractors to ensure quality control.

Identify and select appropriate sustainable materials for use in landscape designs, such as recycled wood or recycled concrete boards for structural elements or recycled tires for playground bedding.

Research latest products, technology, or design trends to stay current in the field.

Inspect proposed sites to identify structural elements of land areas or other important site information, such as soil condition, existing landscaping, or the proximity of water management facilities.

Inspect landscape work to ensure compliance with specifications, evaluate quality of materials or work, or advise clients or construction personnel.

Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.