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Serious disagreements, i need the truth

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Orkin Yards, Mar 1, 2001.

  1. Orkin Yards

    Orkin Yards LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    We had career day at my school, and i talked with a Landcape Architect who seems to do pretty much what i want to do, he has a place where people come and buy stuff for their yards and he also uses this place as his stockyard and he goes out and does landscaping in people's yards. i'm 16 now and i have been planning on going to MSU and doing the landscape architecture and contracting 5 year program, but this guy told me that i'd be doing good to be making 40,000 after a year or so out of college, and that the highest i'd probably get is about 65,000...i don't see how this is true for some reason, i'm 16 now and make close to 30,000 and all i do is cut some yards, i was thinking that this profession could get more like 100,000 gross. i'm not in this for the money, but i do want to know what i'm looking foward to...
  2. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    From the context of your post, I would assume that the LA meant what you would make your first year out of college, and possibly by being hired by a landscape company. After that, & once you are established in your own biz, the sky's the limit! Go for it.
  3. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    He's gotta be talking about working for someone else.

    I spent MANY years getting my unrelated degree.
    There was very little/no emphasis on entreprenuerism.
    Institutions seem to have a hard time relating to anything outside of the institutional box/self reliance.
    Sounds like this guy might have been one of the institutionalized ones w/ institutional thinking as first instinct. He probably thought that is where you were coming from.

    Given that, I got alot out of my college experience AND a BS.
    (Emphasis on BS!)

    I never found a use for 4 semesters of German though.
    Maybe I'll visit Guido?

    Did I mention STUDENT LOAN DEBT?
  4. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    There is a lot of truth to the 40k start and the 65k finish as a architect. Not sure what you mean by landscape architect, but if mean a registered, fully degreed Landscape Architect, then yes, you could only end up making 65k year at the end of your career.

    To be honest, even the 40k to start sounds high. For what I know, most architects coming out of college do not start that high. In fact, 24k is a number I hear quite often.

    Have you ever investigated the 'landscape architecture' field. It is not all it is cracked up to be. A lot of times, you end up getting out of school, and are hired as a 'apprentice'. This is very similiar to people coming out of school with a Civil engineering degree.

    What does apprentice mean? It basically means you'll be running the blue print machine, doing office errands, and basically doing odd and end type jobs. A lot of guys start out by getting stuck in a small office, field with 6 other people, all with their drafting desks stuck together in a 10'x 10' room, doing such things as lettering of plans, coloring, or most likey sitting on autocad 8 hrs a day doing base plans.

    The thing is, you have to have some experience before any big bucks really start to be seen. If you don't have anything under your belt as a architect, then walking into a firm with a degree does not mean a whole lot. Even with experience, everyone is right when they say that you 'won't make a lot working for other people' Its true, I know civil engineers 15 years out of school and they only make 55k a year.

    Your best bet would be your own firm. Then you will see a signifigant increase.

    Also, not sure, but you may want to think about other fields instead. A lot of schools offer degrees in ornamental horticultural, landscape design, etc. If you want to be 'in the field', then this may be worth investigating.

    I graduated from Penn State and have a degree in 'landscape contracting', which is a combination of design, business, horticulture, and other landscape related curriculum. I would figure out what is you really want to do before you spend the time, and least of the all the money, to become a architect. there are a LOT of landscape related fields being offer at colleges these days, so a little investigating may uncover something you never thought of.

  5. R&GSweeping

    R&GSweeping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Hey Steveair: send your civil eng. buddies down to SC. My son inlaws best friend is 4 yours out of school and he's making 50k. This may be an exception I really don't know but I will tell you this... The Post and Courier (Charleston's newspaper) has Civil Eng. jobs advertised every Sunday and the salary is always around 50 to 80k.

  6. pax3

    pax3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    I graduated from MSU with a Sports and Turf Management degree. By the time you get there they will have finished brand new facilities for the landscape program.

    The landscape arcitecture and landscape contracting are very similar, but different programs. Landscape contracting is basically putting the arcitects plans into action. I don't know you at all, but it seems like you would be more of a contracting type of guy. Take as many horticulture and turf classes as possible. Some of these are already required for the contracting students.

    First year out of school you would probably be making around 25-30K. Topping out working for someone else you might could make 70K.

    In this field owning your own business is where the money is. If your only 16 and making 30 GRAND, with a degree like this there is no telling how much money you could make.
    Don't get me wrong, I think it would be very wise to work for a landscape company for a few years. Find out how they do things, and maybe avoid some mistakes when you get out on your own.

    Sounds like you are on your way to a very good start. I wish I would have had the motivation you do when I was your age.

    Go Dogs!
  7. Hardy Enterprises

    Hardy Enterprises LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Hey Pax3, welcome to the forum. It is nice to see another bulldog on the forum.

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