How to become a Landscape Architect

Landscape architects plan and design land areas for projects such as parks, schools, roads, sports complexes, holiday resorts, shopping centres, national parks and playgrounds. Landscape architects may specialise in projects such as parks, playgrounds, roads or public housing. They may also specialise in types of services, such as regional planning and resource management, site selection, cost studies or site construction.

Personal requirements for a Landscape Architect

  • Analytical and planning ability
  • Aptitude for design
  • Creative flair
  • Good communication skills
  • Enjoy the natural environment
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team

Education & Training for a Landscape Architect

To become a landscape architect you usually have to study a landscape architecture degree at a university accredited by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). Alternatively, you can study a related field, such as design, followed by a postgraduate qualification in landscape architecture. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Applicants may also be required to submit a portfolio of work and demonstrate freehand drawing ability and computer skills. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Duties & Tasks of a Landscape Architect

Landscape architects:

  • Study and discuss designs, costs and construction of projects with clients
  • Talk to architects, engineers and other professionals, and gather information on factors such as historical and natural conservation requirements, soil structure, drainage, rock features, existing and proposed buildings, and sun and shade movements
  • Draw up site plans outlining site development, discuss plans with clients and seek approval
  • Prepare specifications, arrange cost estimates, list building materials required and detail working drawings of the site, showing features such as location of buildings, roads and walkways; land contours and drainage systems; soil conservation measures; and the vegetation to be planted, retained or removed
  • Investigate the heritage of sites and make plans for the management of open-space areas
  • Use computer and video simulation packages to develop broadscale landscape plans
  • Supervise site work
  • Advise on landscape problems concerned with environmental planning.

Tasks

  • Compiles and analyses site and community data about geographical and ecological features, landforms, soils, vegetation, site hydrology, visual characteristics and human-made structures, to formulate land use and development recommendations, and for preparing environmental impact statements..
  • Inspects construction work in progress to ensure compliance with plans, specifications and quality standards..
  • Consults with professionals and clients about external area designs, costs and construction..
  • Prepares reports, site plans, working drawings, specifications and cost estimates for land development, shows location and details of proposals, including ground modelling, structures, vegetation and access..

Working conditions for a Landscape Architect

Landscape architects may work independently or with other professionals such as architects, engineers and town planners.


Employment Opportunities for a Landscape Architect

Most landscape architects are employed in small, private consultancies or by private businesses with architects and town planners. The remainder work in federal, state, territory and local government agencies. Many landscape architects establish their own practices.


Specializations

Landscape Architect

Landscape architects plan and design land areas for projects such as parks, schools, roads, sports complexes, holiday resorts, shopping centres, national parks and playgrounds. Landscape architects may specialise in projects such as parks, playgrounds, roads or public housing. They may also specialise in types of services, such as regional planning and resource management, site selection, cost studies or site construction.

  • Average age
    Average age
    39 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    47% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,674
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    73% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    3,000 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.8%
    NSW: 32.6%
    NT: 0.4%
    QLD: 17.3%
    SA: 5.8%
    TAS: 0.7%
    VIC: 30.6%
    WA: 10.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.4%
    20-24: 5.5%
    25-34: 30.8%
    35-44: 28.5%
    45-54: 20.1%
    55-59: 7.4%
    60-64: 4.3%
    65 and Over: 3.1%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 10.7%
    Bachelor degree: 52.7%
    Certificate III/IV: 5%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 26.8%
    Year 10 and below: 0.7%
    Year 11: 0.1%
    Year 12: 4%
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