Landscape Architects plan and design outdoor spaces such as settings for buildings and recreational areas.
They make site surveys, prepare plans and drawings for contractors and supervise site work. The task varies depending on whether it is an urban or rural area.
Also known as
- Architect, Landscape
- Garden Landscape Architect
- Designer, Landscape
Video: - Fiona: Landscape Architect
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Video: - Lorna: Landscape Architect
As a Landscape Architect, you will plan and design all types of outdoor spaces such as recreational areas, roads and reservoirs. You'll also decide on the settings for buildings in town and country.
In towns, you may be working in urban greenspaces, such as hospital grounds, housing estates, parks and play areas. In rural areas, you could work on agricultural, forest and tourist landscapes, and the siting of power stations and industrial buildings. The design of public and private gardens may also be a small part of your work.
When starting a new project, you'll first find out what your client wants. You'll then visit the site to survey features, soil and vegetation to find out if the site is suitable.
Once it has been decided that the site is suitable, you will:
- produce designs and detailed plans
- decide on the specifications that the landscape contractors will use
- prepare contracts
- estimate costs
- supervise the progress of work on-site
You may be working as part of a team - this could involve working with Urban Designers and Architects.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Landscape Architect, you'll need:
- good communication skills, as you will work with other professionals, such as Architects, Engineers and Surveyors
- to know about the characteristics of plants, soils and building materials
- good planning skills and the ability to cope with a varied workload
- drawing ability and a creative imagination
- to feel confident about speaking in front of people, as you'll have to present your ideas to clients
- experience of using CAD software
- experience of using design software platforms such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe-In-Design, 3D Studio Max, AutoCAD and Sketchup
- to be interested in protecting and improving the environment
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £31,500 - £35,000
- With experience: £36,500 - £41,000
- Senior Landscape Architects earn £46,000 - £51,000
Hours of work
Landscape Architects usually work office hours, with occasional evening work.
Where could I work?
Employers are landscape architectural practices, local authorities and building developers.
Opportunities for Landscape Architects occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.
Opportunities occur for experienced Landscape Architects to work independently as self-employed landscape consultants.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).
Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.
Take a look at our General Information Article
GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:
Entry Routes and Training
The most direct route into this career is by doing a degree in landscape architecture, or another relevant subject that has been accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI).
The LI has a list of all accredited degrees on its website. Following one of its approved courses leads to associate membership of the institute, and is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Landscape Architect.
An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great way into this career. Take a look at our information article
An alternative to studying for an accredited degree is to do a degree in a related subject such as architecture, botany or horticulture, followed by a postgraduate course in landscape architecture.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
To become a Chartered Landscape Architect, you'll need to undertake a period of mentored experience as part of the Pathway to Chartership (P2C). The P2C helps you to develop the knowledge, understanding and professionalism needed to practise as a chartered landscape architect in the UK.
With the pathway, people can progress at their own pace. Previous learning and experience is taken into account but most people will need two years on the pathway in professional practice before they are ready to go forward to the final stage, the oral examination.
Successful completion of the Pathway means you are eligible to become a full Member of the Landscape Institute and may use the initials MLI after your name.
Some experienced Landscape Architects set up their own businesses. In some companies, Managers can be made Partners following several years of service.
Previous experience gained in planning, landscape architecture or in an Architect's practice would be really useful for this career.
To enter a relevant degree course, the usual requirement is:
- 2/3 A levels; preferred subjects include art and design, biology and geography
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in your A level subjects
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects, including English language, maths or science
Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:
- BTEC level 3 qualifications
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma
A BTEC level 2 qualification in landscaping and horticulture could be a great way to stand out from the crowd, although this qualification isn't widely available.
A City & Guilds level 2 qualification in gardening could also provide you with the basic skills you need to move on to a higher level.
To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship in horticulture, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Relevant skills gained in planning, landscape architecture or in an architect's practice are valuable.
If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course could be the way in.
These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.
Candidates can progress to chartered landscape architect status via the Landscape Institute 'Pathway to Chartership'.
The University of Greenwich offers a degree in Landscape Architecture, by part-time study.
The University of Gloucestershire offers a postgraduate degree in Landscape Architecture, by part-time study.
Some funding for postgraduate study is available through universities from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
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