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How to Prepare for a Career in Landscape Design

Are you considering a career in landscape design? Landscape designers are in charge of visualizing and planning residential and commercial landscaping. They need to have an eye for spatial layout as well as the overall cohesive feel of multiple parts of the project.

Below we've put together a quick five point guide to help you prepare for a career in landscape design. The article was adapted from How to Become A Landscape Designer which you can read for more in depth information.

High school students who love the outdoors, gardening, and possess innate artistic creativity may prepare for a career as a landscape designer with courses in: art, biology, calculus, algebra, physical education, English, business communications, chemistry, physics, and design where available. Students may gain part time and summer employment as assistants for landscape contractors or as landscape maintenance workers to gain hands on skills. A high school diploma and work experience increase chances of acceptance into future training programs in landscape design.

Career diplomas offered through trade, vocational, or online schools offer courses in basic landscape design programs like: introduction to landscape design, plant materials, plant design, fundamentals of horticulture, site analysis, current trends in landscape design, and construction manuals and methods. Students who complete one year career diplomas may enter the workforce in entry level landscape design jobs upon completing certification requirements determined by state and facility regulations.

An undergraduate degree expand educational and career possibilities. Students in two year degree programs participate in courses like: horticulture, project and site planning, drafting and drawing, AutoCAD, site analysis, construction materials and methods, soils course, and landscape design, theory, and principles. Graduates from an associates degree program may advance to bachelor degree courses in: landscape architecture drafting, landscape architecture practice, land use planning, natural resources management, and landscape design, theory, and principles. Individuals may advance to internships, certification exams, and employment as landscape designers or graduate degree programs.

Graduate degree programs at the master degree level consist of courses in: site analysis, landscape design,graphics in landscape design, construction regulation, Computer Aided Design in landscaping, principles of horticulture, site engineering, construction materials and methods, plant design, current trends in landscape design, and history of landscape design. Graduate students may advance to internships, certification exams, and employment or advance to doctoral degree studies. Doctoral degree courses consist in studies in: ecology, history of landscape architecture, water use and conservation, business organization and management, computerized landscape drafting, flood udulation modeling, urban planning, ethics, statistics, engineering survey, laser scanning, photogrammetry, and field based geospatial information. Doctoral students must complete an internship and publishable dissertation before advancing to certification examinations and employment as researchers or professors of landscape design.

All graduates of formal training programs must complete Landscape Architectural Registration Examinations (L.A.R.E.) Applicants demonstrate proficiencies learned through classroom and clinical experiences in areas like: environmental regulations, plants, soils, climate, law, and other factors to attain credentials necessary to expand client base and access continuing education courses necessary for maintaining licensure.

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