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Landscape architect

Landscape architects create places for people to live, work and play, and places for plants and animals to thrive. As a landscape architect, no two days will be the same; one day you could be out surveying sites or carrying out environmental impact assessments, the next you might be in the office writing reports and drawing up contracts.

Average salary*

£20000

-

£40000

Typical hours per week

38 - 40

How to become a landscape architect

There are several routes to becoming a landscape architect. You could complete a university or college course, or an apprenticeship.

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

University

You could complete an undergraduate degree course accredited by the Landscape Institute, in a subject such as:

  • Landscape architecture
  • Garden design
  • Landscape design and ecology
  • Landscape planning or management
  • Environmental conservation,
  • Landscape architecture. 

Undergraduate degrees typically last four years, with an option of taking a year out to undertake paid work experience.

For an undergraduate degree, you’ll need:

  • 5 GCSEs (including English and maths) at grade 4 (C) or above, or equivalent
  • 2 - 3 A levels, or equivalent. Subjects such as geography, graphic design, art, environmental science, biology and botany are particularly useful.

If you wish to work towards chartered status, you’ll need to have reached Masters level on a Landscape Institute-accredited postgraduate course. You’ll need an undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, to pursue postgraduate study.

If you have a keen interest in design and the environment, and already have a degree in a related subject such as architecture, horticulture or botany, you could take a graduate conversion course to become a landscape architect. If your degree isn't accredited, you could complete an Landscape Institute-accredited postgraduate conversion course. These courses generally last between 18 months and two years full-time, or longer if part-time.

College/training provider

To start you on your career path to becoming a landscape architect, you could complete a Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Landscape Construction or Horticulture.

You’ll need 4 - 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent for this.

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship with a landscape architecture company is a good way into the industry.

You’ll need up to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent to become an apprentice.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a landscape architect. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

Skills

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a landscape architect include:

  • Design skills
  • Maths knowledge
  • Be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Customer service skills
  • Able to use your initiative
  • Able to come up with new ways of doing things
  • Able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What does a landscape architect do?

As a landscape architect you will be responsiible for producing designs for a variety of different projects, and ensuring that the land is used in an environmetally friendly way. You will work closely with others such as architects and engineers to ensure all factors are considered.

The job role of a landscape architect involves the following duties:

  • Designing the layout of parks, gardens, housing estates or city centres
  • Improving land affected by mining or motorway building
  • Meeting with clients to discuss what they want and present ideas to them
  • Producing designs (including computer-aided ones)
  • Managing or regenerating different kinds of outdoor spaces in the UK or overseas
  • Surveying sites to identify the plant and animal life there and get the views of local residents, businesses and other people who use the site
  • Co-ordinating project plans with other professionals such as architects, civil engineers and town planners
  • Writing reports
  • Carrying out environmental impact assessments
  • Monitoring progress to make sure a landscape is taking shape properly
  • Drawing up contracts
  • Overseeing the tendering process for contractors
  • Doing landscape and visual impact assessments
  • Making sure that changes to the natural environment are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable
  • Giving expert evidence to public enquiries or other hearings on big or controversial projects
  • Based in private practice but generally work both in an office and on-site.

How much could you earn as a landscape architect?

The expected salary for a landscape architect varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained landscape architects can earn £20,000 - £30,000
  • Trained landscape architects with some experience can earn £30,000 - £40,000
  • Senior or chartered landscape architects can earn £40,000 - £100,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Vacancies

Check out the latest landscape architect vacancies:

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

You could apply for chartered status through the Pathway to Chartership (P2C). This will improve your job prospects and you could earn a higher salary.

Some landscape architects work as self-employed consultants or sub-contractors.


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