Landscape architect

Landscape architecture is a unique mix of science, art, design and environmental studies.
Landscape architects use the environment to create sustainable, functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces that are liveable and accessible. Few careers offer the chance to make such a positive impact on the world around as you may end up redesigning anything from a disused mine to planning a new Olympic stadium.
Landscape architects are forward thinkers with great leadership skills. You must be able to liaise with different planners, surveyors and developers in order to create a better future for tomorrow.
Starting out
If you have passion for geography, art, design, botany or biology then a career as a landscape architect could be ideal for you. Most new entrants will start at university or college by studying landscape architecture or a related field such as landscape management or garden design. Competition for training contracts at design firms is fierce so it’s helpful if you have some practical experience (paid or unpaid) to complement your studies. Once on a training scheme you will be continually assessed and taught additional skills until you attain chartered status.
Working conditions – the low down
The work is generally project based and although you will mostly work a standard 37 hour week, extra hours may be needed in order to stay on track with upcoming deadlines. You will also split your time between the office and on-site in order to oversee the projects. Site visits are not always that glamorous and you could find yourself kitted out with a pair of wellington boots standing in a boggy field on a freezing winter’s morning.
The benefits
There are numerous benefits to being a landscape architect. For starters you get a pretty good salary, experienced professionals earn over £50,000 ($75,000) a year. For big projects, such as designing an Olympic village, you could earn significantly more. Then there’s the job satisfaction in seeing your work being used and enjoyed by the wider public. On top of that you will get lots of options to travel with increasing numbers of projects based in Asia and the Middle East. So if you looking for an interesting job with an exciting future, map out a career in landscape architecture.


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