The Practice

The majority of landscape architects (nearly 80%) work in private practice. More than a third of ASLA’s members work for small landscape architectural firms with fewer than ten employees. Twenty percent work in larger landscape architecture firms. Another thirty percent work in larger multi-disciplinary firms employing landscape architects, architects, engineers, ecologists and horticulturalists. Nearly twelve percent of ASLA’s members work in the public sector for municipal, state or federal government authorities. Fewer than five percent are full-time educators.

Professional Qualifications

Landscape architects are uniquely qualified to design and manage the built landscape. Before being allowed to practice, landscape architects must complete a comprehensive set of educational, internship and testing requirements to ensure competency and to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare. In addition, many states have implemented mandatory continuing education requirements to keep landscape architects up-to-date with current standards and practices.

A bachelor’s (BLA or BSLA) or master’s (MLA) degree from an accredited university program is usually required for entry into the profession. Accreditation standards are maintained by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The mission of the LAAB is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in landscape architectural programs.

For information on accreditation and accredited programs in landscape architecture go to: www.asla.org/nonmembers/education.cfm

Currently, 47states require landscape architects to be licensed or registered in order to practice. In the U.S., licensing is the prerogative of individual states under two types of licensure laws. Under provisions of Practice Acts, no unqualified individual may perform the work of a landscape architect. Under the provisions of Title Acts, no person may call themselves a landscape architect without holding a license.

For a map showing states with practice acts and title acts go to:  www.asla.org/members/govtaffairs/licensure/map/mapus/imgmap.htm

In order to obtain a license to practice landscape architecture, candidates must have a degree from an accredited university plus one to four years of working experience (internship) prior to taking a uniform exam. The Landscape Architect Registration Exam (LARE) is a three-day national comprehensive exam which may include a separate state section. The exam is administered and graded by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board (CLARB).

For information on registration, licensure and the LARE exam go to:  www.clarb.org