Kangan Institute Blog

How to start a Career as a Landscape Architect

Do you love spending time outdoors? Enjoy working with your hands and feeling the soft dirt between your fingers? Then a career in landscaping architecture may be your true calling.

Landscaping architecture is a small section of the horticulture industry that involves planning and building landscapes for companies and buildings. If you’ve ever driven by a golf club or marvelled at the gardens of a large estate, then you’ve probably seen a landscaping architect’s work. They’re responsible for planning gardens, installing features such as fountains and creating paths and retaining walls. When they’re finished, the result is a beautiful outdoor space that can be enjoyed by all.

Think this sounds like something you’d love doing? If you enjoy designing and working with your hands, then you might have what it takes to create a rewarding career as a landscaping architect. Learn how you can get started in a career in landscaping architecture here.

Get certified
When you go to see a doctor to fix broken arm, you assume that the doctor has been through medical school and is qualified to reset your arm. Well, people who come to landscaping architects have the same expectations.

The first step in any career in landscape architecture should be to get certified and become qualified in the field. With a Certificate II in Landscaping, you’ll learn how to build retaining walls, install irrigation systems and operate heavy construction and agriculture machinery. You’ll learn how to plan for irrigation systems, install aggregate paths and arrange for lay paving.

You’ll also develop a green thumb. Landscaping architects needs to have a keen understanding of plants and the climates they grow best in. Some plants need more sunlight than others, and if you overwater certain plants, they will die. Understanding plants and their lifecycles will help you choose the right plants to create the perfect landscape for a client.

After earning your qualification, most students go on to become apprentices to landscaping architects who are involved in the industry. This time spent as an apprentice is important to a student’s growth and development because they’ll see how the skills they learned in school will directly impact their trade.

Apprentices most often develop close relationships with their mentors, who offer an insider’s perspective on the horticulture industry as a whole. While some skills can be learned in a classroom, there are some lessons that only experience can teach you. Your mentor will help you along as you try out your ideas and learn what truly goes into making a landscape look fantastic.

As landscaping take a lot of planning before breaking ground, your mentor will show you how he or she assesses the landscape before doing work and plans for dealing with dry climates and hard clay. You’ll learn what to be mindful of as you’re drafting a landscape plan and how to best route walkways and irrigation systems.

Additionally, you’ll gain experience in communicating directly with clients and customers. You’ll see how professionals listen to their clients’ wants and ideas and use their own expertise to advise clients on the best options for their areas. Then with their clients in mind, they will bring those ideas to life.

Once your apprenticeship is over, you may decide to go work full time for a landscaping company, or you might decide to go back to school and improve your skillset.

Real-world experience
After you finish any other schooling, you’ll be ready to start as a landscaping architect. You might decide to work for a private residential company, or you might get involved with commercial landscapes and help businesses keep their lands green. Some sporting clubs will even hire on landscaping architects to create and cultivate beautiful gardens where their patrons can relax.

Landscaping means long hours outside, and the work is not always easy. You must be ready to get your hands dirty as you will be responsible for planting and waters new flowers and trees. You will also be operating heavy machinery that will help you lay paving and install irrigation systems.

While working with a company, you’ll develop your communication skills and help your company land big clients. They will rely on you to make their visions come true, and you will be able to bring your own ideas to the table. Best of all, you’ll feel the immense satisfaction of seeing your work bloom and grow every year.

Your future
After working for a private landscaping company or contractor, you might decide that now is the time to strike out on your own and start your own landscaping company. Imagine your visions coming to life in the front yards of neighbourhoods across your areas.

With the contacts you developed working for others and the knowledge gained, you’ll be poised for success as you start landing contracts. As you’ll be the manager of each operation, you’ll be in charge of getting together the right equipment for each job and choosing the right staff members. All decisions will come through you so you can decide who you want to work with and what hours you want to work. You might also decide to take on apprentices and help the next generation of landscape architects get their start.

If you think landscaping architecture might just be the career for you, get started today by enrolling. Kangan Institute offers Certificate III In Landscape Construction, and many successful students go on to work as apprentices before returning for further qualifications. This introductory course will teach you the basics of landscape architecture, providing you with a strong foundation of skills that will help you advance in your career.

Get starting in this fulfilling field and see your work grow before your very eyes.

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