Are any other RLA's tired of non-licensed individuals using the title Landscape Architect?  We have worked too hard and spent too much time and money to earn this title.  It seems that any landscaper, gardener or joe schmo is using the title without qualification.  It's hard enough finding work as an RLA but now we have to compete with people that call themselves landscape architects and really aren't. 

If you are in a practice state and you are calling yourself a landscape architect then you need to have your license.  If you don't have it, then you are an LAIT or associate landscape architect, designer or something else.  If you are one of these people, please stop using the title.  It diminishes the profession and makes advocacy pointless. If you want the title, put your time, study and work your a$$ off like the rest of us.  It will make it much more rewarding when you get it and it will be legal.

I don't see E.I.T's calling themselves full fledged engineers.  I don't see non-licensed architects calling themselves so.  Why is our profession so spineless and unregulated when it comes to this?  Why do many large firms still let non-RLA's put the title landscape architect on their business cards?  I can't tell you how much of a punch in the gut it was to be working with 'kids' right out of school calling themselves landscape architects with zero knowledge and skills.  It was more disappointing that these firms we worked for allowed this.  If anyone should be pushing for advocacy and standards, it should be these firms.  Right? Am I alone in thinking this?  I mean if there are no standards and more importantly no regulation what the he)) is the point?  Thoughts?

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Could an unlicensed person say for example on their business card,

Jane Doe,

Landscape Architecture


And not be in violation? This may have been covered in previous posts...just to lazy right now to go back.

Read your state regulation. Most are very clear that you can not, but I have not read every one of them.


I'm always amazed at how many people have not read their state regulation.


no, you can't....



You need a licensed landscape architect to even advertise landscape architectural services. Unless you have someone with a license as a contact person with the state, under whose license the firm is opertating, the word "architect" or "architecture" cannot appear in advertising, as you are saying that you are providing LA services, when you clearly are not (that stamp makes all the difference). That is even more agregious than calling yourself an Landscape Architect without a license, as you are committing business fraud, that is prosecuted BIG TIME. You are also opening yourself up to a big lawsuit and project liability. You can get blacklisted by the state for stuff like that. If you say you are a LA, and are not, they generally ask you not to the first time.  In many states, you also have to register as a professional business with the licensing board of you are a LLC or PA, but if you are sole proprieter, you may only advertise with those words if you have a license. Please stop asking. If you don't have a state issued license, you ARE NOT a landscape architect and cannot call yourself one.

So....forget everything I have said about licensure being important.  In my state, Colorado, licensure has been on the books for nearly three years after decades of lobbying.  Congrats to the local ASLA chapter for their advocacy....Right?   Wrong...After three years there are only a few municipalities in the entire state the have 'adopted' the state licensure requirement.  Nearly all the municipalities in the state do NOT have a provision requiring a licensed landscape architect to prepare and stamp LA documents. 

In a few cases, the municipalities that require stamping of a landscape drawing of any kind allow an architect or civil engineer to stamp those drawings.  It seems like a big joke and my career is the punchline.  I feel I have been let down by ASLA, my local government, my federal government and this whole dang profession. 

Most states pass registration with a number of provisions that grandfather in people or allow overlapping by other professions, or exempt land areas under 1 acre for the contractors to keep on doing those, etc. Which is ironically why I think Denise has more hiring options than she may think. Engineers sometimes, while continuing to be in the forefront of getting site work, do hire LA's (when they are aware of how much technical help a good LA can be on more than just planting plans). If hiring is off even in multidisciplinary firms, it's got to be off in LA led firms. So if the problem is how to make a living, the cure isn't necessarily being licensed, it goes deeper than that. Admittedly, getting "alternative" experience sometimes is discounted by state boards according to some formulas, but many people have to submit some "mix" or take a while longer to get their requirements than the ideal 40 hours between school and the exam.


I hope my first post on this wasn't too harsh. I truly understand how frustrating and disheartening it is, as I ran into the same thing immediately following my degree (as they say, in a galaxy long long ago and far far away, ha).

I have a BSLA degree from an accredited university, I will therefore call myself a 'landscape architect'. When I become an RLA I will then call myself a "registered landscape architect". Get over yourself.

It isn't about is about LEGALITY. If you advertise that you are a landscape are breaking the law. You cannot advertise landscape architectural services. My husband is an RLA in Idaho but not Washington and we live...2.5 miles from the border. He cannot advertise in Washington for landscape architectural services. It isn't rocket science people.

I am not an RLA...I am a landscape designer...this isn't a put down. Good grief people.

By that reasoning, someone who graduated from law school can automatically call themselves a lawyer or medical school, a doctor.  Architects, engineers and even beauticians have to be registered by their state in order to practice.  Allyson, I see you have experience in this industry.  I think with that experience you should know very well the differences between registered and unregistered professionals.  No matter what you want to call yourself, passing the LARE and getting registered is the legal and professional definition of a Landscape Architect.
.... but what is that experience? If we don't follow definitions, it could be anything.

I was responding to the original post and am guilty of not reading through this lengthy thread. What I initially took offense to was the superior tone in how *earthworker*s post was worded. In addition,some of you 'professionals' are acting anything but 'professional' with your name calling and condescending attitudes.

To clarify, when asked, I say that I am a 'landscape architect' or that I have a degree in 'landscape architecture'. I do not advertise my services commercially. Nowhere in the original post was that distinction made.

I feel your anger and frustration should be directed at the poor advocacy efforts of the ASLA and state chapters. I live in metro-Atlanta and have found that there are not many documents that legally require the stamp of a "landscape architect" which cannot be stamped by an engineer or architect.Some plan sets require no stamp at all.

Some of you drank the ASLA kool-aid and thought that licensure would bring you a steadier stream of income and clients. Meanwhile you blame your unlicensed associates for your lack of business. That's like blaming the poor for the US economy being in the toilet.

When assigning blame for your absence of work maybe, just MAYBE, you should look first to your ATTITUDE.

Did someone blame unlicensed associates for a lack of business? When I joined in, the topic was mostly unlicensed blaming the RLAs for not being able to sit for the exam.




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