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The job of a landscape architect requires much more than designing attractive front yards and flower beds. In fact, the American Society of Landscape Architects states that professionals with a landscape design degree can use their skills to combat pollution, save on energy and even reduce obesity.

For example, landscape architects can reduce pollution by assembling certain plants, fungi and microbes that clean the air around them, reduce energy bills by harnessing the power of heat and shade and facilitate movement by designing outdoor areas that encourage physical activity and exercise.

There are a variety of ways students interested in pursuing this influential discipline can go about their education.

What Do Online Architecture and Landscape Design Degree Programs Entail?

Students interested in landscape architecture degree programs can choose to pursue any level of education. Many students start the process by first earning an Associate of Arts in Landscape Architecture, or even an Associate of Science in another fiend, such as horticulture, with a specialization in landscape architecture.

Students pursuing a landscape architecture degree at this level complete core educational requirements and explore the fundamentals of landscape design. Topics covered include:

  • Basic landscape design and artistry
  • Grading techniques
  • An introduction to plants, shrubs and trees
  • Drawing techniques

Many schools that offer landscape design degrees also offer a bachelor's degree, which can usually be completed over the course of four years if studying full-time.

Many students who take this route choose to earn a Bachelor's of Landscape Architecture or Bachelor's of Science in Landscape Architecture. Topics covered can include everything from sustainable design practices to urban and community design ideas and best practices in landscape construction design techniques.

Many students choose to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture degree in addition to an undergraduate degree. Students in these landscape architecture engineering programs learn to examine complex problems, such as sustainability and environmental issues, and explore how landscape architecture can provide solutions or improve outcomes. Topics commonly covered include research methods, urban design theory, landscape architectural engineering and comprehensive landscape planning.

Career Outlook for Architectural and Landscape Design Majors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture is typically required to find employment in this field.

Here's a brief overview of three disciplines architectural and landscape design graduates can segue into after completing their studies:

  • Landscape Architects: Due to an overall growth in commercial, industrial and residential construction projects, the BLS expects employment for landscape architects to increase 15 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022. BLS numbers place 2013 median income for landscape architects at $64,790 annually.
  • Urban and Regional Planners:Urban and regional planners, who may also have a landscape design degree or a background in landscape architecture, develop plans for the use of land, whether in the city or in rural areas, the BLS states. Median annual income was placed at $65,650 in 2013 according to the BLS. Employment for urban and regional planners is expected to increase 10 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022.
  • Surveyors: Surveyors, who use equipment to mark specific boundaries on the Earth's surface, typically hold a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture or a related field. Median income for surveyors was calculated by the BLS to be $56,590 annually. Employment for surveyors is expected to increase 10 percent nationally from 2012 to 2022.

"Landscape Architects, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/landscape-architects.htm#tab-1
"17-1012 Landscape Architects," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 12, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes171012.htm
"Surveyors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/surveyors.htm#tab-1
"17-1022 Surveyors," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 12, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes171022.htm
"Urban and Regional Planners, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition," Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/urban-and-regional-planners.htm#tab-1
"19-3051 Urban and Regional Planners," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 12, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193051.htm

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