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How to Become a Landscape Designer

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the landscape designing industry is expected to grow 16 percent by 2020. More and more landscape designers will be needed to design land for parks, highways, houses, and other properties. Landscape designers will typically design land for multiple types of property, such as commercial, industrial, and residential properties. Landscape designing is an extremely rewarding career path with many opportunities for advancement. 

How to Become a Landscape Designer - Landscape Design Schools

Typical Duties of a Landscape Designer

On a daily basis, landscape designers perform a variety of duties:
● Work with a wide range of associates, from clients to building architects, to complete a landscape design project
● Prepare designs plans and cost estimates
● Coordinate existing landscape with proposed landscape design plans
● Create visual representations of proposed landscape design plans
● Analyze environmental reports
● Ensure that landscape designs are being built according to original design plans
● Oversee fellow employees 

Education and Degree Options for Landscape Designers 

Most landscape designers have at least a Bachelor’s degree in landscape design or in a related field. Landscape designers, typically, hold a degree in Landscape Architecture (BLA) or in Science of Landscape Architecture (BSLA). Both degrees require four to five years of study. After achieving their Bachelor’s degree, often landscape designers will go onto to achieve their Master’s degree in landscape architecture. Graduate programs usually take three years to complete, however an online degree program may take less time than a degree in a traditional university.

Another important component of a landscape designer’s education is experience. While completing their degree, landscape designers will continue to gather experience by working as an landscape designer’s apprentice or intern. It is important to choose a flexible degree program, such as an online school, which will allow you to gather experience as a landscape designer. 

Typical Classes for Landscape Design Degree 

While becoming a landscape designer, most students will take the following courses:

● Surveying
● Landscape design
● Construction
● Landscape ecology
● Site design
● Urban and regional planning
● History of landscape architecture
● Plant and soil science
● Geology
● Professional practice
● General management
● Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
● Model building
● Geographic Information Systems (GISs)
● Video simulation 

Certification for Landscape Designers

As of 2010, all 50 states require landscape designers to have a license. In order to achieve a license, you must pass the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.). Before registering for the test, you must have a degree from an online degree program or traditional school, plus one to four years of work experience. If you are unable to achieve a degree from an accredited school, most states are currently offering alternative ways to register for the exam and obtain your license as a landscape designers. However, these paths typically require more years of work experience.

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