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Landscape Architect

Description: Landscape architects design land areas and physical environments for both public and private properties, such as parks, airports, highways, residences, and businesses. Increasingly, landscaping projects emphasize sustainability, such as green roofs and water conservation systems.

Knowledge Required: Surveying, ecology, urban and regional planning, plant and soil science, geology, management, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Photoshop, InDesign

Skills: Landscape architects are creative visualizers as well as practical analysts. They need critical thinking skills to provide solutions to unforeseen challenges and to understand the interaction between the building and the surrounding land. Landscape architects must communicate and collaborate orally and in writing with their clients and colleagues.    

Career Path: Each state requires landscape architects to be licensed, a process usually consisting of school, an internship, and a passing score on the Landscape Architect Registration Exam. Career preparation requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fields like Landscape Architecture, Landscape Design, or Horticulture.

Best Cities for this job: Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Raleigh

Median Annual Income: National: $71,000 CA: $83,190

Future Growth: Employment in landscape architecture is expected to grow 16 percent by 2020. Wherever new buildings are constructed, landscape architects will be needed to sculpt the surrounding land.

From the field: “What I love most about the field [is] the fact that we’re creating space, the places that people live in and spend their lives, and get to make them more beautiful, more functional, more enriching.” – Janice Nicol

Did You Know?: Landscape architecture has been practiced since ancient times but the City Beautiful Movement of the late 1800s marked the return of the practice of emphasizing urban beauty.

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