What Is A Landscape Designer - Everything You Need To Know

What Is A Landscape Designer - Everything You Need To Know

If you are considering a career in landscape design, understanding what a landscape designer does, the skills and qualifications required to become one, and the various paths you can take to achieve this goal are essential.

In this blog post, we will review everything you need to know about landscape designers - from their roles and responsibilities to their salaries and career trajectories. We also provide information on alternative careers in the landscaping industry so that you can make an informed decision.

Finally, we provide you with the pros and cons of being a landscape designer so that you can come to a clear understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of this exciting profession.


An outdoor space can be transformed into a functional and visually pleasing area with the help of a landscape designer. This professional considers various factors, including climate, soil type, and existing vegetation, to create an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space that meets the client's needs.

A well-designed outdoor space has numerous benefits, such as enhancing property value and improving the quality of life for those who use it.

What Is a Landscape Designer?

A landscape designer is a professional who specializes in creating outdoor spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Landscape designers use various skills and techniques to design and plan outdoor spaces, considering factors such as site analysis, hardscape design, plant selection, and overall style and theme. They may work on projects such as residential gardens, public parks, commercial landscapes, and urban green spaces.

A landscape designer typically begins a project by consulting with clients to understand their needs and preferences, then develops a design plan that meets those requirements while adhering to budget and other constraints. They may work with a team of professionals, including architects, engineers, and contractors, to bring their designs to life.

Roles and responsibilities

A landscape designer's roles and responsibilities are multifaceted. They must consider the client's needs, site constraints, and environmental factors while designing a functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.

Their duties include creating detailed plans, selecting appropriate plants and materials, overseeing the design installation, managing budgets and timelines, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

At times they may also serve as project managers or maintenance planners to ensure the long-term success of the outdoor space.

Skills required

Creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing landscape design requires a variety of skills. Knowledge of plants, soil, and hardscaping materials is essential for a landscape designer. Still, they must also be well-versed in design principles such as color theory, balance, and scale.

Strong communication skills are necessary to collaborate with clients and contractors effectively. At the same time, problem-solving abilities are crucial for navigating any issues that may arise during the design or installation process.

In addition, strong organizational skills are needed to handle multiple projects and deadlines. A successful landscape designer must have a diverse skill set to create beautiful outdoor spaces that meet their clients' needs.

Landscape Designer career trajectory and Salary

As a landscape designer, there are many career growth opportunities. With a positive job outlook and an expected growth rate of 4%, professionals in this field can look forward to a fulfilling and lucrative career.

The median annual salary for a landscape designer is around $69,000, although this can vary depending on experience and location. Landscape designers can work in various settings, including private firms, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Steps to Becoming a Certified Landscape Designer

Landscape designer

Becoming a certified landscape designer requires dedication and a bachelor’s degree. One way to start is by obtaining a degree in landscape architecture or horticulture.

Entry-level positions and internships provide crucial experience in the field, which can be used to build a portfolio that showcases your skills and talent.

Consider getting certification through organisations like the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and staying up-to-date with industry trends through continued learning opportunities.

Earn a degree or certification

Earning a degree or certification in landscape design is an essential step towards becoming a certified landscape designer. A degree program in landscape design covers various topics like plant selection, garden design, and hardscaping, giving you an in-depth understanding of the field.

Alternatively, certification programs require passing an exam and demonstrating practical skills in landscape design. Continuing education courses can also help keep your skills up-to-date and maintain your certification.

Gain experience

Building experience is a vital step toward becoming a certified landscape designer. One excellent way to gain experience is by working as an intern or an apprentice under a professional landscape designer.

Volunteering for community projects or entering landscaping competitions can also provide valuable experience. Attending workshops, seminars, and continuing education courses can help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques in landscape design, giving you an edge over your competition.

Develop a portfolio

Creating a portfolio is an essential step in becoming a certified landscape designer. Your portfolio must reflect your design skills and showcase your best work. Before-and-after photos of completed projects, sketches or drawings of proposed designs, and relevant certifications or training must be included in the portfolio.

It is crucial to keep your portfolio updated and organised to make a good impression on potential clients or employers. Consider creating both digital and physical versions of your portfolio for maximum flexibility.

Consider certification

Certification can be an important step towards success as a landscape designer. Becoming a Certified Landscape Designer (CLD) from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) enhances your skills and knowledge in the industry.

It makes you more competitive in the job market. Passing an exam is required to obtain the certification, and APLD provides continuing education opportunities to maintain it. With certification, you can position yourself as an expert in the field and potentially command higher pay.

Alternative Careers in the Landscaping Industry

Landscape designer

When it comes to career options in the landscaping industry, you can take various paths. Landscape architecture involves designing outdoor spaces such as parks and public areas, while rain garden design focuses on private gardens for homeowners.

Horticulture, landscape contracting, and landscape management are other popular career paths. If you're passionate about a specific aspect of landscaping, consider specialising as an arborist, irrigation specialist, or green roof specialist.

Landscape architect

Designing outdoor spaces requires a deep understanding of plants, soil, and topography. Landscape architects are licensed professionals who use this knowledge to create functional and visually appealing landscapes. They work for various clients, including homeowners, businesses, and government agencies.

Landscape architects also play a crucial role in large-scale projects like parks and public spaces. To become a landscape architect, one must typically earn a degree in landscape architecture and pass a licensing exam. It's a challenging but rewarding career requiring creativity and technical expertise.


Arborists are highly skilled professionals who specialize in tree study, care, and maintenance. They are trained to identify and diagnose tree diseases, pests, and other issues affecting tree health.

Arborists also use their expertise to advise clients on proper pruning and shaping techniques to promote the optimal growth of their trees. Additionally, they can assist with planting, removal, and other aspects of tree care.

Becoming an arborist requires specialized training and certification, but it can be a rewarding career for those who love nature and enjoy working outdoors.

Irrigation Specialist

Proper irrigation is crucial for the growth and health of plants, making irrigation specialists a vital part of any landscaping team. They use their knowledge of the local climate and plant water needs to design and install efficient irrigation systems that ensure optimal growth.

These professionals also provide ongoing maintenance and repair services to ensure the irrigation system remains functional throughout the year. With their expertise, irrigation specialists play a key role in creating beautiful and sustainable landscapes that thrive in all weather conditions.

Landscape lighting Designer

Outdoor spaces can be transformed into beautiful and functional areas with the help of a landscape lighting designer.

The professionals in this field specialize in creating unique lighting designs that complement the overall landscape design. They have a strong understanding of electrical systems and safety codes and use various techniques such as uplighting, downlighting, and path lighting to enhance the beauty of the outdoor space.

With their expertise, landscape lighting designers can create ambiance, highlight specific features, and make the outdoor area more inviting.

Green roof specialist

Landscape design

Green roof specialists are professionals who design and install living roofs on residential and commercial buildings. They must have in-depth knowledge of horticulture, roofing systems, and environmental science to select appropriate plants and design irrigation systems while managing vegetation growth.

The benefits of green roofs include reducing energy consumption, improving air quality, and managing stormwater runoff. Green roof specialists often work for landscaping companies or architectural firms, making it a rewarding career option for those interested in sustainable landscape design.

Landscape photographer

Capturing the beauty of nature through photography is a popular career choice for many individuals interested in the landscaping industry. Landscape photographers showcase the natural world around us while also capturing the artistry and design of landscape architecture.

A successful landscape photographer has a keen eye for detail, artistic vision, technical skills in photography equipment and editing software, and an understanding of lighting and composition.

Whether working on their own or collaboratively with designers and architects, landscape photographers have the opportunity to create stunning visual representations of our natural surroundings.

Pros & Cons of being a Landscape Designer

Two Landscape designer working


Working as a landscape designer comes with several benefits. One of the biggest advantages is working outdoors and being creative with designs. Landscape designers work on various projects, from residential gardens to parks and commercial landscapes, providing ample opportunities to explore creativity.

Besides, incorporating sustainable design practices and using native plants enable them to impact the environment positively. Moreover, by creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces, they improve the quality of life for people.

Finally, with many job opportunities in the growing field, landscape designing can offer a career that is both fulfilling and sustainable.


While there are many advantages to a career in landscape design, it's important to consider the potential downsides as well. One of the primary challenges of this field is the job's physical demands.

Landscape designers must be able to work outside for long periods in all kinds of weather and may need to lift heavy objects or use power tools regularly. Additionally, peak seasons can mean long hours, which may not be ideal for everyone.

Another potential drawback is the need to constantly adapt and learn new techniques, as trends in landscaping and design evolve quickly over time.

Bottom Line

A landscape designer is a professional who designs and manages landscapes. A landscape designer typically has a degree in landscape architecture, but some have certification or experience in related fields. A landscape designer’s job includes designing landscapes for residential, commercial, and public spaces.

A landscape designer typically works with clients to develop a design that meets the space's specific needs. A landscape designer typically works on a project basis and may be hired full-time or as a consultant.

The landscape design industry is growing rapidly, and a landscape designer can expect steady employment opportunities over the next few years. For more information and such articles, visit our website, ArkaEnergy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between a Landscape architect and a Landscape Designer?

The main difference between a Landscape architect and a Landscape Designer is that the former is a professional who designs landscapes. At the same time, the latter is an individual who uses the skills of a landscape architect to create a project or design.

While many landscape architects also have a degree in landscape design, the two roles are distinct in terms of their primary focus and level of expertise. Ultimately, both can play important roles in creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces that meet the needs of clients and their surrounding environments.

What are the benefits of hiring a Landscape Designer?

Hiring a Landscape Designer can offer several benefits, especially for home improvement. They can help you achieve the desired look and feel for your home or business by planning and executing a landscaping project.

They can also recommend plants and other gardening items, ensuring they fit well with the overall design. With the help of a Landscape Designer, you can create a beautiful patio that enhances your property's aesthetic appeal while adding value to it.

How can I find a good Landscape Designer?

To find a good landscape designer, you can start by checking online directories like Houzz, Yelp, and Angie's List for reviews and ratings from previous clients.

Additionally, asking for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have had landscaping work done before can also be helpful.

Make sure to look for landscape designers who are licensed and certified in their field. It's also a good idea to schedule consultations with multiple designers so you can compare their ideas and pricing before making a final decision.

How much does it cost to hire a Landscape Designer?

The cost to hire an individual for a landscaping project can vary widely, ranging from $50-$250 per hour. Additionally, a landscaping company may charge an initial consultation fee and additional fees for consultation/planning, design, and construction services.

It is best to discuss the specific services you require with the landscape designer to get an accurate estimate of costs.

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About The Author
ritik n.
Written By
Ritik N.
Digital Marketing Specialist
Ritik N. is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Arka Energy, merging his professional prowess with a deep passion for sustainable living and solar energy. Advocating for renewable solutions, Ritik channels his expertise to promote eco-consciousness and advance the adoption of solar energy for a brighter future.
ritik n.
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Chinoyaka J.
Content Writer
Chinoyaka J. is a captivating content writer and sustainable living expert. With a flair for storytelling and a passion for eco-friendly solutions, she inspires readers to embrace greener lifestyles. She finds solace in nature's beauty when not writing, fueling her creativity and commitment to a more sustainable future.

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