Summary of occupation
Landscape architects plan and design landscape areas for a host of projects. They combine design skills with an understanding of science to create functional, sustainable and manageable landscapes and other outdoor spaces that reflect the requirements of their clients. They may work on projects such as parks, playgrounds, sports complexes, holiday resorts, housing sub dividisions, schools and other commercial, industrial and residential sites.
Plans and designs land areas for projects such as open space networks, parks, schools, institutions, roads, external areas for all building types, land subdivisions, and commercial, industrial and residential sites.
A landscape architect needs:
- a high level of creativity
- developed design skills
- good communication skills
- to enjoy the natural environment
- to be able to work both individually and as part of a team.
Landscape architects work in both offices or studios, as well as outdoors. While most of the actual drawing of designs takes place in an office environment, landscape architects must also visit clients to assess sites - and gather information on soil type, pre-existing vegetation and the shape of the land. Landscape architects generally work standard office hours, however when working to deadlines they may also have to work weekends and evenings. Landscape architects often work as part of a team and also have to interact with clients, other architects, engineers, community members, contractors and anyone else involved with a particular project.
On average, architects and landscape architects can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a landscape architect develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Landscape architects use a range of drawing and measuring equipment. They may work with both manual equipment, such as pencils, rulers and drawing boards, and electronic equipment, such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and other specialised design programs. When conducting site visits, landscape architects may also use cameras and surveying equipment, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), theodolites (for measuring horizontal and vertical angles) and land levels.
To become a landscape architect you usually need to study a degree with a major in landscape architecture.
The University of Western Australia offers a three year Bachelor of Design (Landscape Architecture). This is the only undergraduate degree specialising in landscape architecture available in Western Australia.
Alternatively, you can undertake a degree in a related field, such as design, followed by a postgraduate qualification in landscape architecture.
Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Back to top
If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.