Associate Degree in Landscaping Design
An associate's degree program in landscaping design provides students with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge needed to enter a career in creating and executing landscape and horticulture designs. The program features courses on landscape equipment and gardening, and students learn to beautify outdoor spaces for businesses and residents.
Associate of Applied Science in Landscaping Design
Students enrolled in Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree programs in landscaping design learn how to plan and implement plantings, paths, irrigation and structural items to create both aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces. They might learn about the properties of herbaceous plants, woody plants, grasses and flowering plants. Design styles for commercial, residential and public park properties can be explored. Students may also study the technical and business aspects of landscape designer work. These 2-year programs are most often available at technical schools or community colleges. Program applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Coursework combines studies in horticulture and design principles. Students learn through hands-on experience as well as classroom instruction. Examples of courses offered include:
- Plant identification
- Soil fertility
- Computer-aided landscape design
- Landscape architecture
- Plant health and diseases
- Insect pests
- Ornamental horticulture
Popular Career Options
Upon completing an AAS program, one is typically prepared to enter a career as a landscape design technician. A graduate may start her own business, or she might be employed by:
- Landscape companies
- Private organizations
- Public recreation departments
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of landscape architects is projected to increase by 16% from 2010 to 2020 (www.bls.gov). In May of 2012, the BLS estimated that these professionals earned an average annual salary of $68,030.
Continuing Education and Licensure Information
Although graduates can seek immediate employment, they might also continue their formal education in order to qualify for additional jobs, like that of the landscape architect. A graduate might consider earning a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture or Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture degree. In these programs, students gain real-world experience as they work closely with city planners and engineers to create landscape projects. Issues such as sustainability, ecological conservation and social concerns are likely to be topics of study. For further training, one might enter a Master of Landscape Architecture program, which typically offers areas of concentration including urban design, environmental science, art and architecture.
The BLS reported that as of 2010, all states require licensure for architect landscapers. Applicants can obtain licensure by completing the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.). After successfully passing the exam, which is sponsored by the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB), students must periodically complete a specific number of hours of continuing education requirements to maintain licensure status (www.clarb.org).
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