Associates Degree in Landscape Architecture: Program Information
Landscape architects design outdoor spaces, such as parks, playgrounds and college campuses, as well as plan the restoration and conservation of natural areas like forests and wetlands. Landscape architects take advantage of local environmental conditions and create spaces that encourage common experiences.
Associate's Degree in Landscape Architecture
Most of the associate's programs in landscape architecture are offered through community colleges as Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees. Generally there are not any prerequisites for these programs; however, students will complete general education courses.
Although not a common degree requirement, students may consider an internship to gain the hands-on experience required for licensure. Graduates can gain the skills needed for landscape projects through training in landscaping areas that include local codes and ecology, xeriscaping and environmental sustainability.
Landscape architecture courses teach the principles of visually and environmentally harmonious design as well as sound construction methods. Students learn how to visually communicate design ideas to clients through a curriculum that includes the following course work:
- Computer aided design (CAD)
- Ecological sustainability
- History of landscape architecture
- Landscape construction
- Ornamental horticulture
- Site grading
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment change for landscape architects was predicted to increase by 20% from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that the sharp increase in employment for landscape architects was attributed to the need for environmentally friendly buildings, with additions like rooftop gardens and water recycling. Other common qualifications for positions in agriculturally related fields include knowledge of chemicals and pesticides. Individuals with an associate's degree in landscape architecture can gain entry-level jobs similar to the following:
- Landscape management technician
- Park maintenance supervisor.
- Lawn technician
Continuing Education Information
Degree programs, such as the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Landscape Architecture or Master of Landscape Architecture, prepare graduates for landscape architecture careers and the required licensure. The bachelor's degree program typically takes 3-4 years to complete, while the master's degree can take 2-3 years.
Licensure requirements vary by state, but licensure is required by most states to practice as a landscape architect. Usually, licensure requires a passing score on the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE), which is offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (www.clarb.org). According to the CLARB, states have different eligibility requirements to take the LARE, which can be found by consulting the appropriate jurisdiction's licensing board. For example, Nevada applicants may take the test after earning an A.A. in Landscape Architecture and verifying a minimum number of years of hands-on experience.
The BLS reported that in 2008, most exam applicants earned a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited school, as well as 1-4 years of experience under a licensed landscape architect. In addition, some states require landscape architects to pass a state exam, to ensure that they know the laws and environmental qualities specific to the region.
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