Career information on landscape designer

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Carl Price develops the lawns, gardens and open spaces that can enhance and improve the appearance of a building. As a llandscape designer, he is responsible for all aspects of land management.

What does your job involve?

I work with architects, engineers and quality surveyors and am concerned with the landscape in which their structures are going to be set. My job is to ensure that the finished job fits with the local environment.

Other areas include the masterplanning of developments, green spaces, outdoor leisure activities and wildlife habitat. I also get involved in the design of projects such as cycle routes and parks, land reclamation and the redevelopment of town centre streets and other public spaces. This work not only involves planting trees, shrubs and flowers but also paving, fencing, lighting, furniture and maintenance.

At all stages, I am in discussions with the original client and often with other professionals such as ecologists and soil specialists.

Do you have a typical day?

Each day is busy and varied. I will often be out of the office attending a site at some point each day either for a design team meeting inspection of works under construction or field survey work.

In the office I will be using a computer to produce design drawings or written information. Sometimes I may need to do this with pen and paper on a drawing board. There is a lot of time spent talking with clients, consultants and contractors.

How did you get into this work?

I completed a degree course in landscape design and plant science before working for a year in a practice. After that work experience, I completed the diploma in landscape architecture, which took a year.

What equipment do you use?

A computer with good CAD (Computer Aided Design) and image software as well as the normal word processing and spreadsheet programmes forms my core equipment. The car normally contains hard hat, boots and jacket for construction sites plus a digital camera for recording purposes when I am on-site.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of your job?

I like working on a variety of projects and dealing with a range of interesting professions and clients. I like the time spent outdoors in all seasons and the physical achievement of seeing your designs completed and used by people. However, it can be stressful due to the variety of jobs underway at any one time and the nature of deadlines in the construction industry.

What skills and qualities are needed to become a landscape designer?

You need design skill and the ability to convey this information to others. You must be a well-organised person open to new ideas and receptive to change.

Carl's route to his career as a Landscape designer

  • GCSEs.
  • A Levels (Art Biology Geography).
  • BSc Landscape Design and Plant Science.
  • Diploma in Landscape Architecture.

Carl's tips to a career as a Landscape designer

  • Keep an open mind so you can bring a broad perspective to design.
  • Be observant of the world around you; have an inquisitive mind and generate notions of why things do or do not work/look good/excite/grow.
  • Carry a sketchbook and pencil and use it to record events and objects.

Landscape designer related jobs

  • Architect
  • Architectural technician
  • Conservation officer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Town planner

Landscape designer salary information

  • The starting salary is around £16,000. Professionally qualified experienced landscape designer in private practice can expect to earn £25,000 plus depending on location and experience.

Career information on landscape designer

  • Carl took the direct route to becoming a landscape designer by going from school to a degree and postgraduate status.
  • There are many other routes such as obtaining a Modern Apprenticeship with an architectural practice and studying for NVQ/SVQs or entering the industry as a graduate trainee. The work is both art and science related so qualifications in both areas would also form the basis for entry.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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