How to Get a Job as a Landscape Architect
Are you naturally creative? Do you also enjoy working outdoors? If you’re interested in intersections between art and utility, consider a career in landscape architecture. Here, you will be responsible for the design and manipulation of landscapes for a variety of projects. As a landscape architect, you will be able to restore or rehabilitate disturbed natural environments. You will also design outdoor spaces for functional or recreational purposes. There is a demand for landscape artists in all construction sectors, which include residential, industrial, commercial and institutional projects.
Studying Landscape Architecture
In order to qualify as landscape architect, you will need to major in the subject of landscape architecture at university. You can pick it up as an undergrad course at a variety of institutions in Australia, including the Universities of Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and New South Wales. You can also study landscape architecture at the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Western Australia.
A good landscape architecture course will give you a solid grounding in both the theoretical and practical components of the profession. You will also learn about natural ecological systems and structures, and how to implement large landscape projects in a sustainable manner. You’ll get plenty of studio experience as well, with classes in technical drawing and design. A degree in landscape architecture normally lasts three years, with the option of doing an additional postgraduate year after its completion.
Mentorships and Registration with the AILA
After you’ve completed your degree, there are a few more steps you need to take in order to legally qualify as a professional landscape architect. You need to register with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and, after 15 months to 2 years of full-time work, obtain AILA licensure.
This is not as tricky as it sounds. A great way to get that work experience under your belt is through a 12-month mentorship. There are many landscape architecture companies who offer this kind of intern work. In it, you’ll have the opportunity of working closely with a qualified landscape architect. You’ll gain plenty of on-the-job experience and get a clear impression of what it’s like to work as a landscape architect on a day-to-day basis.
Once you’ve completed the 12 months, you need to apply for registration at the AILA. Here, you are required to attend a compulsory workshop, as well as pass an oral test or interview. If you’re successful in this process, you’ll be promptly awarded with your AILA licence. The entire procedure – from mentorship to AILA interview – takes approximately 15 months to two years.
Can Anyone Be a Landscape Architect?
Careers in landscape architecture are best suited to people who have a love for nature and a knack for design. You should also be able to combine your natural artistic talents with technical skills in the creation of visually-arresting projects. Of course, it helps to have good drawing ability, too.
As a landscape architect, you will divide your time between the studio and the site. You should be comfortable working in both environments. Landscape architecture also requires you to interact with a wide range of people, from engineers to clients to members of the local community. You should, therefore, be happy to work individually as well as within a team.
If this sounds like the job for you, what are you waiting for? Search the web and look for a Landscape Architecture Degree near you.