The work of landscape architects can be seen in our public parks, cities, neighbourhoods, walkways, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional properties, building exteriors, and everywhere in between. A landscape architect is a highly skilled professional who conceptualizes, draws, designs, plans, and manages any built landscape development. Landscape architects can be generalists and work on a wide variety of projects, while others may specialize. For example, a landscape architect can choose to specialize in the design of golf courses. The work of a landscape architect is highly creative. However, many experienced landscape architects can often act as project managers, since they are responsible for seeing a project through from concept to design to final build. In order to become a fully certified landscape architect, it is necessary to attend a college or university program in landscape architecture or architecture.
LANDSCAPE PLANNER, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL TECHNICIAN, GOLF COURSE ARCHITECT
Landscape architects play an important role in landscape design and planning. In general, they:
- Survey and assess designated sites and develop designs taking into consideration landscape features, buildings, climate, future usage, and other aspects
- Prepare or oversee the preparation of detailed drawings for sites, including features such as trees, shrubs, gardens, lighting, walkways, patios, decks, benches, fences, retaining walls, and fountains
- Prepare or oversee preparation of site plans, reports, sketches, models, photographs, maps, land use studies, design plans such as landscape grading, drainage or planting, and construction details
- Confer with clients to determine design needs
Landscape architects are mainly employed by landscaping companies or work at landscape architecture firms. Landscape architects can also be employed by:
There is ample opportunity for advancement as a landscape architect in Ontario. With enough experience, landscape architects may advance to senior positions at landscaping companies, while some may start their own companies or work as consultants.
Future employment prospects for landscape architects in Ontario are positive. In 2020, there were 57 job postings for landscape architects across Ontario.
In Ontario, the median annual wage for a Landscape Architect is $74,110. Pending experience, responsibilities, location, hours of work, and qualifications a Landscape Architect can expect to make between $29,848 and $125,653.
HOW DO I BECOME A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT IN ONTARIO?
Landscape architects are highly skilled, technical professionals with expertise in both landscape design and architecture. There is no singular path to becoming a landscape architect. Some people may start out as landscape labourers to gain knowledge and experience in the field.
Others may enter into a landscape architecture or architecture university program right out of high school. Regardless of the path to entrance, to become a certified landscape architect, you must have a degree in landscape architecture from an accredited college or university and pass an exam from the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA).
There are a small number of universities in Ontario that offer landscape architecture programs, which will give you a solid foundation in landscape knowledge and architectural expertise that is required to become a certified landscape architect.
Examples of in-school training can include, but is not limited to:
- Identification and cultural requirements of native and introduced plants in cultivated and natural landscapes
- Visual, physical, and cultural characteristics of plants and their use
- Theory, process, and vocabulary of spatial design
- Construction documentation and site design, including technical procedures needed to direct design implementation including layout, grading, utility design, and site preparation
HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT?
Upon completing all the necessary educational components, individuals can obtain certification from the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA). OALA is the regulatory authority of landscape architects in Ontario; they also provide a database of landscape architects across the province and offer continuing education programs.