Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects › Forums › PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE › From AIA to Landscape Architecture – Any advice welcomed!
- This topic has 5 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 11 months ago by Tim Daugherty.
December 9, 2018 at 9:56 am #3556753Erik SingmanParticipant
I’m an AIA who loves landscape architecture and I really want to change my professional path. I was trying to find an online LAAB accredited landscape masters degree but no luck so far, but there are non LAAB online degrees in landscape design. If I wanted to eventually work for a landscape architect firm do you think they would accept an architect with a non LAAB acreddited landscape degree? I know I couldn’t take the LACE without an accredited degree but I’m trying to go the most effecient route to switching to landscape architecture in lieu of quitting work to go back to school to get a masters in landscape architecture at an accredited school. My main goal is to switch professions so if I couldn’t be an RLA I know I would enjoy working as a landscape designer. Any suggestions would really be great, thanks!December 14, 2018 at 11:57 am #3556778Mark Di LucidoParticipant
I switched from architecture to landscape architecture after doing architectural project management for several years. Got tired of the endless minutia architects and architectural project managers deal with including AIA Standard Forms, door schedules, phone-book thick project manuals, seemingly endless change orders, interior modular office design (ugh!), CAD and CAD standards (more ugh!), cookie-cutter design, and coordinating all disciplines’ work. When I decided to switch, I was hired by a small LA firm that used my architecture skills for production of CDs. In return, I got exposure to the design of exterior spaces and plant palettes. Later of course, Mr. Reality called, and I discovered that both professions have their dark underbellies of production tedium so unless you’re extremely lucky and/or talented, you’ll be paying some tedium dues in either profession.
So, to your question “If I wanted to eventually work for a landscape architect firm do you think they would accept an architect with a non-LAAB accredited landscape degree?”, I would say yes but it’s likely you will start in CD production until you demonstrate knowledge of site planning, planting design, and the ability to create exterior public space. I believe they might also hire you without an LA degree because many of the production skills between the two professions are similar.
About taking the LARE without an accredited degree: From CLARB (and will vary by state): “If you do not have an accredited degree, you will need to obtain pre-approval before beginning the exam process. Please contact CLARB for more information.”December 22, 2018 at 12:18 pm #3556819Suzan HamptonParticipant
Hi Erik, I have an M.Arch but didn’t get licensed and have been working in-between landarch, design/build arch, and planning.December 28, 2018 at 3:17 am #3556839Suzan HamptonParticipant
I would say it’s been more difficult not having the degree in Landarch but still practicing it. If you want to do residential design/build and work for someone else, no worries. IF you want to focus on plants, that’s also fine but be aware a lot of environmental science degree-holders have some of that locked down. Not having the actual degree is limiting if you want to work for the government, a university, a civil engineering firm, or a studio landarch firm. Plus there is some formal training that would be really beneficial to get in a landarch program like grading and drainage, stormwater BMPs, and soils. Hope this helps.December 28, 2018 at 7:49 pm #3556841Erik SingmanParticipant
Thank you for your answers! I want to have as many options for employment as possible so I will look into getting an online masters degree in landscape architecture so I can get learn about drainage, grading, soils, etc. I’m also going to contact CLARB to see if I am eligible to take the LARE with a masters degree that isn’t LAAB accredited. I’m also going to see if I can get an internship at a land arch firm to get experience.April 2, 2019 at 6:13 pm #3557509Tim DaughertyParticipant
I’ve worked for studios in the past that hired Architects in an LA studio. I’d look at mid-sized boutique firms that specialize in Public Works and going after Awards and such.
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