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Landscape Architect

Landscape architects combine artistic and creative perspectives with scientific and engineering knowledge to create, manage and conserve environments that are both functional and attractive. Their goal is to create harmony between natural environments, land features and architectural structures and improve the quality of life in urban and rural environments.

  • Avg. Salary $91,915.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.46
  • Minimum Education 5 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Designer, Environmental Designer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Landscape Architects (2152) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Landscape Architects (C052) 
  • 2011 NOC: Landscape architects (2152) 
Interest Codes
The Landscape Architect is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Landscape Architects
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to conduct environmental design studies including environmental assessment, planning and the preservation and re-creation of historical sites

SOCIAL

Interest in precision working to prepare detailed drawings for sites, site plans, sketches and models for clients' approval, and to participate in multidisciplinary urban design studies

DIRECTIVE

Interest in supervising and overseeing the preparation of detailed drawings, site plans, reports, sketches, models, photographs, maps, land use studies and design plans; may manage and supervise landscape construction work

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Jul 20, 2016

Landscape architects may plan and design:

  • urban, regional and provincial parks
  • industrial sites and business parks
  • conservation areas
  • resorts, playgrounds, marinas, golf courses or other recreation areas
  • residential communities
  • urban redevelopments
  • private gardens and estates
  • cemeteries
  • grounds for hospitals, schools, airports and other public areas
  • private health and institutional sites
  • plazas and commercial areas
  • rooftop landscapes
  • interior landscaping for open spaces in plazas, shopping malls and large buildings 
  • storm water management facilities
  • streetscapes and scenic parkways.

They may be involved in:

  • programming for park and public projects and tourist developments
  • developing sites related to residential, recreational, institutional, commercial or industrial projects
  • conducting public consultations
  • managing specific regional areas where they may plan forests, parks and recreational areas
  • monitoring the development of natural agricultural lands
  • overseeing the restoration, reclamation or conservation of gravel pits, mining areas, landfills and environmentally sensitive areas
  • preparing environmental assessments
  • assessing aesthetic and quality of life parameters
  • providing landscape inventory, and analysis processes and programs.

Landscape architects incorporate elements found in the natural environment and the building industry into their designs. Their work not only contributes to the beauty of the environment but attempts to preserve the natural ecology of an area and reduce the environmental impact of urban, industrial, recreational and other development.

Landscape architects often work as part of a team with:

  • architects
  • urban planners
  • consulting engineers
  • building contractors
  • scientists (particularly when conservation or reclamation is involved).

In general, they:

  • co-ordinate the work of project teams
  • meet frequently with clients and the public at large to determine needs, preferences, development feasibility and financial resources available for projects
  • study sites, thoroughly observing and mapping out the grade and direction of land slopes, structure and stability of the soil, drainage patterns, and presence of existing structures, vegetation and landforms
  • develop site plans which address the various social, cultural, economic, environmental and artistic areas of concern
  • prepare physical form drawings and plans for consideration
  • prepare reports and cost estimates, and present them to clients for review and approval
  • develop final detailed plans and materials lists
  • prepare contract documents and review tenders
  • inspect construction of the design.

Landscape architects usually are involved in a number of projects, each at a different stage of development and requiring a different level of involvement.

Working Conditions
Updated Jul 20, 2016

Much of the time, landscape architects work in comfortable office surroundings. They also spend a considerable amount of time walking and hiking on work sites, assessing or inspecting construction. Travel, working long hours and dealing with the stress of meeting deadlines also are part of the job.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jul 20, 2016

Landscape architects need the following characteristics:

  • imagination and creativity
  • a keen interest in art, design, landscapes and the intrinsic qualities of built and natural environments
  • some ability in the visual arts
  • an interest in construction
  • an interest in and a sensitivity to people's needs, particularly in urban environments
  • the ability to work independently and with people.

They should enjoy synthesizing information and finding innovative solutions to problems, working with people at tasks requiring precision, and supervising the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Jul 20, 2016

The minimum education requirement is a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture. Landscape architects interested in operating their own businesses also need business skills.

In Canada, two post-secondary institutions offer bachelor's degrees in landscape architecture: the University of Montreal (instruction in French) and the University of Guelph. The entrance requirement for the Guelph program is a high school diploma with a competitive average in academic courses including English Language Arts 30-1 and Pure Math 30, or equivalent. Each year, up to five graduates of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Landscape Architectural Technology diploma program are accepted into the third year of the Guelph program. For information about the NAIT program, see the Landscape Architectural Technologist profile.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

The following out of province universities also offer master's degree programs in landscape architecture:

Admission to a master's degree program requires a bachelor's degree with an average sufficient for entry to graduate studies.

Certification Requirements
Updated Jul 20, 2016

Landscape Architect

Landscape architects combine artistic and creative perspectives with scientific and engineering knowledge to create, manage and conserve environments that are both functional and attractive. Their goal is to create harmony between natural environments, land features and architectural structures and improve the quality of life in urban and rural environments.

Legislation

Landscape Architect is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act and Landscape Architects Regulation. This means that to call yourself a Landscape Architect, you must be a registered member of the Alberta Association of Landscape Architects (AALA). You do not have to be registered if you do not use the title Landscape Architect.

What You Need

Registration requires the equivalent of: (1) an approved degree in landscape architecture, (2) at least three years of experience under the supervision of a landscape architect within the previous five years, and (3) successful completion of an approved examination. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the AALA website or contact the AALA.

Working in Alberta

Landscape architects who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered landscape architects in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority.

Contact Details

Alberta Association of Landscape Architects
Box 21052
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6R 2V4
Phone number: 780-435-9902
Fax number: 780-413-0076
Website: www.aala.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Jul 20, 2016

Landscape architects are employed by:

  • planning, engineering and architectural firms
  • large real estate developers or building contractors
  • federal, provincial and municipal government departments concerned with urban planning, parks and recreation, transportation, tourism, environment and public works.

Many newly-qualified landscape architects start their careers by working for established landscape architectural consulting firms under the supervision of registered landscape architects. After a number of years' experience and registration with the AALA, many landscape architects open their own businesses or advance to management positions.

In Alberta, 81% of people employed as landscape architects work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Jul 20, 2016

According to the 2017 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Landscape architects occupational group earned on average from $34.99 to $52.03 an hour. The overall average was $45.46 an hour. For more information, see the Landscape architects wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Fine Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Natural Resources
    • Agriculture
    • Environmental Stewardship
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Jul 20, 2016

Alberta Association of Landscape Architects (AALA) website: www.aala.ab.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) website: www.csla.ca

 

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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