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Landscape architect

Landscape architects plan and design outdoor spaces such as parks, campuses, and residential and commercial sites. They play a large role in creating sustainable spaces through designs that improve energy efficiency, conserve water, use sustainable materials, increase biodiversity, and support resiliency efforts.

Quick facts: Landscape architect
2021 Median Pay $67,950 per year; $32.67 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Number of Jobs, 2021 19,800
Job Outlook, 2021-31 no change
Employment Change, 2021-31 1,500
Source O*Net

Landscape architects spend much of their time in offices, where they create plans and designs, prepare concepts and preliminary cost estimates, and meet with clients and workers involved in designing or planning a project. They spend the rest of their time at job sites.

How to become a landscape architect

A bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture is usually necessary for entry into the profession. There are two undergraduate landscape architect degrees: a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA). These programs usually require 4 to 5 years of study. Accredited programs are approved by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). Prospective landscape architects whose undergraduate degree is in another field may enroll in a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) graduate degree program, which typically takes 3 years of full-time study. Accredited programs are approved by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

Courses typically include landscape design and construction, landscape ecology, site engineering, history of architecture, computer-aided design, graphic communications and site design. Other relevant coursework may include the history of landscape architecture, plant and soil science, urban and regional planning, and professional practice and general management. The design studio is a key component of any curriculum. While working on real-world projects, students become proficient in the use of computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), model building, and other design software. Important skills include creativity, visualization, analytical, technical, communication (written and oral) and problem-solving.

All states require landscape architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state but usually include at least a bachelor’s degree or master's degree in landscape architecture from an accredited school, internship experience, and passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination.

  • Arboriculture, forestry, horticulture
  • Ecological/natural resource restoration
  • Landscaping services
  • Planner

Education and resources

Access courses and resources to learn about green building and sustainability concepts related to landscape architecture.

Online courses

Stay up to date on the latest developments in green building through access to online courses with an annual subscription to the USGBC course catalog.


Explore resources to support a career in landscape architecture.

Role on a LEED project

On a green building project, this role’s work would relate to site selection, site design; stormwater management and harvesting strategies; plantings for habitat restoration, green infrastructure and green roofs; materials selection (furnishings, pavements, lighting, etc.); water efficiency for landscaping; and evaluating the project's impact on the local ecosystem.

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

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