Landscape Drafter: Salary and Career Facts

Landscape drafters illustrate plans for gardens, parks and natural living environments. Details about job duties are provided below, along with education and certification information and reported salary for these technical workers. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Landscape Drafter?

Landscape drafters use computer software to design outdoor spaces. These drafters create designs that include plants, walkways, shrubs and other attractive features for parks, homes, building and even open spaces. They indicate measurements, materials and supplies needed, as well as any specific procedures that the builders would need to know. Landscape drafters include in their plans where each shrub, tree or walkway will be. Landscape drafters normally work for engineers or architects.

Below is information on working as a landscape drafter or landscape architect.

Degree Required Certificate or associate's degree
Education Field of Study Computer-aided drafting; landscape design; landscape technology
Key Duties Converting landscape designs to technical drawing
Job Growth (2014-2024) -3%* (all drafters)
Median Salary (2015) $49,650* (drafters, all others)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are the Job Duties of a Landscape Drafter?

Your main job duty as a landscape drafter would be to create a landscape design that includes measurements and specifications that can be used as a guide for a landscaping project. A landscape draft must be technically detailed, providing specific dimensions, calculations and environmental elements that give the necessary information to contractors.

You could choose to offer general landscaping services or specialize in residential or public projects. You might design the natural areas of parks, playgrounds, housing projects, golf courses or shopping centers. Your responsibilities would lie in plotting space and planning for the location of vegetation, flowers, bushes and trees, as well as walkways, structures, accessories and roads, taking into account building placement and other obstructions. You might work on new projects that are being built from the ground up or restoration projects that require revitalization.

As a landscape drafter, you'll work with surveyors, engineers, architects and landscape contractors to determine the different aspects of the project and environment. You might receive advice from environmental professionals or coordinate with city and community agencies to ensure protected areas are identified and environmental issues are addressed. Depending on your role in a project, you could be involved with securing funding, procuring site elements, adhering to regulations and addressing any concerns or issues that might affect the final project.

What Are the Education Requirements For This Career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers typically prefer landscape drafters with some college education that emphasizes computer-aided drafting (www.bls.gov). Programs in landscape design, landscape technology, and landscape architecture drafting are offered at certificate and associate degree levels at vocational schools and community colleges. Many programs cover landscaping construction, plant types and environmental layout. To gain the skills and knowledge to become a landscape drafter, look for programs that also teach you how to use computer-aided drafting software. Landscape architects perform similar duties, though states regulate any architectural profession, usually requiring you obtain advanced education and licensure.

Though not required, you can earn professional certification through organizations, such as the American Design Drafting Association's (ADDA). To earn certification, you need demonstrate your expertise in basic drafting concepts, techniques and standards by passing the Drafter Certification Test (www.adda.org).

How Much Can I Earn?

According to salary surveys conducted by PayScale.com, landscape drafters reported their wages as of October 2016 ranged from approximately $21,433-$57,714.The job is considered entry-level, and the BLS anticipated work for architectural and civil drafters would decrease 3% percent between 2014-2024. With experience, additional education and state licensure, you can advance your career into the landscape architecture profession, which the BLS projected to grow 5% in the same time period.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If landscape drafting doesn't interest you, there are several other similar career options that require an associate's degree. Civil engineering technicians assist civil engineers in planning and designing various infrastructure, such as highways, roads, and bridges. Another similar career option is electrical technician, who assists engineers in developing and building electronic equipment such as computers and medical devices. These technicians must also test and rebuild equipment as needed. Mechanical engineering technicians also assist engineers. These technicians create sketches to design and build various tools and machines.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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