Landscape Architect Certificate, Diploma and Certification Programs
A landscape architect is responsible for designing outdoor spaces such as public and private parks, golf courses, university campus grounds or residential landscapes. Diplomas in landscape architecture are not available; however, individuals can enroll in graduate certificate programs.
Certificate in Landscape Architecture Studies
A graduate certificate program in landscape architecture is designed to introduce graduate students to the theories and techniques of designing landscapes. Certificate programs are usually offered as an additional credential or level of education for individuals who have already earned a master's degree in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, building science or urban studies.
Students in a graduate landscape architecture certificate program learn about the elements of design and construction that go into creating a recreational outdoor area. They study which plant materials are most suitable to urban environments, which transportation systems are best used in rural areas and how to build landscapes around human settlements. Most certificate programs in landscape architecture are taught in the classroom, but they often include fieldwork in either rural or urban outdoor settings.
A master's degree is the most standard prerequisite for gaining acceptance into a graduate certificate program in landscape architecture. Many schools that offer graduate programs in landscape architecture or architecture also provide a 1-semester graduate certificate program that enrolled students can complete before graduation.
Students enrolled in a graduate certificate program in landscape architecture study the various attributes of natural and man-made landscapes. Some examples of courses might include:
- Plant ecology
- Urban landscape case studies
- History of landscape architecture
- Regional landscape analysis
- Elements in urban landscape
- Projects and places in urban landscape
- Landscape architecture construction methods
- Process of landscape planning
- Comparative theories in landscape architecture
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Landscape architects held about 26,700 jobs in the United States in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of these, about 21% were self-employed, while about 51% worked for architecture or engineering firms. Jobs for landscape architects are expected to increase by about 20% between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than the average job growth rate. This increase is due to the growing demand for aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces in urban areas. The median wages for landscape architects in 2008 were about $58,960 per year, according to the BLS.
Nearly all 50 states require that landscape architects gain licensure or professional certification before being allowed to practice their craft. In order to achieve licensure, individuals must take the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE), which is offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. The examination consists of a multiple choice section and a portion focusing on graphics. Most states require that individuals earn a degree in landscape architecture and work under a licensed landscape architect for 1-4 years before being allowed to sit for the LARE.
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