Love a family interview! My brother-in-law is very artistic. He has put his creativity to work for him as a Landscape Designer. Are you interested in a career with a creative side that also allows you to spend time outdoors? This may be the job for you!
Q: What is the title of your profession?
A: I am a Landscape Designer
Q: What do you do?
A: I do residential Landscape Design. I work with homeowners to create outdoor spaces which include patios, pools, outdoor kitchens, water features, fire features, lighting plans, and planting plans.
Q: Have you always worked in this field?
A: Yes. After college, I pursued a career in Music. While pursuing the Music career, I also worked in the Landscape Industry. Ultimately I had to choose between the two paths.
Q: Why did you choose this profession?
A: I enjoyed both Landscape Design and Music. Both professions provided a creative outlet and the freedom to not be stuck in an office all day. Landscaping was more stable than music, and so became the practical choice.
Q: How would you define your profession?
A: Landscape Design involves an understanding of landscape practices, as well as an understanding of design principles.
Q: Did you go to college or a trade school for this profession?
A: You can go to school for Landscape Design. However, I did not.
Q: How long did you go to school?
A: 4yrs. I went to the Rochester Institute of Technology. I have a BFA in Graphic Design.
Q: Do you use your degree in your job?
A: Yes, all the time. Design principles are universal to any kind of design job, whether it be Graphic Design or Landscape Design or Interior Design or whatever. Design is design is design.
Q: Can your degree be used as a basis for any other professions?
A: Yes, any kind of job that requires an understanding of Art and Design. Magazine layout, sculpture, photography, fashion design, etc.
Q: Does your job require continued education?
A: Landscape Design does not require continued education. However, you can become a Certified Landscape Designer like me, which does require continued education. I have to take 30 CEU’s (continued education units) every three years.
Q: Does your job require a certification or board testing?
A: It is not required. However, I felt it important to become Certified as a way to show that I am qualified.
Q: What is a day in the life of your job? Does it change day to day? Do you work with the public?
A: My job is different from day to day. Sometimes I’m inside most of the day, other days I’m outside a lot. That’s what makes it interesting. I would get board if I had to do the same thing everyday. I don’t really work with the ‘public’. However, I do work closely with individual homeowners, and also with various contractors and subcontractors.
Q: What do you think makes a person successful in this profession?
A: Talent and dedication.
Q: Does your profession require travel? How much?
A: Some Landscape Designers travel around the country or even around the world. Most prefer to work in their local area.
Q: What is the typical schedule/hours?
A: It is definitely not a 9 to 5 job. Sometimes I need to be on a construction project at 6am. Other times I like to work on designs late at night when there are no distractions. In Landscaping, there are busy times a year when I work 60hrs/week, and slow times when I work 40hrs.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Creating outdoor spaces that will be enjoyed year after year.
Q: What do you dislike about your job?
A: Getting up early.
Q: What advice would you give to a child/student that is considering this profession?
A: You obviously have to understand plants and hardscape materials. (Hardscapes are the patios, walls, roof structures, etc.) But my best advice would be to take classes in art and design. The art and design knowledge is what will help you put all the outdoor elements together into a cohesive space.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you choose the same profession?
Q: Is your profession fun (Ryan wants to know!)
A: Certain aspects of it are fun. But even the fun parts are still ‘work’. I think it’s important to enjoy what you do – then you will have fun. What is fun for one person may be boring for another.
Q: Do you receive a pension?