If you like to plan, have knack for organization, or frequently find yourself doodling or drawing, then landscape design might be just for you. Your creativity can thrive in a landscape design career, where organization and design skills are used to create exterior spaces using plant and hardscape materials.
There are two career paths you can pursue to enter the landscape design world. Landscape Design and Landscape Architecture.
A landscape designer works with residential and occasionally commercial clients to create property designs that meet functional and aesthetic requirements.
Landscape designers are typically employed by a landscape contracting firm, although many are often self-employed. Extensive knowledge of plants (horticulture), construction materials, and landscape contracting methods is required. Nearly all employment opportunities in landscape design require skills in sales, and the ability to confidently interact with clients is a must.
The Plant & Landscape Systems degree includes four design courses which qualify students as landscape designers.
Due to complexity and legal regulations, landscape designers are not allowed to work on public and commercial property design unless he/she can have them approved and stamped by a landscape architect.
To expand professional opportunities, many BYU graduates pursue a master’s degree in landscape architecture (MLA) following graduation. Participation in at least one Student Career Days and completion of the Certified Landscape Professional exam (CLP) prior to graduation is highly desired.
Landscape designers tend to have horticulture backgrounds or nursery experience and can design a landscape for a new home or renovate an existing area.
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Landscape architecture is the profession that encompasses the analysis, planning, design, management and stewardship of the natural and built environment. Activities of a landscape architect include creating public parks, site planning for commercial and residential properties, reclaiming blighted areas, designing towns and historic preservation. Landscape architects have advanced education, professional training, specialized skills and licensure in 46 states. The licensure allows landscape architects to work on large-scale projects that lawfully requires their authorized architect's approval stamp.
Landscape architects work internationally, often collaborating with engineers, architects, surveyors, community planners and other professionals. Many states require a landscape architect license. Many BYU students have gone on to pursue a masters degree in Landscape Architecture from a variety of schools throughout the nation. In 2023, 100% of BYU Plant & Landscape System students who applied placed into the top landscape architecture programs in the country.
More information can be found at the following two websites:
In order to apply for a Masters of Landscape Architecture program you must first select a school and then—because all schools vary in their requirements—comply with all requirements for that schools application. Most schools require, on top of the formal applications, letters of recommendation, a portfolio to showcase your creativity, and past academic history.
Many schools also offer fellowship programs to help students pay for their tuition.
Students interested in design should become proficient in the following computer design programs:
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
- Other CAD Software
Students should also immerse themselves in a variety of design techniques. Students can look through many of the design magazines in the design studio as well as look around the ASLA website. Students can also become student members of the ASLA and the APLD in order to better network with current landscape architects and designers.