1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Landscape Architect

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Turfhead, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Turfhead

    Turfhead LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    gentlemen I'm Interested In Becoming A Landscape Architect. My Question To You Is How Might One Do This? Does Anyone Have Any Tips Or Do You Have To Go To School For This. What Are Some Of The Qualifications A Person Needs. Knowledge I Have A Degree I Don't. Does This Really Matter? If School Is Required How Much And Were Can You Go? Any Help I Would Appriciate.
    Thanks Guys, Turfhead.
  2. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Most, if not all, states have a title act that states you have to have completed certain requirements (usually a degree) to call yourself a landscape architect. In most places you can call yourself a landscape designer with nothing behind it except your saying you know what you're doing. So yes, if you want to be an LA, you need to go to school for it.

    And there's no need to capitalize the first letter of every word.
  3. Plant Buyer 83

    Plant Buyer 83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176


    But honestly if you have to ask those questions you have no idea what you are getting into. If you want to go to a school like K St, Cornell, Ohio St, Texas A&M, PSU, Mich St which are some of the best in the nation it is a 4yr program, lots of $. There is a test called the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) that one can take not sure if all states require it. Before you can be a certified LA, you must work under another LA for a certain amount of time in NJ - its 2yrs then 2 additional in "piratical" LA experience, but all states are different. You would have to look at KY's if that is where you want to get certified and see what it requires.

    Any way if you are serious about it great, but just make sure you are 100% dedicated. Do a lot of research before (I guess this is a start?? :confused: ) . B/c if you go for it you have lots of studio hours (good old school), $, time, and more time in the studio ahead if you pursue it.

    Good Luck!
  4. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Our designer went to MSU, and has a bach. of landscape arch. now because she has not taken the test she cannot call herself a LA. That ok though cost when people see here work they know she means business!
  5. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,094

    Superior... Im in the spot that your designer is in. I got bachelors in LA last year. 4 Year program, now in NJ you need to study under a licensed LA for 2 years before you are able to even start taking the tests. But I did it just for the knowledge; I knew I would be a designer in an office so I most likely wont get my seal.... Also I know my school had a great program allowing people to come in, sit through a studio or two, check out our work and see if it was for them... Freshman year they say 40% of the people don’t go to the second year, not necessarily because it’s hard, but just not for them.
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    In every state except Vermont you need a license to call yourself a landscape architect or to call what you do "landscape architecture". That is called a "Title Act" because it licenses the use of the title. There is a standard exam used as part of the license exam (LARE - Landscape Architect Registration Exam). It used to have six sections to it, I'm not sure how many it has now. Most states also have added some additional exam sections that they feel are necessary in their state - usually regional plant identification, wetlands issues, or other state regulation issues. Most, if not all, states require you to have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) degree or a pur Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) degree from a college that is accredited by the Council of Educators of Landscape Architecture (CELA) in order to be able to apply to take the exam. Most also require you to have 2 years of full time uninterupted internship under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect before you can apply to take the exam.

    The term Registered Landscape Architect means the same thing as Licensed Landscape Architect. Some people write RLA or LA after their names. When you see ASLA it means that they are licensed and members of the American Society of Landscape Architects which costs about $400 a year to join and you have to follow their bylaws as well.

    A majority of states now have what is called a "Practice Act" which not only regulates who can call himself an LA, but also allows some design of certain site features that were previously reserved for Civil Engineers and/or Architects. This can be the design of building structures, drainage structures, etc, ... Many people believe that the Practice Acts limit who can do planting and hardscape designs because these laws state that only LAs can "practice landscape architecture". But, if you look at the exemptions, it is not usually the case. It is more about allowing LAs to do more things that were only reserved to architects and engineers.

    You can find out what the requirements are for your state by looking at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) web site http://www.asla.org . They also have a list of accredited college and university landscape architecture programs - I think there is about 70 between the US and Canada. Many of these degrees are now 5 year degrees because of all of the studio time.

    Planting design is only a tip of the iceberg. If that and some residential hardscape is what you want to do, getting licensed as an LA may be excessive.

    If you want to do more involved land planning or a greater amount of site engineering, it could be exactly what you want.

    I work within a civil engineering office where I do everything from siting large commercial buildings, subdivisions, roads, parking, drainage structures, septic and sewer systems, coastal piers, environmental restoration projects, representing clients in from of planning, conservation, historic, and other boards, ........ and landscape plans from those that meet minimal requirements for commercial projects to custom high end ocean front residential landscapes. Yes, I am a licensed Landscape Architect.

Share This Page