Who pays for LARE?

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    Ana Natalia


    I am trying to decide on whether to take LARE or not and one of the most important questions for me is who usually pays for it? I’ve heard from several people from this industry that they were sponsored by their employers. I’ve been working for this company for a year now and, originally, my employers encouraged me to submit an application to become an intern, they also paid all the fees necessary for the application. However, several months later when I mentioned the exams, I was told that only 50% of all the expenses related to the exams would be covered by the company, that excludes the cost of the workshops or study material as well as the travel costs (and I’ll have to travel by air to take the exams).

    I figured that this might be too costly for me at the moment as I’m a young professional, even with 50%  covered by the employer. So, I was just wondering how this LARE financing usually works in North America? Should I go for it immediately  as this is a great opportunity or should I wait for some time and see what happens?

    Thank you for your feedback. (Sorry for my English if it sounds strange, I’m not a native speaker). 

    Mark Di Lucido

    One firm I worked at didn’t pay for exam related costs but gave a $2500 per year raise when you became registered. I thought this was an equitable method as it was a decent reward/reimbursement but you had to stay at the firm to receive it thus benefiting owner and employee. Of course that was back when the economy was booming. The firm I work for now pays neither LA exams nor professional dues and I suspect more firms currently lean this way. I’m sure the answers you get on this will be all over the place but the funding scenario you describe sounds very generous especially if they pay for training and travel–take advantage of it!

    Dave McCorquodale

    I work for a small design-build firm and I paid all of the expenses (LARE+prep courses+travel) myself.  I also pay all my own license renewal and continuing education costs.  Who covers the costs probably depends a lot on the employment arrangement: your pay/compensation, how you having a license adds to the company’s profit, other LA’s on staff who became licensed while at your firm, etc.  While the LARE can be costly, it is a great asset in my mind that can benefit you (and your firm) now and also in the future (like if your employment situation changes).


    Tosh K

    As the license primarily benefits you, most smaller firms will not cover the entire cost (the reasoning being that a lot of people switch jobs upon licensure to get the big raise).  Most firms I worked for offered 50% of costs and time off (as part of continuing education); the firms that covered costs expected you to be able to take on different tasks to bill higher and the ones that didn’t usually offered a bonus that covered the costs and then some as a reward.  I think it’s fair to expect a raise if you are going to be having more responsibility and billing at a higher rate (designers vs landscape architects typically are billed at a different rate).

    If you have to fly, you may try to do a lot of advanced studying (there are some online prep courses I think) and then try to do them over 2 weekends (I did) and combine it with a short vacation.

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