ChooseLandscape - How to become a landscape planner
The Whale, Sunderland Seafront. Project by Sunderland City Council. Image credit: David Allan Photography

Landscape planners are the masterminds.

They look at the big picture for outdoor spaces, from rural communities to towns and cities. They make plans and implement strategies for how places will be developed over time, making sure everyone works together to create somewhere special.

“I love being outdoors and understanding how natural and human forces shape the landscape and how we perceive it. I am always armed with my camera!”
Alex Burton, landscape planner

How to become a landscape planner

You’ll need a degree recognised by the Landscape Institute. Each degree course will have its own entry requirements, which might include:

  • GCSEs in art, geography or maths
  • level 3 qualifications like A levels or BTECs
  • a portfolio of your drawings and photographs

You may also be able to get onto a course with TBC.

Once you are accepted, you’ll study for five to six years, with one year of practical work experience in the middle. Then comes further on-the-job training, an exam, and registration with the Landscape Institute.

Find the landscape course

What would I be doing day-to-day?

  • Making plans for spaces with maps and photos
  • Coordinating design teams to make sure everyone sees the bigger picture
  • Assessing how development will affect the landscape
  • Reading plans to check they’ll work for the space
  • Meeting communities to involve people in planning their spaces
Landscape Planner
Image credit: erz
Top: Olympic Park project by LDA. Image credit: LDA

Bottom: Kings Cross Pond Club, temporary landscape by B|D landscape architects. Image credit: John Sturrock.

What kind of person am I?

  • A big-picture thinker who stays focused on your goals
  • Level-headed and able to weigh up arguments rationally
  • A data geek with an eye for patterns and trends
  • Comfortable convincing and inspiring all sorts of people
  • A keen reader to keep track of the latest policies and legislation
  • Equally happy in the office and outdoors in all weathers

What Our Landscape Planners Say

What hours would I work?

Landscape architects work 35-40 hours a week, with occasional evenings and weekends when needed. They divide their time between the studio and out on-site, which can mean travelling around the country and sometimes overseas.

How much would I earn?

Your starting salary would be around £xk rising to around £xk with experience.

What opportunities would I have to progress in my career?

In the private sector, you could become a partner or associate. In the public sector, you might become a head of service.

You could also go freelance or set up your own business, working on specific projects that interest you. Or learn new skills to move into landscape management or planning.

See landscape jobs

What sort of jobs could I do?

  • Landscape designer
  • Landscape architect
  • Third job
ChooseLandscape - Landscape Architect