How Do I Earn a Landscape Architect Certification?

Licensed landscape architects can pursue an additional landscape architect certification. This is an optional professional designation offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB). If you're interested in becoming a landscape architect, read on to find out how you can become certified. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The Difference Between Landscape Architecture Certification and Licensure

Landscape architects must be licensed to work in the field. Certification is available as an additional and optional designation that may help improve your career opportunities when compared to non-certified landscape architects. Certification requires that your education, work experience and other credentials be verified by a private landscape architecture council.

Required Education

Before you can qualify for licensure or certification, you'll need to complete a professional degree in landscape architecture. The three types of professional landscape architecture degree programs currently offered are the Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA), the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). The bachelor's degree programs prepare you for graduate-level study and will help you meet some of your licensure requirements. If you have a bachelor's degree in another field, you can earn a Master of Landscape Architecture degree in three years. If you have already earned a BLA or BSLA, you can earn your master's degree in only two years.

Licensure Requirements

You can earn your license to work as a landscape architect by passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE). The CCLARB sponsors this exam. Before you may sit for the LARE exam, you'll generally need a professional degree from a college or university that the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) has accredited. You'll also need anywhere from 1-4 years of supervised field experience.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 13 states currently require the completion of an additional state-issued exam in addition to the LARE (www.bls.gov). Most states also require all landscape architects to renew their professional license every few years. Since licensing requirements differ between states, you should consult with your state's licensing boards for more information.

Certification Requirements

In order to earn CLARB certification, your education, work experience, exam results and licensing credentials must be approved by the CLARB. In addition, the CLARB also ensures that certified landscape architects adhere to a set code of ethics and represent themselves and their industry with dignity. After you're approved, you'll be able to market yourself as a CLARB Certified Landscape Architect (www.clarb.org).

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