A landscape design invoice is an official billing document used by professional landscape designers and landscape architects to charge for the creation of visually appealing, functional landscapes for residential and commercial clients. Through the use of scaled digital or paper drawings, in-depth analysis of the client’s current lawn, soil, and plant composition, and specialized skills learned through formal or informal education, landscape designers can transform the look and feeling outdoor spaces significantly.
What is a Landscape Designer?
The art of landscape design entails a shared amount of planning and execution, requiring not only the skill of taking a mental design of a landscape and putting it on paper, but using the design and making it a reality – planting trees, grass, and plants, moving earth, installing fixtures, and so on. Landscape designers can work on their own as freelancers or contractors, or for private or government-run organizations. Time is typically divided both indoors and on job sites, with more or less time being dedicated to one or the other depending on the employer.
How to become a Certified Landscape Designer
To become a certified, professional landscape designer or landscape architect, students will need a plan, (potential) university study, an internship, and certification through an approved agency. Let the following steps serve as an overview for the aspiring landscape designer:
Step 1 – High School Degree or GED
Earning a diploma or GED is an essential step for every type of landscape designer, even if university study will be pursued or not.
Step 2 – Formal Education
To earn the title of a landscape architect, the student will have to earn at minimum a bachelor’s degree, and in some cases their master’s degree. Technically, landscape designers do not need formal education beyond high school, although obtaining said education can boost their career prospects significantly. For a complete list of ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) approved schools, check out the ASLA’s Degree Programs by State.
Step 3 – Internship / Job
Obtaining experience and building a portfolio is essential for earning certification in either design or architecture. For both aspiring landscape designers that did and didn’t go through formal education after high school, obtaining experience through an internship is vital for building their resume. Both paid and unpaid internships can be found during or after graduation, and give candidates the necessary amount of portfolio work for becoming certified or licensed.
Step 4 – Certification
Landscaping designers and landscape architects have separate means of licensing. Below are the two (2) major licensing organizations for both professions:
- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) – For university-educated landscaping architects, licenses are issued at the state level. For each state’s examination and licensing requirements, check out the ASLA’s fifty (50) state guide.
- Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) – To earn the APLD Certification, candidates have to have worked as landscaping designer’s for a minimum of three (3) years, submit three (3) installed projects, and pay a $200 application fee. For those preparing to apply for certification, the APLD Criteria for Certification document contains a complete breakdown of what aspiring applicants need to do in order to successfully prepare.
Landscape Designer/Architect Salary & Hourly Rate ($/hr)
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Landscape Architect earns the following:
Hourly rate: $32.80/hr