U.S. News & World Report Names Landscape Architecture Runner-up Hot Track Profession


Washington, D.C. - Landscape architecture was named a runner-up hot track profession by U.S. News & World Report in their October 26, 1998 issue and in the magazine’s online career education section at

“Employers are literally standing in line to hire our graduates. It’s a great job market.” said Van L. Cox, FASLA, professor of landscape architecture at Louisiana State University.

“Last year every single senior had a job prior to graduating!”

Every year only 1,200 to 1,300 students graduate with a degree in landscape architecture. This number has held steady in the last few years, despite the strong job market.

“I attribute much of the recent interest in automation to the situation we have now - which is a strong market for landscape architectural services coupled with a small pool of professionals. Firms are being hard pressed to meet demand with existing staff and have limited recruitment possibilities. This has become such an issue that for 1999 we’ve planned an entire series of educational audio/internet conferences on the Digital Office,” said Jim Tolliver, American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) director of education and public affairs.

Job offers for new hires are brisk with upwards of twenty percent of all respondents reporting that they are out to hire more landscape architects, according to results of the recently released ASLA 1998 Salary Survey. The average offer to recent graduates is $22,775 from the private sector and $25,730 from the public sector. With one- to three-years’ experience the average offer rises to $26,407 and $30,016, respectively. At four to nine years, it escalates to $35,042 and $37,377, respectively. Finally at more than ten years, the private sector advantage appears and the offers are $45,454 for the private sector and $44,096 for public sector. Overall, landscape architects’ average salaries have surpassed those of architects, according to the results of the ASLA salary survey compared to those of an existing similar survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Survey results show the average salary of the landscape architect in America today is $52,886, and it goes to a professional who has been practicing for 15.9 years. The comparison of ASLA and AIA survey data, adjusted to compensate for the ten months of difference in time between the two surveys, shows that landscape architects report a higher average income by about $6,000. The first professional training course in landscape architecture was established at Harvard University in 1899 by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Since then, landscape architecture degree programs have spread to more than 75 additional Post-secondary educational institutions in the United States and Canada.

A formal education program is required to become a landscape architect. At the undergraduate level, students attend four- or five-year programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture or a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. At the graduate level, students whose undergraduate degree is in a non-design field attend a three-year program leading to the first professional Master of Landscape Architecture degree.

Students whose undergraduate degree is in landscape architecture can usually complete a Master’s degree program in one to two years.

Presently approximately 5,600 students attend accredited, first-professional landscape architecture programs in the United States and Canada, including more than 900 at the master’s level. Generally, course work for a first professional degree in landscape architecture encompasses design studios, art history, construction techniques, plant identification, grading and drainage, and the natural and social sciences, such as botany, geology and sociology.

Most undergraduate landscape architecture degree students go on to enter private practice, a smaller percentage work for the government or multidisciplinary firms and a few seek further education.

State laws in 46 states require that professionals obtain a license before practicing as a landscape architect. Licensing states require successful completion of the rigorous, three-day, Uniform National Examination before granting licensure. Often states require a degree from a professional landscape architecture program before allowing a candidate to take the exam. Some states also require work experience.

Accredited U.S. programs include those offered by the following colleges and universities:
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
Auburn University
Ball State University
California Polytechnic State University
California State Polytechnic University
University of California at Berkeley
University of California at Davis
City College of New York
Colorado State University
University of Colorado at Denver
Cornell University
University of Florida
University of Georgia
Harvard University
University of Idaho
University of Illinois
Iowa State University
Kansas State University
University of Kentucky
Louisiana State University
University of Massachusetts
Michigan State University
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
Mississippi State University
Morgan State University
North Carolina A&T University
North Carolina State University
North Dakota State University
Ohio State University
Oklahoma State University
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University
Purdue University
Rhode Island School of Design
University of Rhode Island
Rutgers University
State University of New York at Syracuse
Temple University
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University
University of Texas at Arlington
Utah State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
University of Virginia
Washington State University
University of Washington
West Virginia University
University of Wisconsin

ASLA is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 1999 and represents over 12,000 members nationwide. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. Typical projects include site design and planning, town and urban planning, regional planning, preparation of environmental impact plans, garden design, historic preservation, and parks/recreation design and planning. Landscape architects hold undergraduate or graduate degrees and are licensed in 46 of the 50 states.  


Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371