January 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm #159110Trace OneParticipant
There is an ad in the ASLA jobs site for a planner for Houston – the pay? $25,000…I think that is an insult.. We are loosing ground, us wage-earners..and the job requires an Masters degree….Ouch!January 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm #159109
Reee-goddamn-diculous. I’m gonna go cry, then look into the local vocational school district for a career in welding….then cry some more.January 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm #159108
When are the folks poo-pooing Landscape Architecture during this economic downturn going to wake up? Things are bad all over and there’s nowhere to run. There are very few secure “sure thing” professions. All we ACE professionals can do is keep waiting for our schools and infrastructure to completely crumble, increased demand for affordable housing near city centers and the inevitable rehabbing/redesigning vacant commercial property for new uses.
There are a few car dealerships that have been closed for 3 or 4 years now in my town. The cracked asphalt has been displaced by miscellaneous grasses and meadow plants. They’re on busy commercial roads, so they’ll be reincarnated as useful places again. When the vacant lots and empty store fronts start showing life again LAs will be busier than ever. We’re all connected.
Also, eventually the wealthy will start spending some of the money they’ve been squirreling away the past few years on new homes and landscape renovation projects.January 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm #159107
I understood it as overall unemployment – not employed in field of study. For grad school degree holders it’s more understandable, but for college grads one has to ask “does the curriculum encourage tunnel vision and specialized knowledge?” We had a studio course in architecture school for non-majors because deans from the other schools specifically wanted to give students the opportunity to learn iterative and creative problem solving, I always thought this made students better at tackling all types of work (pre-meds to business students).January 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm #159106
knew a welder in VA that did some amazing architectural work, craft skills and design skills are a great combo.January 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm #159105
i hope that’s a signing bonus, maybe we need agents to squeeze better fees from clients… Scott Boras for the LAs would be nice.January 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm #159104
Open your eyes MauiB. The Planners, Architects and Engineers are fighting for their lives just like we are, like crabs in a barrel Dude. What alternate barrel would you suggest a crab crawl into?January 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm #159103
Alrighty folks, I have had enough of the emotional hand-wringing here, the pity party for the paltry and some ill-informed commentaries. My turn to respond to all of those.
The planner position in Houston. Really read the announcement. Certainly, it pays a slightly better than pauper’s wages, but don’t forget the huge payoff of being in one of the most undesirable cities in highly exceptional US of A not to mention where more low wage jobs are being created than any other state in that same exceptional country (don’tcha love Rick Perry and all the bovine gas that spews from his pie hole ?)
One does not need a masters degree to apply for this job. Any related bachelors degree will do but also being a licensed landscape architect and/or certified planner certainly does help.
Given the absolute arid state of jobs being offered in our profession (or related ones) at this present point in time, no doubt the City of the greatest number of post-Katrina refugees never to return to the Big Easy will get a decent if not decadent response.
Now for you hand-wringers who see no future in our profession except to be welding and plasma cutting landscape symbolic objects.
Don’t give it up the cause, at least not yet. I completely empathize with your plight. I have shared that, been there and relocated 6500 miles away to continue to practice our craft/art/science. Yes, it has been quite a tradeoff, but numbers do count and I making more than three times what the annual entry le(vel salary for the Houston planning job offers here in the land of grotesque contradictions, otherwise known as China. (second runner-up the great US of A)
I know you will probably perceive this as recycled hoo-rah by now. But you can re-brand yourself and you can remarket yourselves. Speaking from direct and recent experience, I did all of the following:
- Sought additional professional credentials and still seeking them (eg. CNU-A and new brand of LEED as in ND)
- Pursued additional professional certifications (Rutgers BOCEP…look it up)
- Got local community college course training in Revit and Sketchup
- Networked in new professional arenas (Association for Environmental Professionals and USGBC)
Where did that (and other unmentioned efforts) gain or get me ?
No immediate payoff or cigar. Sure, I got my unfair share and slice of domestic interviews, which led to continued unemployment check support. When I decided to wake-up and smell the roasting coffee grounds of my dilemma, I started seeking work in China, and ended up getting multiple, sincere inquiries of interest, and subsequently two more than decent job offfers.
Just like you, I need to eat, live a life of some meaning and measure and pay the toll-keepers.
Enough of my mindless ramblings.
In summary, MauiBob is right in several respects about working in China or nearby. Culturally and professionally, we might as well be on the moon as to how landscape architecture/urban design and urban planning are done compared to conventional Western norms. Also, as a foreigner expat, you have to expect and fully anticipate complete job insecurity. You can be dispatched and disposed of in the time it takes to suck a noodle down ones throat.
Believe me, I would love to be back in the States, if only there were halfway decent professional job opportunities. For now and some time to come, those will be somewhere between slim and sparing.
Even though he did not invent it, Al Gore and his teammate always loved to overuse the “reinvent” idiom, way too much. But it still applies here. Or you can become a welder.January 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm #159102Leslie B WagleParticipant
I think what I’m seeing is more a grief over the bad all over state of things. Schools of LA can’t very well say to students “Note, this is going to be sparse on results” or they couldn’t justify continuing to offer courses. They might need to ask themselves if there are some changes they can make or ask alumni how to best prepare students for a bad current market. But the “waiting for things to completely crumble” could be just too long for hungry new grads with loans to tough out, and that’s what makes undergrads start questioning their current path. Figuring out where “to run” would be the next problem unless you really like programming or caring for old folks 😐January 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm #159101
I strongly disagree, Craig.. Do a quick search, there are plenty of jobs in civil engineering, architecture, environmental sciences, and surveying,…..none of which landscape architects are qualified to do. Landscape architects cannot legally take a land plan or reclamation site from start to finish as civil engineers can, which is why we are being phased out. If they don’t require an LA, they won’t pay for an LA.
And landplanner…..”pitty party for the paltry”? Glad to know that you feel financial ruin and inability to support one’s family “paltry”.January 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm #159100
Keith, my boy, you seem to be missing my point. Look elsewhere in the these blogs (the one dealing with someone looking at a a design drafting position) and see what other practicing professionals have to say about how to redefine, reposition and rebrand yourself to overcome or bypass the perceived stigma you think our profession has. I will agree with you, and others, in that regard, we are rolling the proverbial boulder uphill, or we can let it go and allow it to flatten us (and the profession) into crepe-like thinness and insignificance. Again, your choice.
That is it. I will not respond back to your next response.January 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm #159099
First, I am not your boy. Second, you are the epitome of my argument in that you had to go to CHINA to find work.January 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm #159098Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
Aside from the owner, I am the second person in terms of site planning in a nine person civil engineering office with three licensed surveyors, two licensed engineers, an EIT, and another person with 20+ years of experience doing civil plans …. and they let me work part time (my request) because they don’t want to lose me … I got my degree from the same school that the person looking at the drafting position got hers … and it is not Harvard. If there are site planning jobs in a CE office, you are better qualified coming out of school than most coming out of CE school for doing site plans unless you avoided doing site plans in order to concentrate on other things.
If you are in school, work hard at developing site planning skills. That is where the most work has always been. Environmental stuff is an add-on not an alternative. You have to get back to the fundamentals because everyone else is concentrating on the fringes.January 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm #159097
Save your energy there is no place to run. Landscape Architects don’t have a monopoly on hard times. We all can’t be programmers, care givers and morticians.
I’m sad to say it, but things started to crumble before the Great Recession. We’ve kicked the can down the road for too long. We have no other choice but to rebuild and build what we desperately need and someone has to design it.
The ACE industry Including Landscape Architecture is not dead; it’s just dormant.January 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm #159096
I won’t retract the “pity party for the paltry” statement, because there has been an awful lot of bitching and moaning on this topic for last two years plus. I should know, I contributed my fair share of it.
I too have, a now extended (distance) family to contribute to looking after. That is another major motivator for being where I currently am situated. Again, I would rather be stateside, believe it.
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