How To Become A Landscape Architect In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become landscape architects in Australia.


Do you enjoy being in the natural world and doing outdoor work? If yes, a career as a Landscape Architect might be perfect for you.


Landscape architects design industrial, commercial, residential, and recreational buildings and landscapes to make them functional, beautiful, and sustainable.


Having a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture or architectural design to work as a Landscape Architect is recommended. You can also complete a postgraduate qualification after a bachelor's degree in a different discipline.


In this blog, you will learn about landscape architect skills, daily tasks, degrees, courses, job opportunities, career prospects, earning potential (salary), and steps to becoming one in Australia.



1. What Is A Landscape Architect?


Landscape architects are horticultural experts who create well-designed, efficient, and pleasing outdoor spaces. They plan and design land areas for commercial, housing, and public projects.


Landscape architects specialise in services that include regional planning, resource management, cost studies, site selection, and site construction.



2. What Does A Landscape Architect Do?


A typical day for a landscape architect involves the following activities: 


  • Examine the legacy of sites and develop plans to manage open-space areas

  • Analyse sites about ecological and geographical features, vegetation, landforms, site hydrology, human-made structures, and visual characteristics.

  • Study and discuss designs, size requirements, budget, aesthetics, and project construction with clients

  • Offer clients time and cost estimations for design, labour, and materials.

  • Talk to engineers, architects, and other professionals to know historical and natural conservation needs, drainage, rock features, soil structure, and sun and shade movements.

  • Participate in public surveys and town hall meetings to create people-oriented designs that meet community needs and improve their experience. 

  • Use sustainable solutions such as green roofs, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, and stormwater management to fight climate change and develop environmental solutions that last for years. 

  • Use digital rendering CAD software to prepare technical drawings that specify the following: required building materials, the location of plants, walkways, drainage systems, roads, pathways, water features, garden structures, walls, and paved areas.

  • Create site plans that outline site developments and present them to clients for approval

  • Write project specifications and contract documents for builders. 

  • Prepares project documentation that includes sketches and scale drawings and integrates structural, aesthetic, and mechanical elements

  • Inspect the progress of construction work to ensure compliance with specifications, plans, and quality standards and timely completion



3. Landscape Architect Skills For Success


Do you want to become a Landscape Architect? Here are the personal requirements you need to work in this role. 



Technical Skills


  • Good knowledge of horticulture 

  • Able to read and create blueprints and hand sketches 

  • Computer skills

  • Proficiency in working with landscapes design software and video simulation packages such as Auto CAD, Adobe Creative Suite, and SketchUp 



Soft Skills


  • Care for the environment and people

  • Enjoy working in nature

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Customer service skills

  • Excellent spatial perception 

  • Leadership abilities 

  • Analytical and planning ability

  • Aptitude for design

  • Teamwork skills

  • Creative flair

  • Good communication skills

  • Able to work independently or in a team

  • Strong problem-solving skills



4. How To Qualify For A Landscape Architect Job?


Here are the steps to qualify for this role:


  1. Obtain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English and mathematics

  2. Study a landscape architecture degree in Australia at a university accredited by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. Some good options to consider are a three years full-time Bachelor Of Landscape Design or a Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design.

  3. Those who hold a Bachelor's in another discipline can follow it up with a 3-year postgraduate landscape architecture degree such as a Master of Landscape Architecture.

  4. Obtain professional work experience and join recognised institutions like AILA to become a registered landscape architect.



5. Steps To Become A Landscape Architect In Australia


You need to become a certified landscape architect to work as a landscape architect in Australia. For this, you require formal education and relevant work experience.


Here is a 5-step guide to help you secure an entry-level landscape architect role:



Step 1: Obtain The Formal Education


A dedicated 3-year bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from an accredited program is sufficient for entry-level positions.


However, suppose you have a bachelor's degree in another discipline. In that case, you may need to supplement it with a 3-year master's degree in Landscape Architecture.


The degree courses help students learn about landscape systems, the complexity of the landscape, and fundamental design skills to work on landscape design projects at varying difficulty levels.


When students work on real-world landscape design projects, they learn about the design process and how to apply it to community initiatives or other projects. 



Step 2: Get Work Experience


Work experience is a vital part of this degree that prepares one for a diverse and successful career. It implies that you will graduate with the professional skills, theoretical knowledge, and industry connections to jump-start your career.


After gaining basic knowledge of landscape architecture, look for entry-level positions in Australian landscape architect firms. Opportunities are available in transport projects such as railways, bridges, larger public space projects, and national parks.



Step 3: Become A Member Of a Professional Body


The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects is Australia's most prominent landscape architect community, aiming to create healthy communities and a sustainable planet. It is an approved accrediting organisation that provides national qualifications for professional landscape architects.


A membership in AILA gives you the benefit of professional development, recognition, and access to industry experts who gather to share their valuable knowledge and ideas. Their educational resources help landscape professionals stay updated as they build their careers and expertise.



Step 4: Become A Registered Landscape Architect


Before offering your professional services, you must become a registered landscape architect in Australia. Once you gain the necessary qualifications and work experience, you can apply for registration with the AILA institute.


After becoming registered, obtain 18 months of practical work experience as a registered landscape architect in Australia.


Thus, an aspiring landscape architect must complete a 3 to 5 years formal university degree, three years of experience, and 18 months post-registration practical work experience to become a registered landscape architect in Australia.


Industry Bodies:




6. How To Become A Landscape Architect Without A Degree?


The ideal route to becoming a landscape architect is to hold at least a Bachelor's or Master's degree in landscape architecture. However, you can still get started in this profession without a degree. 


Many training schools offer landscape design courses that equip you with visual and creative skills and a technical and practical understanding of landscape design.


  1. Complete a course in landscape design or plant science like a Diploma of Landscape Design. The knowledge and skills you develop will prepare you to work in private, commercial, or domestic landscape and horticultural projects.

  2. Work in landscaping summer jobs to develop real-world experience. 

  3. Undertake an apprenticeship in landscape architecture for a year 

  4. Landscape architects obtain their professional certification after 4-5 years of post-secondary school, which includes education and practical experience in landscape design and management.



7. Landscape Architect Courses In Australia


Are you interested in designing healthy, sustainable, and vibrant landscapes that benefit people and the planet? Landscape Architecture degree and diploma courses are the best ways to prepare you for a landscape architect role.



Certificate of Landscape Design – Australia Online courses


Are you looking for a landscape architecture course online in Australia? 


This course teaches about pre-planning, techniques to prepare landscape drawings, how to create different garden styles, and what elements give a visual effect to a garden.



Diploma in Landscape Design


The diploma course provides introductory landscape design knowledge, skills, and applications. It teaches core units in design theory and history, building materials, ecology, flora, tectonics, and landform. 


The following training schools offer this course:


  • Swinburne University of Technology




  • Griffith College



Bachelor of Landscape Design - QUT


Duration: 3 years full-time or six years part-time


In this course, students will engage with communities, leading researchers, and professional practitioners to work on real-world landscape design projects. 


They gain a solid understanding of an array of design principles, processes, and theories to apply to real-world or simulated design scenarios.



Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design - RMIT University


Duration: 3 years full-time, Location: Melbourne City


The course provides a solid understanding of various key areas of landscape architecture design, such as:


  • Landscape Architectural Design

  • Landscape Architectural History and Theory

  • Design Communications

  • Natural and Cultural Systems

  • Landscape Architectural Technology

  • Professional Practice


After graduating from landscape architect courses, you can confidently design beautiful and sustainable environments.



Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Honours) - University of New South Wales


Duration: 4-year full-time, Delivery Mode: Face-to-face (includes blended)


The landscape architecture "honours" course teaches art and science. Further, you will learn to plan, design, and manage the environment, ecological processes, and graphic techniques.


As part of this degree, you will complete at least 40 days of industry work and spend 40 days in a design office. It gives you professional work experience and industry connections to launch your career.



The Master of Landscape Architecture - The University of Melbourne


The Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture accredits this postgraduate course. The degree focuses on landscape and land use preparation, design, and administration.


It encompasses all design scales, from large-scale public projects to smaller urban spaces and gardens to suburban development.


The degree offers creative opportunities to engage in core cultural, social, and ecological issues. You can work in regional or urban areas, including commercial, industrial, residential, and recreational environments.


You can complete the course in two years if you hold an undergraduate degree with a major in Landscape Architecture. Those having a bachelor's degree from another discipline can complete a three-year Master of Landscape Architecture program.



8. Where Does A Landscape Architect Work In Australia?


A landscape architect can work in any of the below areas:


  • Parks and recreation

  • Residential design

  • Urban design

  • Commercial design

  • Educational campuses

  • Therapeutic gardens

  • Hospitality and resorts

  • Wildlife reserves

  • Historic preservation

  • Land art

  • Interior landscapes



In landscape architectural, engineering, planning, and multidisciplinary consultancy companies, qualified landscape architect are in demand in urban and non-urban regions.


Employment opportunities are also available in the following:


  • Land development organisations

  • Conservation agencies

  • Private consultancies and businesses

  • Federal, state, territory, and local government agencies 


Moreover, many qualified professionals establish their landscape architectural practice.



9. Specialisation


A landscape architect can specialise in playgrounds, national parks, roads, public housing schools, roads, holiday resorts, sports complexes, and shopping centres.


They may also specialise in services such as regional planning, site selection, resource management, site construction, or cost studies.



10. Working Conditions For A Landscape Architect


Landscape architects work in both an office and outdoors to survey land and evaluate its progress. 


They may work independently or with other professionals such as engineers, architects, and town planners.



11. Job Prospects For A Landscape Architect In Australia


With the growing demand for energy-efficient resources and the gradual transition into a future of sustainability, landscape architecture plays a vital role in designing a healthy and resilient future.


According to the Job outlook website, Australia has over 32,200 Architects and Landscape Architects. The number of workers has grown enormously over the past five years. Further, the government projects strong growth in the coming five years, reaching 37,900 by 2025.


Landscape Architects work in several parts of Australia, with Victoria having the highest number of workers. These professionals work in Professional, Construction, Scientific and Technical Services. 81% of workers work full-time for around 45 hours per week.


The average age in this profession is 39 years, and 34% of workers are female.



12. How Much Salary Does A Landscape Architect Earn In Australia?


The average landscape architect's salary in Australia is AU$60,931 per year or an hourly rate of AU$27.94. Experience and location are the prime factors determining a landscape architect's salary. 



Salary Based on Experience


  • Entry-level Landscape Architects (<1-year experience) earn AU$50,953

  • Early career Landscape Architects (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$59,150

  • Mid-career Landscape Architects (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$72,635

  • Experienced Landscape Architects (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$90,943 



Salary Based on Location


Landscape Architects draw high salaries in the following cities in Australia:


  • Hadfield, Victoria: $101,369 per year

  • Melbourne, Victoria: $93,635 per year

  • Gold Coast, Queensland: $93,564 per year

  • Sunshine, Victoria: $91,562 per year

  • Sydney, New South Wales: $88,521 per year

  • Werribee, Victoria: $85,611 per year

  • Darebin, Victoria: $81,421 per year

  • Preston, Victoria: $81,421 per year



13. Conclusion


Landscape architecture combines science and art, improving our environment and daily lives. As a landscape architect, you have endless opportunities, places, and ways to create a positive experience in outdoor spaces. 


Landscape architect courses are perfect for pursuing your passion and kick-starting your career.


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