Landscape architects will plan, design and create landscapes as well as manage existing ones. They have a varied salary depending on experience, who they work for and where they work.
What does a landscape architect do?
A landscape architect will specialise in a specific area such as urban design, landscape science, landscape design, landscape planning or landscape management. It is likely that they will meet clients and discuss their needs. They may have to survey sites and note animal life, natural resources and plant life. It may be necessary to talk to local residents and discuss their views as well as those of businesses and users of the site. A CAD package will often be used to draw up designs and designs will need to be presented to clients. Presentations may also need to be made to public enquiries. Contracts will need to be drawn up and contractors will also have to be managed. Reports will have to be written and assessments of the environmental impact made. Projects will also have to monitored throughout and once they are finished the project may need to be maintained.
What qualifications do they have?
In order to work as a landscape architect you will need a degree that has been accredited by the Landscape Institute. This will include degrees in garden design, landscape planning, environmental conservation, landscape architecture and landscape design and technology. If you want to convert your related degree, such as horticulture, botany or architecture you can take a Landscape Institute accredited postgraduate course.
As well as qualifications it will be necessary to have a number of skills. You will need to be creative as well as practical. You will need to be able to draw and design and come up with original ideas to suit the brief of your clients. It will be necessary to have an eye for detail as well as good observational skills. You will also need IT skills, such as using computer aided design software. You will also need to be able to negotiate and lead. You will need to be able to stick to budgets and deadlines.
How much do they get paid?
The salary will vary depending on experience. Someone starting out as a landscape architect could expect to be paid around £20,000. As they gain experience they could go up to £30,000 with the most experienced going up to £45,000. Salary may be higher when working in the London area, but this will depend on whether employed or self-employed. Working hours tend to be standard but it may be necessary to but in extra work to reach deadlines. It is possible to move up to a supervisory or management position once experienced or even to start your own business and this could bring a higher salary but obviously relied on being able to find work. Some landscape architects will become lecturers in landscape architecture in a university. This teaching could be done full time or alongside working on other projects to bring in extra money and add variety to the job.