July 13, 2011 at 11:08 pm #161584
Juan Antonio LopezParticipant
I’m a recent graduate exploring career opportunities and I was wondering what are the pros and cons of being a landscape architect vs. landscape designer.July 14, 2011 at 3:09 am #161592
This may or may not be relevant considering the firm you work for but according to ASLA’s latest survey “Being licensed significantly contributed to salary – $77,700 for those holding a license compared to $52,700 without.”
Also, I’m currently working towards getting my license just to have options later for when I may want have my own firm. As far as the firm that I work for we are able to get a lot of projects that require stamped and signed plans that a landscape designer would not be able to do.
My 2 cents…July 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm #161591
A license is not a silver bullet that will give you unmeasured wealth, but it gives you more opportunities. I just got licensed last year (7years out of school) so far it has not changed my life much. However I do now have the ability to sign drawings and it allows me do more on my own. So good to have, but I would not stress about getting it right away. It was always a 10 year out of school goal for me, so I got it done a little earlier than that.
If you want to go anywhere in a design firm you will need a license otherwise you are relegated to being a drafter. In design/build residential a license is not required. So there you don’t need a license, but it is still nice to call yourself a Landscape Architect to give yourself a distinction from the uneducated designers that flood that market.
I worked design/build out of school, since there were opportunities for me at the time. I would not let the long term goal of a license deter you from working in one of those types of positions. I learned a lot doing design build and it had really helped to give me experience that I did not get in college. Experience that has really helped me in the design firm I currently work at.July 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm #161590
get it and live without restrictions….July 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm #161589
Yes, and support the profession in the process.July 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm #161588
Alan Ray, RLAParticipant
Dood! did your school not explain this to you???July 15, 2011 at 11:46 am #161587
Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
If you plan on being a landscape contractor and designing your landscapes as part of it, there might not be as much a difference as some might think. I know many contractors with LA degrees who went into, or continued existing, business before interning. They do very well. One benefit to no having an LA license as a contractor is that LAs will have you bid on their jobs – when you have a stamp, they don’t for obvious reasons.
The question is whether the primary business is as a contractor or design.July 15, 2011 at 4:03 pm #161586
I second this comment. This is a discussion that maybe should have happened when you were deciding between Land. Arch and Horticulture at your University. Maybe when deciding against the two year landscape design/hort. course at the local Vocational-tech School.
If you have a LA degree you have spent at least double the amount of time in school as the entry level for landscape design without a license. So “finish your degree”(as CLARB puts it) and get the license, even if it is a five or ten year goal like myself.July 16, 2011 at 11:32 am #161585
Definately get the license. Studying for the tests and taking them will make you better at what you do, especially grading and site design. There’s a lot of stuff on the tests that you don’t learn in school and helps you look at things a bit differently.
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