If you have an eye for designing and decorating beautiful spaces but you’d prefer a career that allows you to spend time outdoors, landscape design is a fantastic avenue worth exploring.
Sometimes referred to as landscape architecture, the role of this individual is to create attractive and functional outdoor spaces for a variety of different clients- homeowners, business owners, schools and even municipal city areas.
For the most part, landscape designers are able to work independently, owning their own businesses and managing projects for their own clients. While landscape design ‘firms’ surely exist throughout the United States, the majority of landscape designers are self-employed, running small operations and possibly hiring assistants and staff of their own to help keep things organized.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a landscape designer or landscape architect who technically owns his or her own business routinely completes all aspects of landscape design projects while simultaneously maintaining the business aspect of their company.
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Considering this, it’s important to remember that if you’re interested in starting an independent landscape design business of your own, you will need to brush up on your bookkeeping and marketing skills as well (for all landscape design students of NYIAD, this is thoroughly covered step-by-step in your curriculum and you’ll do some projects to help make sure you’re prepared), unless you have the budget to hire secretarial help.
If you’d rather interview for a role under the larger umbrella of a landscape design or landscape architecture firm, the role you’ll likely be looking for will be to assist senior designers or architects with large scale design projects.
Beyond these two most common professional pathways, there are plenty of other landscape designers who find extremely rewarding roles within garden or plant nursery centers. It’s becoming more and more popular for large garden centers to offer consultation services to shoppers who are looking to update their landscapes but aren’t quite sure how. Similar to how some large department stores offer in-house personal shoppers, your role would be to work with clients and guide them in their purchasing decisions and impending design projects.