Associate's Degrees in Landscape Architecture

Landscape architects plan out the planting of flowers, bushes, trees and other greenery to create attractive and functional outdoor spaces. Although landscape architects typically need to earn at least a bachelor's degree, earning an associate's degree can be a way to net an entry-level position in the field. Read about 2-year degree programs and how they work, as well as job options and how to advance your education.

What Will I Learn in Landscape Architecture Associate's Degree Programs?

Associate's degree programs are available in landscape technology, landscape and environmental design and in horticulture with a pre-landscape architecture emphasis. These programs incorporate the basics of building design with the study of plants. Your courses will include horticulture, which deals with the study of various plants, proper plant care practices and pest control methods. Other courses cover plants used to beautify landscapes, including trees, shrubs and ivy. Some courses teach you to use green technology and nature for inspiration in design. Additional topics of study include:

  • Computer-aided design techniques
  • Identifying plants
  • Using graphic design software
  • Irrigation design
  • Landscape assessment

Common Topics Horticulture, plant care, pest control, beautifying landscapes, using green technology for inspiration
Education On-campus programs offer use of design software for simulation and hands-on experience; horticulture classes may be found online
Career Options Conservation specialist, landscape laborer, nursery worker; landscape architect positions require at least a professional bachelor's degree
Licensing Requirements Professional bachelor's degree, standardized licensing exam, professional work experience
Median Salary (2018)* $68,230 for landscape architects
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 6% for landscape architects

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Does the Program Work?

Associate's degree programs in landscape architecture are campus-based. However, some schools make certain courses available online, particularly horticulture courses in which you'd identify different plants and techniques for caring for them. These classes could be part of a certificate program. Campus-based courses offer hands-on experience using these plant care techniques. They also allow you to use design software to simulate the professional landscape design process.

What Career Opportunities Can I Pursue?

With an associate's degree in landscape architecture, you could become a conservation specialist, which involves taking care of places of historical importance and maintaining them. You could also become a landscape laborer, which involves taking care of lawns by trimming trees, managing hedges and mowing lawns. You could also work at a nursery, caring for various plants. If you want to work as a licensed landscape architect, you must continue your education to the bachelor's degree level.

How Can I Continue My Education?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a professional bachelor's degree is the minimum required education for a career in landscape architecture. For licensing purposes, most states use the Landscape Architect Registration Examination, which is administered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards ( To earn a license, you'll need to hold a bachelor's degree and build several years of job experience in a landscaping or landscape design environment.