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 of 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.

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.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,259

Future growth:

Moderate

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 2.4%

NSW NSW 44.4%

NT NT 0.4%

QLD QLD 13.5%

SA SA 2.4%

TAS TAS 1.9%

VIC VIC 26.3%

WA WA 8.7%

Hours worked:

40.6

Unemployment:

Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 73.4%

Female 26.6%

Education level:

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 6.4%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 68.9%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 24.7%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 1.2%

20-24 - 6.3%

25-34 - 28.8%

35-44 - 24.3%

45-54 - 19.1%

55-59 - 7.4%

60-64 - 6.7%

65 and Over - 6.2%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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