Big Changes to California Licensure Pathways

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Big Changes to California Licensure Pathways

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    Dustin Maxam, RLA

    Hi Everyone,

    Those of you interested in changes to California Landscape Architecture Licensure should take a look at this.  The part below is in response to a mailer sent out by the California Council of the ASLA opposing many of the pathways being evaluated by the LATC’s Subcommittee (CCASLA-Mailer.pdf).

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    Help grow our profession!  The California Architects Board (CAB), which oversees the Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC), has mandated that Landscape Architecture Licensure match the many pathways available to California Architects.  The LATC is evaluating new requirements next Tuesday 10/3/17

    Use your voice!  Let’s tell the vocal minority of California Educators and Landscape Architecture Leaders that we support new licensure pathways which would help expand and diversify our profession.

    Did you know these facts about CA Licensure?

    • In California you can become a Licensed Architect or Civil Engineer based on extensive experience and testing only.  There are licensure pathways available for those with non-architecture degrees as well.  These professionals are qualified to design buildings and structures and are entrusted with the public’s safety.

    • CA Architects and Engineers, including those licensed on experience, can practice landscape architecture with their projects – as long they don’t use the term/ title Landscape Architect and the work is project specific.

    • The majority of states allow licensure on experience alone – these include NY, FL, AZ, NV, WA, OR, and many others.  In these states persons are generally eligible for out of state licensure upon demonstrating an average of 8 years of experience prior to examination.

    • There are currently California Licensed Landscape Architects practicing who would not qualify for licensure today.  These professionals became licensed, in CA prior to 1997, under the previous Landscape Architect’s Board (LAB) and have varied educational backgrounds and experience.

    • Per research compiled by LATC Staff the majority of States allow an option for initial licensure based on any bachelors degree and additional education credit is granted for many related degrees.

    • Of CLARB’s 52 member board jurisdictions, 31 grant educational credit for accredited engineering degrees and 28 grant educational credit for any bachelor’s degree.

    • Every State licensing board and committee undergoes a regular Sunset Review process and last year (2016), only 76 California applicants were granted landscape architecture licensure.

    • Of the approximately 3,600 licensed landscape architects in California, nearly 50% were licensed prior to 1998 – the year the LATC came into being.  Only 3,100 of these licensee live in the State (per the 2016 LATC roster).  Is not possible to replace those leaving the profession without major changes.

    • Currently in California, a person may become a Licensed Landscape Architect if they have earned an Associates Degree in Landscape Architecture, have worked as a Licensed Landscape Contractor for 4 years, and have only one year of experience under a Landscape Architect.

    • Currently a person with a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree, regardless of related subject matter, who is licensed in another state by having passed the LARE, and showing extensive experience, is not eligible for licensure.

    Won’t this devalue my Landscape Architecture degree?

    Has the Landscape Architecture AA, Extension Certificate (unique to CA), or existing Licensees with Non-LA degrees hurt the value of your degree?  No, because the public, employers, and clients will always perceive that someone with a degree from a prestigious school is more talented and more valuable.  California Architects have long had experience only pathways and it has only strengthened and infused their profession with new ideas and technology.

    Act Today!  Spread the word and let the California Council of the ASLA and the LATC know what you believe, please email:     &

     “I agree with the California Architects Board and want fair and equitable Landscape Architecture licensure pathways for everyone.  I believe that varying education credit for both related and non-related bachelor degrees should be granted and those with extensive experience should be able to become licensed.”


    A group of scrappy, highly experienced, California Landscape Architecture Professionals who have managed to gain licensure out of state and are seeking to gain reciprocity and create positive change in our profession

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