About the Profession

Landscape architecture works across a wide range of disciplines, striving to achieve a balance between the built and natural environments. Landscape architects produce iconic landscapes: picture Boston's Emerald Necklace, or the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. But it can also have a profound impact in your own backyard, transforming the downtown square or a local park. Green roofs, urban farms, corporate campuses-- all of these are encompassed by landscape architecture.

As a landscape architect, you'll have the unique opportunity to work at the intersection of environmental science, art, and ecology. Landscape architects can make an extraordinary positive impact on the lives of people and their environment: your work can restore endangered wetlands, reduce hospital stays, secure buildings, and remove toxins from rainwater.

Landscape architects devote their careers to preserving, developing, and enhancing landscapes, as well as planning and designing landscapes for human use and enjoyment. Practitioners work to create designs that integrate the environmental, physical and social characteristics of a landscape while also balancing economic considerations.

As a landscape architect, your practice might include:

  • Finding innovative ways to put land and water resources to appropriate use

  • Conducting feasibility studies

  • Creating site plans and analyses

  • Preparing or analyzing master plans for land use and development

  • Collaboratively designing roads, bridges, and structures, taking into account the functional and aesthetic requirements of their surroundings

  • Negotiating and arranging land area projects

  • Restoring landscapes


Are you still in the process of discovering whether landscape architecture is the right profession for you? The American Society of Landscape Architects has an entire website devoted to helping you find your path: http://www.asla.org/yourpath/index.html.

ASLA

For more than 100 years, the American Society of Landscape Architects has promoted the landscape architecture profession and advanced the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. As the national professional association for landscape architects, ASLA has more than 18,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 68 countries around the world.

If you are pursuing a career as a landscape architect, you should consider becoming an ASLA member! Members enjoy many benefits and discounts including access to JobLink, ASLA’s searchable job database, as well as the Advocacy Network – a source dedicated to shaping our political future. Best of all, being an ASLA member means contributing to the Association’s efforts to raise awareness of the profession, and advocate on legislative issues that matter most to the profession.

Visit www.asla.org to become a member or learn more about membership benefits.

Emerging Professionals

The mission of the Emerging Professionals (EP) program is to identify and respond to the needs of those who are new to the profession of Landscape Architecture in Southern California. If you are a young professional who desires more social involvement with other landscape architecture professionals, this group is for you.

EP focuses on organizing three types of activities:

  • Monthly networking events

  • project tours, site visits and project previews

  • workshops & lectures

Gatherings alternate between meetings and social events, and EP plans to hold crossover socials with allied professional groups such as the AIA, APA, ULI and City Planning. The group is not hierarchical and each participant is encouraged to step forward and initiate an activity or event.

Visit http://www.socal-asla.org/index.php/professional/emerging-professionals to learn more about Emerging Professionals.

Mentoring Program

The Southern California Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SCC/ASLA) Mentor Program unites and utilizes the talents of students and emerging professionals with licensed landscape architects. Through the nurturing of one-to-one relationships, the SCC/ASLA Mentor Program contributes to the strength and success of personal and professional development in our profession. The Mentor Program builds a reservoir of networking relationships, enthusiasm, and continuing education that is mutually beneficial to Mentors and Mentees.

Through an application process, the program matches Mentees and Mentors based on their experience, business background, career aspirations, and professional interests. The Mentor Program requires a six month commitment beginning in January and ending in June.

Who are the Mentors?

The “Mentor Pool” is comprised of active full members of ASLA who have a strong belief in the power of mentoring, are interested in promoting leadership within the landscape architecture field, and who wish to make a personal contribution to the professional lives of others while enriching their own.

Who are the Mentees?

The “Mentee Pool” is comprised of active Associate and student members of ASLA who are interested in learning more about the landscape architecture field and seek a mentoring relationship.

Visit http://www.socal-asla.org/index.php/professional/mentor-program to learn more about the mentoring program.

Accreditation

Programs of landscape architecture are accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB). The mission of the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) is to evaluate, advocate for, and advance the quality of education in landscape architectural programs.

Licensure

Licensure in California can be obtained through the combination of Education, Experience and Examination, often referred to as the three E’s or the three legged stool. Each of the three ‘legs’ are important to provide for the knowledge, skills and ability to help protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.

As defined in the Landscape Architects Practice Act: "Landscape architect" means a person who holds a license to practice landscape architecture in this state under the authority of this chapter (The Landscape Architects Practice Act). People without a licensure are not permitted to call themselves landscape architects or practice landscape architecture.

To qualify for the written examination, applicants must have six years of training and educational experience in actual practice of landscape architecture. A degree from a school of landscape architecture approved by the board is deemed equivalent to four years of training and educational experience. Cal Poly Pomona is an approved school for both the BSLA and MLA programs.

Candidates may take sections 1 and 2 of the LARE following meeting the education requirements, but must wait until meeting the full education/experience standard before taking sections 3 and 4. Candidates must also pass the California supplemental exam following passage of all sections of the LARE.

Visit http://www.latc.ca.gov to learn more about licensure.

Experience

Candidates must have at least two years of training/practice credit to be eligible for the examination. At least one of the two years of training/practice credit shall be under the direct supervision of a landscape architect licensed in a United States jurisdiction, and should be completed after graduation.

Visit http://www.latc.ca.gov to learn more about licensure.

Reciprocity

Individuals who are licensed to practice landscape architecture in one state may obtain a license from another state by completing the reciprocity licensure process. To obtain a license in another state, individuals must pass the written examination and meet the education and training requirements for first-time exam candidates in that state. Different states have different requirements.

Visit http://www.latc.ca.gov to learn more about licensure and reciprocity.